Dr Katie Sutton

ARC Postdoctoral Fellow
German Studies
Email: suttonkl@unimelb.edu.au
Location: Room 708 Babel (Building 139)
Phone: +61 3 9035 4577


PhD (German Studies, Melbourne)

BA (Hons, Melbourne).

Research interests/areas of supervision

Weimar Republic Germany: literature, film, popular culture, media

20th-21st century German-language literature and culture

History of Sexuality (especially psychoanalysis, sexology, and queer/transgender history)

Gender and Queer Studies

Contemporary German cinema


I commenced an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in August 2010 in the School of Languages and Linguistics as part of the Discovery Project research team "Making the Case: The Case Study Genre in Sexology, Psychoanalysis and Literature" (CIs Dr Birgit Lang and Prof Joy Damousi, 2010-2014). Previously I held a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Potsdam, Germany (2009-2010). I received my PhD from University of Melbourne in 2008.

In conjunction with my current role, I teach in the German and European Studies programs in areas including Weimar cultural history, gender studies, and contemporary German cinema.

Research projects

My current book project (working title: “Sexual Subjects: Contestations between Sexology and Psychoanalysis, 1900-1960”) examines the transnational relationship between sexology and psychoanalysis from the turn of the 20th century, when each of these European-based disciplines were still undergoing processes of professionalization, through to the rise of mass qualitative studies of sexuality in the post-World War II period, as championed by Alfred C. Kinsey and his team in the United States.

During a a DAAD postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Potsdam, Germany (2009-2010),  I undertook research into the sexual subcultures of 1920s Germany, with a particular focus on transgender identity politics. This research followed on from my book, The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany (Berghahn Books, 2011), in which I examined representations of the 1920s “New Woman” in areas such as fashion, sport, the popular print media, cinema, and literature.

Selected publications


Manuscript in progress: Sexual Subjects: Contestations between Sexology and Psychoanalysis, 1900-1960. Funded by the Australian Research Council.


  • Sutton, Katie. The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011. (Reviewed in American Historical Review, Choice, German Quarterly, German Studies Review, German History, The Historian, Seminar, Women's History, Women in German Newsletter)

Throughout the Weimar period the widely-cited “masculinization of woman” was much more than merely an outsider or subcultural phenomenon; it was central to representations of the changing female ideal, and fed into wider debates concerning the health and fertility of the German “race” following the rupture of war. Drawing on recent developments within the historiography of gender and sexuality, this book sheds new light on representations and discussions of the masculine woman within the Weimar print media, literature, and cinema from 1918–1933. It traces the connotations and controversies surrounding this figure from her rise to media prominence in the early 1920s until the beginning of the Nazi period, considering questions of race, class, sexuality, and geography. By focusing on styles, bodies and identities that did not conform to societal norms of binary gender or heterosexuality, this book contributes to our understanding of gendered lives and experiences at this pivotal juncture in German history.

Peer-reviewed journal articles


  • Sutton, Katie. "'We Too Deserve a Place in the Sun': The Politics of Transvestite Identity in Weimar Germany," in German Studies Review, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2012, pp. 335–54


  • Sutton, Katie. "The Masculinized Female Athlete in Weimar Germany," in German Politics and Society, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2009, pp. 28-49


  • Sutton, Katie. "From Dandies to Naturburschen: The Gendering of Men's Fashions in Weimar Germany," in Edinburgh German Yearbook, Vol. 2, 2008, pp. 130-48


  • Sutton, Katie. "Female Masculinity in Weimar Cinema," in Traffic, No. 4, 2004, pp. 27-48


  • Sutton, Katie. "The Nazi and Communist Press and the Late-Weimar Abortion Debate," in Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, Vol. 12, 2003, pp. 123-38



  • Norman, Beret and Sutton, Katie.  “Memory is always a story”: An Interview with Antje Rávic Strubel," in Women in German Yearbook, Vol. 28

Book chapters


  • Sutton, Katie. "From Sexual Inversion to Trans*: Transgender History and Historiography," in Mildenberger, Florian, et al. (eds.). Was ist Homosexualität? Forschungsgeschichte, gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen und Perspektiven. Hamburg: Männerschwarm Verlag, pp. 181-204.
  • (forthcoming) Sutton, Katie. “Trading Transvestite Cases in Sexology, Psychoanalysis, and Weimar Sexual Subcultures," in Corkhill, Alan and Lewis, Alison (eds.). Intercultural Encounters in German Studies. St Ingbert: Röhrig.


  • Sutton, Katie. "Bridging the Rural/Urban Divide: Representations of Queer Female Experience in 1920s Germany," in Feiereisen, Florence and Frackman, Kyle (eds.). From Weimar to Christiania: German and Scandinavian Studies in Context. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, pp. 37-53


  • Sutton, Katie. "Female Masculinities and Conflicting Lesbian Identities in Anna Elisabet Weirauch's Der Skorpion," in Haschemi Yekani, Elahe and Michaelis, Beatrice (eds.). Quer durch die Geisteswissenschaften: Perspektiven der Queer Theory. Berlin: Querverlag, 2005, pp. 267-81

Edited books and collections


  • Sutton, Katie (ed. and intro. with Guido Ernst and Andrew Hurley). Contexts, Contacts, Constraints. Melbourne University School of Languages Postgraduate Research Papers on Language and Literature. Melbourne: University of Melbourne School of Languages, 271pp.

Book reviews


  • Sutton, Katie. "Erik N. Jensen, Body by Weimar. Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity (2010)," in German Quarterly, Vol. 85, No. 1, 2012, p. 106


  • Sutton, Katie. "Julia Roos, Weimar Through the Lens of Gender: Prostitution Reform, Woman's Emancipation, and German Democracy, 1919-33 (2010)," in H-Histsex (online publication).


  • Sutton, Katie. "Judith Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005)," in Lewis, A., Deiters, F.-J., Fliethmann, A., Lang, B., and Weller, C. (eds.,). Limbus 1: Erinnerungskrisen/Memory Crises. Freiburg: Rombach, 2008, pp. 260-62


  • Sutton, Katie. "Norah Vincent, Self-Made Man: My Year Disguised as a Man," in Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, Vol. 15, 2006, pp. 126-28

Awards and grants

Awards and Fellowships received since completion of the PhD

  • Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2014), funded by the Australian Research Council
  • Women in German Dissertation Prize (USA). Awarded annually to the dissertation that best reflects the values of the WiG Mission Statement, makes a substantial contribution to current dialogue in the research area; and demonstrates solid and innovative scholarship (2009)
  • Stiftung für Deutsch-Amerikanische Wissenschaftsbeziehungen (SDAW) / German Studies Association (GSA) Award for Best Paper by a Social Scientist within Five Years of the Doctorate. Paper: "The Masculinized Female Athlete in Weimar Germany," presented at the GSA annual meeting in St Paul, 2008 (2009)
  • DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Postdoctoral Research Grant, University of Potsdam, Germany


Recent conference presentations


  • "Redefining the Sexual Subject: The Case(s) of Childhood Sexuality in Early 20th-Century Sexology and Psychoanalysis." Panel: Gender and Sexuality in the Construction of Knowledge 1. German Studies Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO (October).


  • “War, Violence, and Sexual Pathologies: Sexological and Psychoanalytic Responses to World War I.” Violence Studies conference, University of Newcastle, Australia (August).
  • "The Case of the Invert: Cultural Translations of the Sexological Encounter in Weimar Germany.” Sexology in Translation Symposium, Birkbeck College, University of London (June).


  • "The Case of the Eonist: Contestations over Transvestite Life Histories in Sexology, Psychoanalysis and Autobiographical Fiction." German Studies Association of Australia Biannual Conference, University of Queensland (November).
  • "The Case/s of Transvestite Autobiography: Sexual Identities and Publics in 1920s Germany." Cases and their Publics conference, in conjunction with DP "Making the Case," University of Melbourne (September).


  • "Transnational Belonging in the City's Queer Spaces: Kutlug Ataman's Lola + Bilidikid." Imagining the New Berlin conference, in conjunction with Goethe Institut "Berlin Dayz" festival, University of Melbourne (November).    
  • "'We Too Deserve a Place in the Sun': The Emergence of a Transvestite Public Culture in 1920s Germany." Melbourne/Monash Seminar Series, University of Melbourne (August).

Other information

Professional memberships

  • German Studies Association of Australia
  • German Studies Association
  • Women in German
  • Modern Language Association