Ina Linge (University of Cambridge) discusses her research on the performance of queer identities in German sexological and psychoanalytic life writings.
Dori and Nora, the protagonists of The Diary of a Male Bride (1907) and A Man’s Maiden Years (1907), respectively, leave their small-town relatives behind to become shop girls in the German metropolis. They appear to be members of a generation of ordinary working class girls populating the department store – except that, in the eyes of their contemporaries, they are not ordinary, because they are not girls. This talk traces the textual representation of the queer body in early twentieth-century sexological life writings as it becomes an object of display, both during sexological examination and as queer commodity on the shop floor.
Ina Linge, PhD candidate at University of Cambridge visited us in November 2015. Here she talks to Dr Jen Grove about her research including the performance of queer identities in German sexological and psychoanalytic life writings; the links between the classification of animals in zoology and human sexual behaviour in German psychoanalysis and sexual science; and the plans for the Museum of Passion project in Berlin.
Dr ChiaraBeccalossi, senior lecturer at University of Lincoln visited us in October 2015 to talk about her research. Here she talks to Dr Jana Funke about her new project Sexology, Hormones and Medical Experiments in the ‘Latin Atlantic World’: Local Power and International Networks, 1918-1985.
Rebecca Langlands (University of Exeter) spoke to the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at the University of California, Berkeley. This paper is the result of interdisciplinary collaboration within the Rethinking Sexology and Sexual Knowledge, Sexual History projects at University of Exeter. Taking as its case study the collaboration between Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds, it argues that this new form of sexual knowledge was itself fundamentally interdisciplinary. Even as a number of European medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists and others began to reconfigure sex as a subject worthy of scientific investigation, this new science did not reject history – as has often been assumed – but embraced it as an important part of the scientific project. Our analysis also shows how the heterosexual/homosexual binary, and the idea that homosexuals are “born this way” – still so influential today – was not an inevitable consequence of their study of sexual behaviour. Rather it represented a deliberate, pragmatic choice from among various available models by early sexologists, who had an eye to using this new form of sexual knowledge to further their own social and political goals.