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

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Peters

PhD Project:

Puzzling Images: Mediality and the Knowledge of the Gendered Body Around 1900



Description of the Project


A nude by Wilhelm von Gloeden and sketch of extracted genitalia – what do both pictures have in common ? What is the link between a studio portrait of a hermaphrodite in front of a romantic backdrop and the complex diagram of sexual intermediates? Or between a book on anatomy for artists by the anthropologist Gustav Fritsch and the X-ray of a pelvis that was shown to the physician Rudolf Virchow ?
Iconographically and technically these images have only a few similarities. But epistemologically all these media images belong to the same procedures of sexing the body. The images were meant to show the sex of a person doubtlessly, but sometimes they do not. Instead, not only sex and gender remained undefined but it also became evident that the statues of the images themselves were vague.



Kathrin Peters studied visual communication at the University of Essen, afterwards cultural studies and art history at the Humboldt-University, Berlin. She received her PhD with a dissertation on the topic described above (2007). She was research associate (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, the Freie University Berlin (Department of Art History, the University of the Arts Braunschweig. Since 2011 she is a professor for theory and history of contemporary  media at University of Oldenburg’s Department of Art and Visual Culture.


Selected Publications


Anatomy is Sublime. Wilhelm von Gloeden and Magnus Hirschfeld. In: Popular Sex. Media and Sexuality in Germany in the Early 20th Century, hg. v. Michael Taylor, Annette Timm u. Rainer Herrn, Michigan 2013 (im Erscheinen).

Rätselbilder des Geschlechts. Körperwissen und Medialität um 1900, Zürich/Berlin 2010.

zus. m. Petra Löffler (Hg.): Aufzeichnen. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft 3 (2010).

Für Ärzte und Künstler. Anatomisches Bilderwissen um 1900. In: Um/Ordnungen. Fotografische Menschenbilder zwischen Konstruktion und Destruktion, hg. v. Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann u. Matthias Weiß, München 2010. S. 47 – 60.



http://www.uni-oldenburg.de/kunst/lehrende/ professorinnen/prof-dr-kathrin-peters/