Dr Cyd Sturgess

Teaching Associate for Dutch and German
email: c.sturgess@sheffield.ac.uk

Cyd SturgessResearch

I completed my undergraduate degree in German with Dutch at the University of Sheffield in 2012, which was followed by a Masters on depictions of female masculinity in Weimar fiction funded by the AHRC.

My PhD research, funded by the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities, investigated discursive constructions of queer femininity in Germany and the Netherlands in the two decades after 1918. My thesis explored the subversive potential of queer enactments of traditional gender norms across two cultural contexts through a study of literature, print media, and sexological writing. Currently, I am working on my monograph: Different to the Others: German and Dutch Discourses of Queer Femininity and Female Desire (1918-1940), which will appear in 2020.

As well as teaching German and Dutch language courses, I am also the module leader for the final year course Dutch Literature and Culture II. In this module, students are asked to examine contemporary literary texts in Dutch and to create short films based on their interpretations of the texts. A short video with information on the course can be found here.

My other research interests include the history of sexology, literary sexualities, textual constructions of gender and sexuality, queer theory and gender studies, and twentieth-century German and Dutch history.

Outside the bubble

Outside of the University, I co-run queer events, visual displays and performances together with various women’s charities, feminist groups and LGBT+ organisations in Sheffield. I worked as part of the Transforming Cinema Film Festival with E.D.E.N. Film Productions. This was the UK’s first film festival that showcased the work of trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming film makers. My work on gender and sexuality for the project The Image Speaks can be found here. A short film of this event can be found here.


I teach both German and Dutch language in addition to Dutch literature and literary theory.

  • GER314 Literature in Dutch: Familie duurt een mensenleven lang
  • MDL1002 Beginners' Dutch Language
  • MDL6006 From Feminism to Gender Studies: Key Texts and Contexts
  • MLT105 German Beginners
  • MLT155 German Postbeginners
  • MLT205 German Intermediate
  • MLT253 German Higher Intermediate


  • Best Postgraduate Tutor (2018)
  • Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship (2013-2017)
  • SLC Postgraduate Taught Prize for Overall Achievement (2013)
  • Arts & Humanities Faculty Masters Scholarship (2012)
  • Münster Prize (2012)

Professional Activities

I am the Postgraduate Representative for Women in German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland.


‘“Anders dan de anderen”: Articulating Female Homosexual Desire in Queer Dutch Narratives (1930-1939)’ Keynote paper presented at the 19e IVN colloquium in University of Leiden (2015)

‘Constructing the Boundaries of Desire: Theories of Sexual Inversion and Sapphic Self-Fashioning in Amsterdam (1930-1939)’ Conference Paper presented at the 'Biological Discourses' Conference at the University of Cambridge (2015)

'“Ik ben helemaal niet 100% lesbisch hoor!” Troubling Taxonomies in Queer Approaches to Dutch Interwar Sexuality’ Conference paper presented at the ALCS Conference at University College London (2014)

‘Sexual Traditions, Radical Revisions: Queer Historical Approaches to Weimar “Lesbian” Subcultures’ Conference paper presented at the DAAD Summer School, University of Manchester (2014)

‘Queer Histories, Lesbian Subjectivities: New Queer Approaches to the Lesbian Past’ Conference paper presented at the Tangentially Queer Workshop, LSE (2014)

‘Shifting Perspectives, Shifting Identities: The New Woman as a Masculine Woman in Irmgard Keun's “Gilgi - eine von uns” (1931)’ Conference paper presented at the SLC Colloquium , University of Sheffield (2013)


‘Contrasting Lesbian Lives’ at the Gender and European History Colloquium, University of Sheffield (2015)


‘Female Masculinity’ in Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition. Forthcoming.

‘Anders dan de anderen’: Articulating Female Homosexual Desire in Queer Dutch Narratives (1930-1939), Internationale Neerlandistiek, 53.3 (2015), pp. 193-212

‘Constructing the Boundaries of Desire: Theories of Sexual Inversion and Sapphic Self-Fashioning in Amsterdam (1930-1939)’ in Biological Discourses: The language of Science and Literature around 1900, Forthcoming.

‘Subtle Shifts, Sapphic Silences: Queer Approaches to Female Same-Sex Desire in the Netherlands (1914-1940)’, Journal of Dutch Literature 6 (2015), pp. 1-16

‘‘Lez be honest: isn’t it time we said bye to biphobia?’, DIVA, July 2015, pp. 54-55

“All for One and One for All”? Die Freundin in the Context of Weimar Germany’s Divided Lesbian Subculture’, Track Changes, 7 (2014), pp. 95-116.