Dr Ina Linge

Research interests

I am currently working on two projects related to my interest in the relationship between sexual sciences and European (especially German-language and British) literature, visual culture and performance in the late 19th and early 20th century:


‘The Politics of Sexual Nature: Non-human Animals in Sexology, Visual Culture and Performance after 1900’ (working title, 2017-present)

This research project considers the importance of the non-human, in particular non-human animal evidence and the representation of non-human animals, within the context of sexological discourses, visual culture and performance in German-speaking countries and Britain after 1900. My work so far has focused on how moths and butterflies (in particular of the intersex type) have been used in the sexological discourse of the 1920s to argue for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and how sexology has been inspired by performances of the Butterfly Dance, which (I argue) proposes a vision of sexual nature that is not pastoral and cannot be co-opted straight-forwardly into a political project. Future work will focus on ants, toads and slugs and topics including constitution, naturalness and laws of nature.


Narrating Queer Livability: German Sexology, Psychoanalysis, and the Writing of the Self (proposed publication title, 2012-present)

This monograph project comes out of my doctoral research, which I conducted at the University of Cambridge (2012-2016). This study focuses on German-language sexological and psychoanalytic life writings from the early twentieth century and takes the existing research in the history and literature of gender and sexuality in new directions: (a) the book significantly extends research into the interdisciplinarity of German sexual sciences; (b) it goes beyond the dominant voices of German modernism and pays crucial attention to the subaltern literary voices of sexological and psychoanalytic patients of non-normative gender and sexuality; and (c) it opens up a better understanding of the shared tradition of sexology and psychoanalysis as related approaches to the study of human sexuality. This monograph will present original archival research and many of the primary texts studied have never been discussed in English-language publications. In this study, I argue that an analysis of such overlooked texts is central to our understanding of the development of a modern sense of gender and sexual identity. By bringing to bear gender, queer and literary theory to illuminate the intersection between literature and medico-scientific discourses, this book demonstrates that sexological and psychoanalytic life writers are not objective observers, but active participants in the creation and critique of sexual knowledge in the modern world.


Selected talks:

  • Workshop Paper ‘The Potency of the Butterfly: Gender, Sexuality and Non-human Animals in German Sexology and the Arts after 1900’ Warwick Workshop for Interdisciplinary German Studies (Warwick University). November 2018.
  • Plenary Penal ‘Pitching the Discipline: Where is German in 2018?’, Association for German Studies annual conference (Bangor University). August 2018.
  • Symposium Paper for Animal and Society Summer Institute (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign): ‘Rethinking the Human: Sexology, Zoology, Literature and Visual Art After Darwin (c.1890-1930)’. July 2018.
  • Conference Paper for British Animal Studies Network conference (Strathclyde University): ‘Queering Butterflies: On the relationship between sexology and animal genetics around 1920.’ April 2018.
  • Keynote Lecture for Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, ‘“Love for Every Taste”: Sexual Sciences and the Department Store in Early-twentieth-century German Life Writing’. University of Exeter. June 2017.
  • Symposium Paper for Gender and History symposium on Gender in Historical Film and TV, (University of Minnesota): ‘“An endless procession of them, from all times”: Sexology, Film, and Historical Constructions of Gender and Sexuality in Anders als die Andern (1919) and The Danish Girl (2015)’. May 2017.
  • Seminar Paper for History and Psychoanalysis seminar series (Institute of Historical Research, London): ‘Narrating Queer Livability in German Sexological and Psychoanalytic Life Writings’. January 2017.
  • Conference Paper for conference ‘Grenzen der Trans_Konzepte’ (University of Tübingen): ‘Body, Name, Gender: “Trans-Investiture” in Early-twentieth-century’. April 2015.
  • Conference Paper at Department of Germanic Studies (University of Chicago): ‘Mourning Someone Lost: Recognition of Life (and Death) in the Context of early twentieth-century Sexualwissenschaft’. June 2014.
  • Symposium paper at Institute of Modern Languages Research, London: ‘Sexology and Autobiography: A Case Study’. March 2014.
  • Conference Paper for interdisciplinary conference ‘This Is My Body’ (CRASSH Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Cambridge): ‘Representations of Embodiment in Early-twentieth-century Life Writings of Gender and Sexual “Deviants”’. November 2013.
  • Conference Paper for conference ‘Crimes of Passion’ (University of Münster): ‘Hospitable Reading: An Approach to Life Writings of Gender and Sexual “Deviants”’. July 2013.