Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Lutz Sauerteig

Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities (History of Medicine)

Background

I am a cultural historian who is working in the field of medical humanities with a focus on history of medicine, sexualities, and bodies. I studied Modern European History, History of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Theatre Studies, and Cultural Anthropology at Ludwig-Maximilian's University Munich (M.A. in History, 1989), the University of Oxford, and Humboldt University Berlin (Dr. phil. in History, 1996).

From 1990 to 1992, I worked as Research Assistant for the late Professor Thomas Nipperdey at the Institute for Modern History, Munich  University. From 1994 to 2003, I was Lecturer in history of medicine at the Institute for History of Medicine, Medical Faculty, Albert-Ludwig's University Freiburg, and from 2003 to 2017 at Durham University (Wellcome University Award Holder 2003-8, since 2010 Senior Lecturer). In August 2017 I joined the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University as Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities (History of Medicine).

From 2000 to 2012, I served on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Social History of Medicine (a registered charity organisation; Charity number 278414) and have been the the Society's Chair from 2008 to 2011.

Research

Current Research Projects

History of sex education in Germany, 1880s to ca 1980
This project investigates the cultural history of sex education of young people in Germany from around 1900 to the end of the 1970s. It offers the first comprehensive investigation of sex education from late Imperial and Weimar Germany, to the Third Reich and post-war Germany in English language. It takes the political, social and cultural context of sex education into account but the main focus is on a detailed analysis of the content of sex education material that has been produced for the purpose of teaching and informing young people about sexuality.
Studying sex education material provides important insight into the shaping of gender and sexual identities in relation to knowledge of the body, cultural scripts of erotic and sexual practices, and sexual morality and risky behaviours. At the centre of my project is the question how different forms of textual, verbal and visual material constructed gendered bodies and shaped the construction of ‘heterosexuality’. Sex education material reflects and simultaneously shapes understandings of gender in a society as well as its changing moral and sexual fears, what, for instance, was assumed to be ‘normal’, acceptable sexual behaviour. Sex education material, therefore, can be read as a culturally and historically contingent repertoire of concepts of the gendered body. It tells us what kind of sexual knowledge at specific points of time was perceived by society as important to be conveyed to the young – and what was to be kept secret from them (e.g. for a long time birth control methods), hence what sex education material was silent about.
History of Puberty in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Other Research Interests

  • History of Bodies
  • History of Sexualities
  • History of Public Health in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • History of Medical Ethics in the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • History of Venereal Diseases/STIs

 For a list of key publications see https://newcastle.academia.edu/LutzSauerteig



Publications