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PhD. Topics

Institute of History

Veneral deseases as social and healthcare problem on the turn of 19th and 20th centuries on the territory of today’s Slovakia
PhD. program
Slovak History
Name of the supervisor
Gabriela Dudeková Kováčová, PhD.
Receiving school
Faculty of Arts, Comenius University Bratislava
Venereal diseases were a major medical, public health and social problem in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, due to their epidemic waves (e.g. as a result of the First World War) and the state of medicine and health care. The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries is regarded as a turning point in medical and public health approaches, particularly in the treatment of syphilis. Experts of the time emphasised that venereal diseases were, along with tuberculosis, social diseases, and that the spread of venereal diseases was strongly influenced by the way in which sexual life was conducted and the degree of control over prostitution.
The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the development of contemporary approaches in the understanding and therapeutic procedures, specialized medical facilities, but especially the social causes and consequences of the enormous incidence of venereal diseases in the period under study in the context of Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia. In addition to contemporary medical, health and educational literature (including contemporary press), archival material on selected institutions (specialised medical institutions, town doctor's offices, societies, brothels, etc.), fiction, memoirs and correspondence are also important sources. Case studies of selected institutions will form part of the dissertation. A comparison of the selected institution on the territory of today's Slovakia and in another region of the Habsburg Monarchy or its successor states is welcome.
The candidate is expected to have a basic overview of the political and social development of Slovakia in the period under review; in addition to knowledge of Slovak/Czech and English, the ability to work with sources in Hungarian and/or German is necessary for research into the period up to 1918.