Photo of Dr Ina Linge

Dr Ina Linge

Associate Research Fellow


01392 724416

My research focuses on the interrelation between sexual sciences and European (especially German-language and British) literature, visual culture and performance in the late 19th and early 20th century. My most recent publications include an Open Access article on the relationship between sexology and film (2018), published in the journal Gender and History, and the co-edited volume Biological Discourses: The Language of Science and Literature Around 1900 (2017).

I am based in the English Department and at the Centre for Medical History. I am also a member of the Wellcome Trust-funded Rethinking Sexology project. I co-convene the Medical History and Humanities seminar series with Dr Sarah Jones. I also co-founded and co-convene the Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Theory Reading Group with Dr Rich Gorman.


Key interests:

  • Gender, transgender and sexuality studies
  • Queer and literary theory
  • Medical humanities
  • Literature and science studies
  • Life writing, diary and autobiography
  • Film studies (especially films circulated beyond the commercial movie theater)
  • Human-Animal studies


I tweet as @drinalinge

My office is in room A326, Amory Building (Monday to Thursday) and room 319, Queen's Building (Friday).


Profile photo credit: Diana Patient

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.


External impact and engagement

I have used my research to engage with various audiences in a variety of contexts, most frequently in the area of gender and sexual wellbeing and diversity. My public engagement and impact activities are research-led and frequently feed back into my research activities.

Most recently (2018) I have organised a public engagement knowledge exchange workshop with the Rethinking Sexology project, the Sex and History project and the Forschungsstelle Kulturgeschichte der Sexualität at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as well as NGOs, museums and sex educators. This event, which is part of a series of workshops taking place in Exeter and Berlin, facilitated a knowledge exchange about research-led museum and youth work in the area of gender and sexual health and diversity.

I am also the founder of the AHRC-funded project 'Sex in Six Objects'. The project uses objects from the history of sexuality to talk to young people about gender and sexual health and diversity. You can find out more about the project from the project website where you can also watch our project video. So far, seven (!) 'Sex in Six Objects' workshops have taken place, in collaboration with various researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, Anglia Ruskin and the University of Manchester. Our workshops took place at various locations in Cambridge, including the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as at the Freud Museum in London. The project has been covered in the local and national news.

I was also co-curator and specialist advisor for the art exhibition ‘Naomi Wilzig and Magnus Hirschfeld: Two Collections from the History of Sexuality’, which took place a the Institute of Sexology Research Center at the Humboldt Universität Berlin in May 2015.

I welcome the opportunity to share my research with the general public. I have given a public talk on ‘Literature and Sexuality’ at the Turl Street Arts Festival at Lincoln College, University of Oxford (2016) and have co-organised a workshop on historical gender and sexual diversity for the LGBT+ History Month event in Bristol (2018).

I occassionaly write academic journalism for The King's Review. You can find my interview with Jacqueline Rose and my article on sex education online.

I sometimes blog for Women in German Studies and Living Languages.


Contribution to discipline

I have reviewed articles for Social History of Medicine, the Journal of Gender Studies and Exclamat!on: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

I am  the co-organiser of the Centre for Medical History seminar series.

I am the co-founder and co-organiser of the Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Theory Reading Group, which meets at Byrne House.




For BA and MA dissertation students:

I am happy to supervise students interested in modernist and contemporary literature, autobiography, film and visual culture. My research focuses on issues of sex, sexuality and gender (including transgender), in particular as they relate to the history of science and medicine (especially sexology) and natural history. I also run a cross-disciplinary animal studies theory reading group and would be keen to supervise any dissertation interested in animals in literature, film and visual culture, in particular if it relates to sex, gender and sexuality. I am also keen to supervise dissertations with a comparative focus including German-language and Japanese texts/films/images (I would need to see the latter in translation). I have supervised students working on contemporary representations of lesbianism in film; the representation of sex toys in advertising; gender in feminist science fiction; and the representation of female death and dying in Victorian literature.


Modules taught


I was educated at the University of Cambridge (PhD in German, King's College; MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies, Fitzwilliam College) and Royal Holloway, University of London (BA English and Creative Writing). Before my PhD, I also spent one year as Tsuzuki Scholar at 日本経済大学 (Japan University of Economics) in Fukuoka, Japan, to study Japanese language and culture.

After submitting my PhD in December 2015, I was the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge. After graduating from my PhD, I worked as Research Assistant for Professor Emerita Juliet Mitchell at Jesus College (Cambridge). From October to November 2016 I was Sylvia Naish Fellow at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London. From 2016-2017 I was MHRA Scholar at the Department of German and Dutch at the University of Cambridge.

In June 2017 I joined the 'Rethinking Sexology' team at the University of Exeter as Associate Research Fellow.



  • Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (AGS)
  • Women in German Studies (WiGS)
  • British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS)
  • Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA)