Cydney Sturgess

Cyd SturgessPostgraduate Research Student (Wolfson Scholar)

I completed my undergraduate degree in German with Dutch at the University of Sheffield in 2012, which was followed by a Masters in Germanic Studies funded by the AHRC. My Master’s dissertation focused on depictions of female masculinity in Weimar fiction and the distinctions between gendered representations of lesbian and New Woman protagonists.

As a continuation of the work I completed during my MA, my PhD thesis investigates cultural constructions of lesbian identity in Germany and the Netherlands in the two decades after 1918, exploring particularly how sexological discourses shaped the construction of lesbian identities and promoted the subversion of gender norms. My research is jointly supervised by Dr Caroline Bland and Dr Henriette Louwerse from the Department of Germanic Studies and Dr Adrian Bingham from the Department of History, and is funded by the Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities.

My other research interests include the history of sexology, literary constructions of gender and sexuality, and early twentieth-century German and Dutch history.

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 am currently working on a video project with E.D.E.N film productions entitled ‘Trashing Transphobia’ and my recent 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.


GER314 Literature in Dutch II
MDL6006 From Feminism to Gender Studies: Key Texts and Contexts


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.