Week 4 Research

Heike Bauer, ‘Sexual Rights in a World of Wrongs: Reframing the Emergence of Homosexual Rights Activism in Colonial Contexts’, The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture (Temple University Press, 2017)

Bauer’s article looks at Hirschfeld’s relationship to the German Empire, arguing that his focus on sexuality over colonialism, despite his text Racism and being present in explicitly colonial contexts, shows his complicity in colonialism’s expansion. I will elaborate on this further in the meeting. I think this could be a useful text for thinking about the complexities of the histories of gender identities in colonial contexts and resisting over-romanticising the Weimar period.

This image, found at here, shows a so-called ‘transvestite pass’ and could be a useful object to use. The German reads:

“The worker Käthe T., born in Berlin in 1910, resident at 8 Muthesiushf, Britz, is locally known to wear men’s clothing”

Some points to consider:

  • ‘locally known to wear men’s clothing’: thinking about gender-as-performance, needing to be recognised by other people (this could potentially be a way to bring in a philosophical dimension to our project)
  • In the context of the fact that FtM’s history is typically sidelined – is there a way to investigate how many passes were distributed to each gender?
  • As Rosa has said in our meetings, the existence of these passes validating trans identities are something known about and recognised within vernacular knowledge.

One thought on “Week 4 Research

Leave a Reply