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Research

I have research interests in literature, sexology and the modern histories of gender and sexuality, and in contemporary queer and feminist writing and graphic memoirs. To date I have published five books, two special journal issues and over twenty articles and chapters in edited collections.

My most recent monograph is The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture (Temple University Press, 2017). It was funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (you can read the AHRC feature on it here). The book examines little known and forgotten writings by Magnus Hirschfeld, the influential sexologist who is best known today for his homosexual activism, transgender work and founding of the world's first Institute of Sexual Science in 1919. It shows how violence impacted on queer lives around 1900, but it also reveals the gendered and racialized limits of the emerging homosexual rights movement in the West. Winner of a Knowledge Unlatched award, the book was recently reviewed in the THE. It is available open access as well as in print and electronic format.

Prior to this work I led a Wellcome Trust funded international symposium on the emergence of modern sexual debates in different contexts and parts of the world. The related interdisciplinary collection of essays I edited, Sexology and Translation: Scientific and Cultural Encounters Across the Modern World, 1860-1930 (Temple University Press, 2015), is the first study of the contemporaneous emergence of modern sexual debates in modern Europe, Asia, Peru and the Middle East.

Modern sex research and related debates about gender and sexuality developed in relation to a hitherto under-explored body of visual materials. These 'Visual Archives of Sexology' were the focus of a symposium I organised with Katie Sutton (Australian National University) in December 2017. The event, which was funded by a Wellcome ISSF grant and BiGS, brought together eleven scholars from Europe, Australia and North America. You can read an account of it here.

Alongside the historical work I have been developing new research on comics and graphic memoirs. I recently edited two journal issues, ‘Transnational Lesbian Cultures’ (Journal of Lesbian Studies Vol. 18, No. 3, 2014. With Churnjeet Mahn) and ‘Autobiographical Comics by Jewish Women’ (Studies in Comics Vol. 6, No. 2, 2016. With Andrea Greenbaum and Sarah Lightman. Linked to the international exhibition Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women co-curated by Sarah and Michael Kaminer.)

You can find further details about my other publications including the books English Literary Sexology (2009), Queer 1950s (2012, with Matt Cook) and Women and Cross-Dressing in Britain, 1800-1939 (2006) here.

I am now at work on various projects relating to the history of sexuality as well as new research on violence in graphic memoirs by women, which is supported by a Mary Lily Research Grant from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University.

Follow me on Twitter @Heike_Bauer and via my blog, A Violent World of Difference