Direkt zum InhaltDirekt zur SucheDirekt zur Navigation
▼ Zielgruppen ▼

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

Dr. des Simon Strick

PhD Project:

American Dolorogies: Pain Sentimentalism Biopolitics



Description of the Project


The project examines bodily pain as a discursive figure in Western culture between 1750 and 1900, focusing on three historical moments: the conception of modern aesthetics, the rise of scientific racism and sexism, and the abolition of chattel-slavery. At each of these historic-discursive junctures, the body in pain is evoked as the token of universal humanity and serves as a relay over which gender and racial difference is materially affirmed. Evocations of pain are thus ambiguous: they register experiences of suffering in the public sphere and ontologize differences in material bodies. Pain is thus a relay between two crucial modern epistemes – the discourse of sentimentality, compassion and political affect, and that of biopolitics, grounding social differences in the materiality of bodies. Pain is evoked to both recognize suffering within sentimental terms and to warrant ontological differences in biopolitical terms.


Simon Strick studied American studies in Berlin and Cologne, PhD in 2011. 2009–10 associate professor at American Studies Dept. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; 2011-12 guest lecturer at University of Virginia, Charlottesville (USA). Since 2012 associate professor at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin. 


Selected Publications


American Dolorogies. Pain, Sentimentalism, Biopolitics, Albany 2014 (im Erscheinen).

Visceral (Auto)biographies. Pain, Plastic Surgery, and Gender. In: Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography, hg. v. Sarah Brophy u. Janice Hladki. Toronto 2013 (im Erscheinen).

The Straight Screen. Begradigungsarbeiten am iPhone. In: Feministische Studien 31/2 (2013), S. 228 – 244.

Schmerz in US-amerikanischen Fotografien von Ex-Sklaven um 1863. In: Um/Ordnungen. Fotografische Menschenbilder zwischen Konstruktion und Destruktion, hg. v. Klaus Krüger, Leena Crasemann u. Matthias Weiß, München 2010. S. 29 – 45.