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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

Dr. Daniela Döring

PhD Project:

Engendering Data: Measurement and Quantification of the Human Body in 19th Century


Descriptions of the Projects


This study sets out to trace techniques of measurement and quantification in the 19th century. At this time a systematic interest in human size emerged, which on the one hand produced vast amounts of diffuse data, and on the other hand developed the concept of »the average man.« This analysis aims to deconstruct gender categories as they are fixed as measurable scientific parameters, and questioning them critically as scientifically proven evidence. The research material shows the complex transition from defining the body as proportional and relative, to the capturing of the body as statistical-arithmetic, which reformulates embodiment and gender fundamentally and engenders the concept of the average body.



Daniela Doering studied cultural studies, art history and
science education in Berlin and Seville, 2001-2005 assistant at the Stadtmuseum Berlin, 2005-2008 fellow of the Graduate School, 2009-2010 researcher at the Brunswick Centre for Gender Studies, Ph.D. in cultural studies (2011). Since 2010 researcher at the European Media Studies Department at Universität Potsdam.


Selected Publications


Körper nach Zahlen. Vom Maßnehmen und der Simulation von Menschlichkeit, In: Bulletin Texte 38, hg. v. Zentrum für transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin 2012. S. 61 – 87.


Zeugende Zahlen. Mittelmaß und Durchschnittstypen in Proportion, Statistik und Konfektion, Berlin 2011.
Das verrückte Inventar. Über ver/schränkte Wissensräume im Museum. In: Trajekte. 20 (2010). S. 7 – 11.


Dr. Anne von der Heiden. Schreiben, Schreiben, Schreiben … In: Frauen in den Geisteswissenschaften. Nüchternde Zahlen, inspirierende Vorbilder, hg. v. Susanne Baer u. Sabine Grenz, Berlin 2007. S. 20 – 23.