Department of History
[+39] 055 4686 879
Villa Salviati- Manica, SAMN249
Gender and Sexuality Project
Professor of History of Gender and SexualityDiversity and difference, exclusion and participation, these themes inform Benno Gammerl’s research. He engages with postcolonial and feminist theories, queer approaches, oral history methods and the history of emotions. And he puts the voices of those people centre stage who face discrimination and who strive for justice and recognition. Benno Gammerl joined the EUI in 2021, when the denomination of his chair was extended to include sexuality in addition to gender. Before he came to Florence, he helped to establish the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Prior to that, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Centre for the History of Emotions and at the Freie Universität in in Berlin. His PhD asked how ethnically diverse populations were governed in the Habsburg and the British Empire. His work looks at racism, heteronormativity and at individuals who aim for navigating diversity in an inclusive fashion.
Benno Gammerl has published in English, German and other languages on the history of emotions, on homosexualities in Germany and on citizenship, migration and ethnic diversity within the British and the Habsburg Empires. His theoretical and methodological contributions engage affect and queer theory, oral and comparative history. He currently works on a short introduction into the queer history of modern Germany which will come out in German with Hanser in 2022.
Benno Gammerl’s most current project explores the interplay between migratory dynamics and attitudes towards sexual diversity in twentieth-century Europe. It analyses the sexual effects of globalizing dynamics between adaptation, diasporic diversification and hybridization. The main hypothesis motivating this research supposes that migration and cultural diversity can not only impede, but also facilitate struggles for gender equality and the acceptance of sexual diversity.
Looking at public debates as well as at diaries, letters and oral history interviews, the project ranges from the heterosexual realm to gay, lesbian, transgender and other milieus. Thereby it traces the open-endedness of intimate encounters between people with various backgrounds. Through interactions with partners who were raised in different sexual cultures individuals understand that sexual practices are not naturally given, but result from specific cultural and social conditions. How one organizes one’s sexual life is not only a personal, but also a political question.