Keynote Lecture - Queer Lives on Display: In the Archives of The Institute of Sexual Science in Berlin


Microfon, © Colourbox

29.05.2019 - Article

The 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an initiative of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by The University of British Columbia from June 1st to June 7th
Within this event, Heike Bauer, Professor of Modern Literature and Cultural History at the University of London, will give a Lecture on the topic “Queer Lives on Display: In the Archives of The Institute of Sexual Science in Berlin”.
What does it mean to “archive” the lives of people whose bodies and desires do not match the norms of their time? This talk discusses the Institute of Sexual Sciences in Berlin, arguably the world’s first LGBTI archive, building on recent queer and trans scholarship on the uses of archival practices in transformative politics. The Institute was founded in 1919 by the influential Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935). Best known today for his homosexual rights campaigns, conception of “sexual intermediaries” and foundational studies of what he called “transvestism,” Hirschfeld is one of the most influential figures in modern sex research and activism. At the Institute he accumulated a unique “archive of sex” full of books, journals, clinical notes, objects, visual materials other documents relating to LGBTI issues. This library was destroyed in a Nazi attack in 1933, although materials from the collection survive to this day. Examining the Institute’s complex history, the talk will reckon with the limits as well as the gains of “evidence” based sexual rights politics. 

More information

When?  Monday, June 3, 2019 I 9:00am- 10:30am

Where? Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 301 – Lillooet Room, 1961 E Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Top of page