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Table of contents

No. 10 - Volume 6 (2018)
Rage, Rush and Intoxication
Edited by Kristoff Kerl / Florian Schleking

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Kristoff Kerl / Florian Schleking: Einführung: Rauschkörper in geschichtlicher Perspektive. Schlaglichter und Beiträge
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Kristoff Kerl / Florian Schleking: Rausch, Körper, Geschichte. Überlegungen und Perspektiven
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From Anthropology to Sociology, many of the historically
minded Social Sciences and Cultural Studies have been interested in the subjects of ecstasy, trance and intoxication for quite a long time. This article
seeks to assemble ideas and outline perspectives for researching the history
of ecstatic and/or intoxicated bodies. It draws on approaches from the history
of drugs in modern societies and proposes combining them with genealogical
and praxeological accounts. The authors argue that these research tools
can be fruitful for an integrative approach that can analyze the body history
of various forms of ‘Rausch’, such as drug experiences, religious trances, sexual
ecstasies, or similar feelings during sports or violence under a common
denominator. They want to encourage body historians to focus on the prac-
tical production of ecstasies and intoxications and put them even more into
the foreground of their research interest. From this angle, the discourses and
practices of ‘Rausch’, their embeddedness in socio-technical contexts, and the
collectives and self-relalions they formed and transformed in the 19th and 20th
centuries can be analyzed as techniques of modern body politics.

Jakob Tanner / Kristoff Kerl / Florian Schleking: Nachfragen zur Drogen- und Rauschgeschichte. Ein Interview mit Jakob Tanner
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Jakob Tanner is one of the pioneers of body and drug history
in German-speaking historiography. For decades he has been one of the
most important protagonists of an analytical framework that combines social
history with the history of knowledge and historical-anthropological approaches.
In this interview, Tanner reflects upon the topic of this issue of Body Politics and explains how the concept ‚Rausch‘ can enrich and contribute to the historiographical examination of modern societies. Additonally, he discusses
different theoretical and methodical approaches that are used in studies on
the history of drugs and ‚Rausch‘. In this context, he also points to ideas and
problems, which are currently debated in this field of historical studies. In addi-
tion to statements on the relation between language and ecstatic experiences,
Tanner comments on classical narratives and new analytical tools. In the course
of the interview, he repeatedly emphasizes the changing meanings, which
different historical actors ascribed to states of ecstasy, trance, and intoxicati-
on. He draws attention to the interrelationships that shaped the perception of
concepts and practices of drug use in specific historical constellations and contexts.
Once more, Tanners statements direct the focus on the entanglement of
notions of ‚Rausch‘, drug politics, and social power structures.


Stefan Rindlisbacher / Eva Locher: Abstinente Jugendliche im Höhenrausch. Nüchternheit, Leistung und gesunder Lebensstil in der Schweizer Abstinenz- und Lebensreformbewegung (1885-1978)
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This article discusses the assumption that also historical
actors of the youth and life reform movement being abstinent from alcohol
and drugs strived for inebriation. Although these forms of inebriation allowed
to exceed physical and mental limits, they had to be compatible with the
performance-oriented and healthy lifestyle of the movements. During the
20th century, abstinent adolescents, Wandervögel and life reformers organized
mountain hikes as a healthy leisure activity without alcohol and drugs. In
their tour reports they described their experiences in the mountains as a state
of highness which in contrary to the drug-based intoxication improves one's
self-control and perception. By doing so, they tried to adopt inebriation as
cultural technology, but connected it to their ideals of health. They influenced
a sober and rationalized “regime of consciousness” that during the 20th
century expanded in different spheres of modern, performance-oriented

Hannes Walter: „Sexdroge“ Kokain? Die Entstehung eines populären Motivs der Drogengeschichte in den medizinischen Diskursen über Rauschmittelkonsum und Sexualität im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert
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To this day, cocaine is widely perceived as an aphrodisiac and
often associated with prostitution and sexual deviance. This article traces the
origins of this popular image in late nineteenth and early twentieth century
German medicine. It reconstructs how medical discourses about neurasthenia,
homosexuality and psychoactive substances came to equate narcotic-use
and deviant sexual behavior as factors that both caused and could result from
sexual and nervous disorders. As this article also shows, this presumed causal
relationship in turn shaped medical perceptions of cocaine-use among homosexuals
and prostitutes in urban red-light districts in the Weimar Republic,
which reinforced medicine's neglect of cocaine-consumption among socially
integrated groups. While pharmacological and physiological knowledge have
changed drastically since then, remnants of this motif live on to this day.

Christof Beyer / Benjamin Moldenhauer: Ästhetik des Psychedelischen. Befreiungsversuche im Kino
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First tested und used for therapeutic purposes in psychiatry,
LSD entered the sub- und counter-cultural field of the beatnik and hippie movement
in the 1950s and 1960s as a chemical promise of individual liberation
from societal restrictions. In this process, “psychedelic” movies emerged as a
new genre, picking up narratives of the substance-induced freeing of the mind
and developing cinematic stagings of being “high” on LSD. The article compares
a selection of “psychedelic” movies produced since the 1960s, including
“The Trip”, “Easy Rider”, “Altered States” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.
It focusses on the question of how narratives of the chemical transgression of
the mind, understood as part of the counter-cultural movement, transformed
into representations of intoxication as expression of individual fragmentation
and pointless escapism at the mercy of societal constraints.

Open Section

Nikolas Lelle: Fitness für die Arbeit Zum Zusammenhang von Sport, Arbeit und Gemeinschaft im Nationalsozialismus. oder: Deutsche Positionen beim Kongress »Arbeit und Freude« in Rom 1938
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»Fitness for Work«. To the relationship of sports, labour and
community in national socialism. Or: German positions at the conference »Labour
and Joy« in Rome 1938. The article investigates the ideological connec-
tion between labour and sports in national socialism. It reconstructs and analyses
the speeches of the German delegation at the so-called world conference
on “Labour and Joy” that took place in 1938 in Rome. There, Sports and leisure
time were a central topic even though the title doesn't suggest that. The purpose
of that paper is to understand the national socialist position on sports
and labour at the time. Sport played a double role: it was meant to educate
for work and to experience the national community. In going back to Hitler's
ideas of “German work”, the article explains the connection of sports, labour
and community in four dimensions: 1. service: the idea that “German work”
must be a service for the nation community, 2. fitness: the health of the body
as obligation for the national comrade, 3. fight as the natural mode of life and
4. the team as the instrument to experience the national community through
sports. The outcome therefore is that the national socialist position on sports
and labour is not just a historical topic but a political challenge in the rise of
the New Right.