Reveals how queer and trans life writers use narrative strategies to create the possibility for a livable queer life

Table of contents

Queer Livability: German Sexual Sciences and Life Writing
Chapter 1
Hospitable Reading: Autobiography, Readership and Ethics in Sexual-Scientific Life Writing
Chapter 2
Gender, Agency and Prosthetic Metaphor in Sexual-Scientific Life Writing
Chapter 3
Frames of Livability: Sexual-scientific Encounter, Photography and the Department Store
Chapter 4
Trans-investiture: Writing Gender Transition in the 1890s and 1920s
Chapter 5
Queer Livability and Sexual Subjectivity in the Wolf Man Archive


This book brings together an exciting new archive of queer and trans voices from the history of sexual sciences in the German-speaking world. A new language to express possibilities of gender and sexuality emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, from Sigmund Freud’s theories of homosexuality in Vienna to Magnus Hirschfeld’s “third sex” in Berlin. Together, they provided a language of sex and sexuality that is still recognizable today. Queer Livability: German Sexual Sciences and Life Writing shows that individual voices of trans and queer writers had a significant impact on the production of knowledge about gender and sexuality during this time and introduces lesser known texts to a new readership. It shows the remarkable power of queer life writing in imagining and creating the possibilities of a livable life in the face of restrictive legal, medical, and social frameworks.

Queer Livability: German Sexual Sciences and Life Writing will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about LGBTQ+ history and literature. It also provides a fascinating insight into the historical roots for our thinking about gender and sexuality today. The book will be of relevance to an academic readership of students and faculty in German studies, literary studies, European history, and the interdisciplinary fields of gender and sexuality studies, medical humanities, and the history of sexuality.

Ina Linge is Senior Lecturer in German at the University of Exeter.

“This important new book gives voice to the queer and trans subjects who populate the literature of sexual science. Carefully researched, theoretically astute, and at times surprising, Linge’s study is a must-read for anyone interested in the rich and knotted histories of modern sexual science, life writing, and LGBTQ+ history.”
—Heike Bauer, Birkbeck College, University of London

- Heike Bauer

"It is a wonderful exploration of LGBTQIA+ history and literature as to how gender and sexuality informed a sense of self of those queer and trans individuals who are featured in the corpus texts."
--German Studies Review

- Simone Pfleger