Associate Professor Katie Sutton

PhD (Melb), BA (Hons) (Melb)
Head, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • German Language 200307
  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • European History (Excl. British, Classical Greek And Roman) 210307

Research interests

My research and teaching interests focus particularly on German 20th and 21st-century culture, literature, and history, from the cultural dynamism of the Weimar Republic to contemporary trans and queer literature. Much of my research examines the history of gender and sexuality, including a new collaborative project on photography and film in 20th-century sex research.

My latest book, Sexuality in Modern German History (Bloomsbury, 2023) offers a survey study across 200 years of German history, investigating the diverse and often contradictory ways in which individuals, activists, doctors, politicians, artists, social movements and cultural commentators have defined 'normal' sexuality in Germany over the past two centuries, and how these definitions have been used to shape identities, behaviours, bodies and practices.

Sex between Body and Mind: Psychoanalysis and Sexology in the German-speaking World, 1890s-1930s  (University of Michigan Press, 2019) is a cultural history of sexuality and medical-scientific sex research examining debates around the sexual life of the child, the nature of shellshock, the origins of homosexuality, trans identity, and the role of the sex hormones. It is the first book to closely examine vital encounters among this era’s German-speaking researchers across their emerging professional and disciplinary boundaries. Reviews: German History, Monatshefte, German Studies Review, Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft, Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature, Social History of Medicine, Sexuologie.

The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany (Berghahn Books, 2011) explores the widely-discussed 'masculinization of woman' in 1920s German popular culture, in areas such as fashion, sport, literature, cinema, and magazines produced by newly emerging sexual minorities. 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. Reviews: American Historical Review, Choice, German Quarterly, German Studies Review, German History, The Historian, Seminar, Women's History Review, Women in German Newsletter.                            

Case Studies and the Dissemination of Knowledge (Routledge, 2015), co-edited with Joy Damousi and Birgit Lang, is one of the outcomes of the ARC Discovery Project "Making the Case: The Case Study Genre in Sexology, Psychoanalysis, and Literature" (2010-2014). This collection examines how cases serve as a means of passage between disciplines, genres, and publics, from law to psychoanalysis, and from auto/biography to modernist fiction. 

Researcher's projects

2019-2022: Australian Research Council Discovery Project (with Assoc. Prof. Birgit Lang, University of Melbourne) "Visual evidence: transforming modern sex research (1880s-1930s)


Past Grants and Awards

2010-2014: Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship in conjunction with ARC Discovery Project "Making the Case: The Case Study Genre in Sexology, Psychoanalysis and Literature," Chief Investigators Dr Birgit Lang and Professor Joy Damousi, University of Melbourne

2009-2010: German Academic Exchange Service postdoctoral fellowship, University of Potsdam, Germany

2009 Women in German Dissertation Prize (USA)

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 presented at the GSA annual meeting in St Paul, MI, 2008.

Past student projects

PhD Panels:

Tobi Evans. "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things: Masculinities in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire" (2015-2019)

Jonathon Zapasnik. "Precarious Proximities: A Symptomatological Reading of Intimacy in Anglophone HIV/AIDS Life Writing" (2014-2019)


Celeste Sandstrom. Thesis title: Prioritising Experience: Reparative Reading and Trans Studies (completed sem. 2, 2021)

Yushu Soon. Thesis title: Eine neue Solidargemeinschaft? Die soziale Bedeutung der Flucht- und Migrationsliterature (completed sem. 2, 2019)

Alessa Kron. Thesis title: Leaden Secrets: Female Terrorists in West German and Italian Film (German Studies and Italian Studies, co-supervision, completed sem. 2, 2019)

Matthew Hicks.Thesis title: "Sprachliche Unterdrückung. Zur Stellung von LGBT-Menschen im Deutschen" (co-supervision, completed sem. 2, 2017)

James Prindiville. Thesis title: "Mythos, Nostalgie und Melancholie in Ernst Marischkas "Sissi"-Filmen und ihr Einfluss auf die österreichische nationale Identität (completed sem. 1, 2017)

Ruohan Zhao. Thesis title: "Ost, West und alles dazwischen: Verhandlung, Versöhnung und chinesisch-deutsche hybride Identitäten in der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur" (completed sem. 2, 2016)

Ji-Soo Kweon. Thesis title: "All Adventurous Women are White, All the Queers are Men, And Most of Us Are Missing: Post-feminism and Intersectionality in Sex and the City and Girls" (co-supervised with Rosanne Kennedy, completed sem. 2, 2016)

Natasha Seymour. Thesis title: "Understanding and Articulating the "In Between": Transgender Embodiment in Culture" (completed sem. 1, 2016)


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  20 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers