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Professor Heike Bauer

  • Overview



    Heike Bauer is Professor of Modern Literature and Cultural History. She teaches and supervises doctoral students on topics relating to gender and sexuality in fiction, history, culture and criticism since the nineteenth-century including projects that cut across conventional period and disciplinary boundaries.

    She has published widely on literature and the modern history of sexuality, and on the rise of queer and feminist graphic novels. She is an advisory group member of Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Studies (BiGS), co-convenor of the History of Sexuality Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research and member of the editorial boards of Australian Feminist Studies, History of the Human Sciences, and Gender & History.

    Her research received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the British Academy (UK), the Wellcome Trust (UK), the Leslie Centre for the Humanities at Dartmouth College (USA), the Cornelia Goethe Centrum at Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany), the Christina Institute at Helsinki University (Finland), William & Mary University (USA) and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture at Duke University (USA).



    • Heike is currently working on a major new cultural history of the dangerous dog.

    • She is co-editor, with Melina Pappademos, Katie Sutton and Jennifer Tucker, of 'The Visual Archives of Sex', Radical History Review 142 (2022). You can find an overview of the project here:

    • Jewish Women's Comics: Borders and Bodies, co-edited by Heike Bauer, Andrea Greenbaum and Sarah Lightman, is forthcoming with Rutgers University Press in 2022.

    • Heike's latest monograph, The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture (2017), is available open access.


    • PhD, Birkbeck, University of London, 2004
    • MA , University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1999

    Web profiles


  • Research


    Research interests

    • Modern history of sexuality
    • Gender and sexuality
    • Fiction (nineteenth-century to contemporary)
    • Comics and graphic memoirs
    • Animal Studies - dogs

    Research overview

    I have research interests in literature, sexology and the modern histories of gender and sexuality, animal studies, and contemporary LGBTQI+ 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 that violence had a significant impact on queer lives around 1900, but also reveals the gendered and racialized limits of the emerging homosexual rights movement in the West. Winner of a Knowledge Unlatched award, the book has been reviewed widely, for example in the THE, TSQ, Australian Feminist Studies, Gay & Lesbian Review, Journal of the History of Sexuality, and Gender and History. You can listen to a podcast about the book here. 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. It has been reviewed widely including in the Journal of the History of Sexuality and Modernism/Modernity, and prompted a frank debate about methodology in History of the Human Sciences.

    My other books include English Literary Sexology (2009), Queer 1950s (2012, with Matt Cook), and Women and Cross-Dressing in Britain, 1800-1939 (2006; eBook 2013). I have also published two special journal issues on contemporary comics and contempory sexual politics, ‘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).

    My main current project is a major new study of modern ideas about dangerous dogs. A short piece, 'Queer Dogs', on Radclyffe Hall, Una Troubridge and their dachshunds was published in Queer Objects (2019), edited by Chris Brickell and Judith Collard.

    In addition, I am also working on a number of collaborative projects including a special issue, 'The Visual Archives of Sex', with Melina Pappademos, Katie Sutton & Jennifer Tucker for Radical History Review 142 (2022), and a book of critical articles, interviews and original artwork, Jewish Women's Comics: Borders and Bodies, which is co-edited with Andrea Greenbaum and Sarah Lightman for Rutgers University Press.

    Research Centres and Institutes

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I have supervised to completion a wide range of projects including those rooted in English Studies, broadly conceived, and those that cut across conventional disciplinary boundaries and/or work across different languages. My students have been funded by the AHRC/CHASE, Birkbeck School of Arts, and Canadian and Japanese Government grants.

    I welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students with interests in gender and sexuality, especially on topics relating to:

    • Literature and culture since the nineteenth-century
    • The history of sexuality / sexology / queer history
    • LGBTIQ+ literature and graphic memoirs
    • Archives
    • Translation & the cross-cultural travel of ideas
    • Animal studies

    Please contact me ( if you would like an informal discussion about your ideas for an MPhil/PhD.

    Details on the application format and process can be found here.


    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni



    I am Programme Director and Admissions Tutor for the BA Liberal Arts.

    In 2021-22 I teach New Directions in Cultural and Critical Studies (core module, MA Cultural and Critical Studies), Becoming Modern (core module, MA Modern & Contemporary Literature) and my MA option, Disciplining Sex: Sexuality, Society, and Modern Literary Culture, which is open to students on a wide range of MAs.

    I also teach a seminar group on the year 1 (level 4) BA module Writing London throughout the year and make contributions to the BA modules Production of the Human: Decolonizing the Canon (level 4), Reading Literature (level 4) and Literature and Cultural Identity: Intersectionalities of Race, Class and Gender (level 6) as well as the MA modules Decadence (option) and Critical Entanglements in the Medical Humanities (core module MA Medical Humanities: Bodies, Cultures and Ideas), the MFA Creative Writing core module Reading and Writing the Contemporary, and the department's PhD training programme.

  • Publications




    Book Section

  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • History of sexuality / lesbian and gay history / transgender history
    • History of sexology
    • LGBTIQ+ literature and history
    • Graphic memoirs by women / queer and LGBTIQ+ comics
    • Magnus Hirschfeld


      I regularly share my research with a wide range of audiences.

      I have, for example, published in the THE, contributed to the popular blog Notches: (re)marks on the history of sexuality, facilitated a workshop on anti-queer violence for humanities scholars and medical professionals, and given public lectures including in libraries such as the London Metropolitan Archives and museums such as the Schwules Museum* Berlin.