Dr Ina Linge
Senior Lecturer in German
My research broadly covers the areas of queer German studies, environmental humanities, and medical humanities and investigates early-twentieth-century sexual knowledge production as a collaborative endeavor between the arts and medical and natural sciences.
My most recent publications include my Open Access monograph Queer Livability: German Sexual Sciences and Life Writing (Michigan University Press, 2023), a co-edited special issue on "Sex and Nature" for Environmental Humanities (2022), and a peer-reviewed article on the importance of intersex butterfly experiments for German sexologists in the 1920s (History of Human Sciences, 2020).
In 2017 I joined the University of Exeter as postdoctoral fellow on the Wellcome Trust-funded Rethinking Sexology project (2017-2020). In 2020 I was appointed Lecturer in German. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in German in 2022. At Exeter, I am also a co-director of the Sexual Knowledge Unit and affiliate member of the Centre for Medical History and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. In 2018 I co-founded Exeter's Animals and Environment Reading Group, which I currently co-organise with Dr Ginny Thomas (Centre for Rural Policy), Professor Paul Young (English and Creative Writing) and Dr Benedict Morrison (English and Creative Writing).
You can sign up for my office hours here.
I tweet as @drinalinge
My pronouns are she/her
Profile photo credit: Diana Patient
- Gender and sexuality studies
- Queer and literary theory
- Medical humanities
- Environmental humanities
- Animal studies
- Literature and science studies
- Life writing, diary and autobiography
- Early-twentieth-century film and visual culture
I accept PhD proposals in any of my research areas.
I am currently working on two projects related to my interest in the relationship between sexual sciences and European literature, visual culture and performance in the late 19th and early 20th century:
Queer Natures: Animals, Environment and Modern Sexual Knowledge Production (1860s to 1930s and today)
In this project, I investigate the role of animals as well as concepts of nature and naturalness in the development of modern concepts of sex, gender and sexuality in Britain and the German-speaking world. I will investigate medico-scientific texts, as well as cultural, literary and visual sources, in order to explore how non-human animal bodies, behaviours and metaphors are used to develop and challenge changing ideas about the nature of sex, gender and sexuality in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Europe. I aim to show that attempts to naturalise sexuality through animal research do not necessarily incorporate sexuality into a normalising and normative system of reproduction, purity and health, but into more complex ecological systems of desire, fluidity and dissolving boundaries (e.g. nature/culture, human/animal).
My work so far has focused on how moths and butterflies (in particular of the intersex type) have been used in the sexological discourse of the 1920s to argue for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and how sexology has been inspired by performances of the Butterfly Dance, which (I argue) proposes a vision of sexual nature that is not pastoral and cannot be co-opted straight-forwardly into a political project. Future work will focus on the importance of ants, toads and slugs (and more) in the production of sexual knowledge. So far, the project has resulted in an article for History of Human Sciences and a co-edited special issue on "Sex and Nature" for Environmental Humanties. Related to this project I have also received an AHRC public engagement grant in support of the project "Queering climate activism: Engaging young LGBTQ+ people with climate research".
Weimar’s Queer Visual Cultures
Why do we keep returning to the Weimar Republic as a focal point for queer and trans histories a century on? This project brings together international researchers from a variety of disciplines to explore the resonances of Weimar Germany’s visual and narrative queer mythologies today. Weimar Germany is widely considered as a golden age for queer culture and a period of relative rights and freedoms. This project investigates how historical film, photography and narrative writing contributed to shaping this mythology of a particularly queer Weimar Germany. It generates a fuller understanding of the twentieth-century emergence of queer and trans subjects through visual media; it develops methodologies that give prominence to voice and agency in research on historical sexology; and it highlights the importance of historical sexual knowledge production for understandings of LGBTQ+ lives and livelihoods today.
As part of this project I have co-organised (with Katie Sutton at ANU and Birgit Lang at Melbourne University) two workshops in Berlin (2022) and Exeter (2023), funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme small grant (2022-2924). We are currently working on publishing research findings in the form of an edited volume.
External Awards and Grants
2022-2024: British Academy/Leverhulme small grant "Weimar Visions: Picturing Sexual Subjectivities"
2021: Arts and Humanities Research Council/UKRI Research and Development grant (PI) for “Queering climate activism: Engaging young LGBTQ+ people with climate research”, with Jana Funke as Co-I
2021: Wellcome Trust secondment award (PI) for secondment fellowship at the Victoria and Albert Museum
2016: Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) Postdoctoral Scholarship, University of Cambridge
2016: Sylvia Naish Postdoctoral Fellowship, Institute of Modern Languages Research
2015: AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellowship, University of Cambridge
2012-2015: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Postgraduate Award for PhD in German
2011-2012: Tsuzuki Fellowship, Nihon Keizai Daigaku (Fukuoka, Japan), awarded by Fitzwillian College, Cambridge
Research Excellence Prizes
- 2021: Women in German article prize for excellent research and scholarship in the field of feminist German studies for the article “The Potency of the Butterfly: The Reception of Richard B. Goldschmidt’s Animal Experiments in German Sexology around 1920” published in History of Human Sciences
- 2016: Book Proposal Prize by Peter Lang Oxford to the most promising book proposal resulting from a PhD in German Studies
- 2015: Postgraduate Essay Prize awarded by Women in German Studies in collaboration with German Life and Letters.
External impact and engagement
I have a wealth of experience in engaging diverse publics with my research. I have led externally-funded public engagement projects and have collaborated with colleagues across disciplines to develop and conduct engaged research and public engagement activities.
In July 2023 I co-organised a writing workshop with comedian Charlie George about comedy writing for climate crises as part of the "Translating Cultures with UNESCO Cities of Literature Symposium" festival, organised by the Department of Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies at Exeter.
From September to December 2021 I was PI on an AHRC public engagement grant in support of the project "Queering climate activism: Engaging young LGBTQ+ people with climate research". The project uses history and comedy to empower LGBTQ+ young people to play a central role in climate activism.
In 2020-21 I hosted a Creative Fellowship on the topic 'The Politics of Sexual Nature' in collaboration with Exeter's Arts and Culture team. Together with Creative Fellow and comedian Siân Docksey I run the Sex and Nature Salon, which brings together comedians, academics, and the public to investigate how 'sex' and 'nature' come together in popular culture. The Sex & Nature Salon now has a website, too.
Since 2018 I have organised a series of public engagement knowledge exchange workshops with the Rethinking Sexology project, the Sex and History project and the Forschungsstelle Kulturgeschichte der Sexualität at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, as well as NGOs, museums and sex educators. This series of events facilitates knowledge exchange about research-led museum and youth work in the area of gender and sexual health and diversity.
I am also the founder of the AHRC-funded project 'Sex in Six Objects'. The project uses objects from the history of sexuality to talk to young people about gender and sexual health and diversity. Workshops were organised in collaboration with various researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Exeter, Anglia Ruskin and the University of Manchester. Our workshops took place at various locations in Cambridge, including the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as at the Freud Museum in London. The project has been covered in the local and national news.
I was co-curator and specialist advisor for the art exhibition ‘Naomi Wilzig and Magnus Hirschfeld: Two Collections from the History of Sexuality’, which took place a the Institute of Sexology Research Center at the Humboldt Universität Berlin in May 2015.
I welcome the opportunity to share my research with the general public. I have given a public talk on ‘Literature and Sexuality’ at the Turl Street Arts Festival at Lincoln College, University of Oxford (2016) and have co-organised a workshop on historical gender and sexual diversity for the LGBT+ History Month event in Bristol (2018) and a tour of the Institute of Sexology for Transgender Day of Remembrance at the University of Exeter (2019).
Contribution to discipline
I am the co-founder and co-organiser of Exeter's Animals and Environment Reading Group, which I currently co-organise with Dr Ginny Thomas (Centre for Rural Policy), Professor Paul Young (English and Creative Writing) and Dr Benedict Morrison (English and Creative Writing).
I am a member of the AHRC-funded research network "Reading Bodies: Narrating Illness in Spanish and European Literatures and Cultures (1870s to 1960s and Beyond)."
I am Treasurer for Women in German Studies (WIGS), a member of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (AGS), the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS), Women in German (WIG), and the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA).
My book reviews have been published in Seminar, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Weimarer Beiträge, Modern Languages Review, and Cultural and Social History. I have reviewed articles for Social History of Medicine, the Journal of Gender Studies, Porn Studies, Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Jahrbuch Sexualitäten.
You can hear me talk about my research on the BBC Arts & Ideas podcast.
The majority of my teaching is research-led in nature. You can see modules that I have contributed to or convened below.
I have supervised MA dissertations for students on the MA Global Literatures and Cultures, MA Translation Studies, and MA English. I am interested in supervising dissertations on topics that cover my teaching and research interests (see Research section)
I am accepting PhD students researching any of the areas covered by my research expertise.
- EAS3003 - Dissertation
- EASM023 - Dissertation
- HIH3619 - Sexualities
- LIB1105 - Being Human in the Modern World
- MLG1001 - German Language
- MLG1021 - Outside In: An Introduction to Outcasts and Outsiders in German-language Literature and Film
- MLG2001 - German Language, Written and Oral
- MLG2019 - Gender, Race and Migration in 20th and 21st-century German Literature
- MLG3040 - Sex, Sciences and the Arts
- SML1208 - Language, Culture, International Relations
- SML3015 - Dissertation
- SML3030 - Extended Dissertation
- SMLM145 - Translation Dissertation
I joined the University of Exeter in 2017 after completing my PhD in German at the University of Cambridge (King's College, 2016). I have an MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies, also from the University of Cambridge (Fitzwilliam College, 2012) and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London (2010). Before my PhD, I also spent one year as Tsuzuki Scholar at 日本経済大学 (Japan University of Economics) in Fukuoka, Japan, to study Japanese language and culture.
After submitting my PhD I was the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellow at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at the University of Cambridge (2016) and worked as Research Assistant for Professor Emerita Juliet Mitchell at Jesus College, Cambridge (2017). From October to November 2016 I was Sylvia Naish Fellow at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London. From 2016-2017 I was MHRA Scholar at the Department of German and Dutch at the University of Cambridge. From 2017-2020 I was Associate Research Fellow. funded by the Wellcome Trust, at the University of Exeter. In 2020 I was appointed as Lecturer in German. Since 2022 I am Senior Lecturer in German.