Blog

Sadism: a history of non-consensual sexual cruelty

In this June 2020 article published in The International Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, Joanna Bourke explores how nineteenth-century forensic psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing's understanding of...

Cruel Visions: Reflections on Artists and Atrocities

In this article from August 2020 published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, Joanna Bourke explores the artistic challenges facing officially appointed...

'Animal instincts': the sexual abuse of women with learning difficulties, 1830s-1910s

In this article published in Women's History Review in 2020, Joanna Bourke traces the sexual abuse of girls and women with learning difficulties in Britain between...

The Rise and Rise of Sexual Violence

In this article published in 2018 in Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques, Joanna Bourke reviews and examines key shortcomings in Steven Pinker's work from 2011, The Better Angels of...

In Plain Sight: Open Doors, Mixed-sex Wards and Sexual Abuse in English Psychiatric Hospitals, 1950s—Early 1990s

This article was published in a Special Issue of the journal Social History of Medicine, titled 'Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care'. Louise Hide...

Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care: Introduction

In this special issue of the journal Social History of Medicine, co-editors, Joanna Bourke and Louise Hide, bring together a range of essays addressing institutional care...

Sexual Violence, Marital Guidance, and Victorian Bodies: An Aesthesiology

In this 2008 article published in the journal Victorian Studies, Joanna Bourke examines some of the emotional rules, encoded in grammars of representation and framed within...

Police Surgeons and Victims of Rape: Cultures of Harm and Care

This article was published in a Special Issue of the journal Social History of Medicine in 2018 and explores the dual professional responsibilities of police...

Sexual Violence, Bodily Pain, and Trauma

This article, published in the journal Theory, Culture, and Society in 2012 explores the trope of 'psychological trauma' and asks at what point in history did...

Sexed Bodies (Rape: A History from the 1890s to the Present)

In the opening chapter of her book, Rape: A History from the 1890s to the Present, Joanna Bourke poses the central question driving this work: 'why...