Research Fellows

Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS) welcomes applications for Visiting Research Fellowships from established academics from outside the UK whose research is relevant to BIGS. BiGS fellows should apply as part of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research Fellowship scheme, full details of which can be found here.

Current Visiting Research Fellows

Dr Alison Moore, Western Sydney University (25 September - 30 November 2017)

Alison M. Moore is an intellectual and conceptual historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century sexuality, psychiatry and medicine of Europe, as well as a scholar of historiography and historical theory. She researches and teaches at Western Sydney University, Australia. She is author of Sexual Myths of Modernity: Sadism, masochism and historical teleology (2015), editor of Sexing Political Culture in the History of France (2012) and author with Peter Cryle of Frigidity, An Intellectual History (2011)

While a visiting scholar at Birkbeck from September-December 2017 she will be completing a monograph on The Historicity of Sexuality, and also conducting archival research toward her new project, A History of Ageing Libido. She is also co-editing a volume of papers with Manon Mathias at the University of Glasgow on Gut Feeling: Digestive Health in Nineteenth-Century Literature, History and Culture.

Dr Katie Sutton, Australia National University (16 October - 31 December 2017)

Katie Sutton is a lecturer in German and Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies at the Australian National University. She is the author of The Masculine Woman in Weimar Germany (Berghahn Books, 2011), and is currently working on a book project on encounters between psychoanalysis and sexual science, with the working title “Sex between Body and Mind: Encounters between Psychoanalysis and Sexology in the German-speaking World and Beyond, 1890s-1930s.” This monograph examines debates around the sexual life of the child, the nature of shellshock, the origins of homosexuality, and the role of the sex hormones, and seeks to offer the first truly cross-disciplinary account of the making of sex as an object of “scientific” study in modernity. She has also published on the history of gender and sexuality in early 20th-century Germany, including on interwar German sexual subcultures, sexology, and gendered fashions, in German History, Oxford German Studies, German Studies Review and in the edited collections Sexology and Translation: Cultural and Scientific Encounters across the Modern World (ed. Heike Bauer, Temple UP, 2015) and Case Studies and the Dissemination of Knowledge (ed. B. Lang, J. Damousi, and K. Sutton, Routledge, 2015).

Past Visiting Research Fellows

  • Professor Dr. Frederik Swennen
    • Frederik is a professor of law and holds the chair of family & kinship studies at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) since 2002. He is a Visiting Fellow at BISR until May 2017, and will be working with Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS) during his stay.  His Fellowship aims to apply socio-legal methods to his sabbatical research leave project “Rethinking the Horizontal Family”. He aims to empirically ground and theoretically inform his legal research into adult relationships beyond coupledom.
    • Frederik received his PhD in Law at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) in 2000, on a project researching the legal status of mentally incapacitated adults that inspired a legislative reform in 2013. He is chair of the Flemish-Dutch Scientific Research Network of the Flemish Research Council “RETHINKIN. Rethinking Legal Kinship and Family Studies in the Low Countries” (  and co-promoter of a University of Antwerp multidisciplinary centre of research excellence “FAMCARE – Family Dynamics and Care”, involving law, medicine and sociology ( His research projects and publications focus on alternative family formations and on private ordering in family law, applying various kinship studies’ theoretical frameworks to his legal research.
    • Read Dr Swennen's Blog post on his research
  • Dr Caroline Rusterholz
    • Caroline Rusterholz holds a PhD in History from the University of Fribourg. Her research interests lie in gender history, history of birth control, historical demography, family history and history of medicine. In August 2015, she was awarded a visiting scholarship from the Swiss National Foundation to spend two terms at the University of Cambridge and two terms at Birkbeck University to work on her new project entitled "From birth control to family planning: a transfer of knowledge? Gendering the medical bodies from a transnational perspective, France and England 1930- 1975”. Recent publications include: 'Reproductive behavior and contraceptive practices in comparative perspective, Switzerland (1955-1970)' in The History of the Family (2015), “Fathers in 1960s’ Switzerland: A silent revolution?” in Gender and History, and 'Costs of children and models of parenthood, evidence from two Swiss cities, (1955-1970)' in The Journal of family history, 2015.
    • Caroline was a Visiting Fellow at BISR from February -December 2016 and worked with Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS) during her stay.
    • Read Dr Rusterholz's Blog post on her research
  • Dr Antu Sorainen
  • Dr Tuula Juvonen
  • Dr Jacek Kornak