Photo of Jennifer V. Evans

Jennifer V. Evans

Associate Professor

Degrees:B.A. (McGill), M.A. (Simon Fraser), Ph.D. (SUNY Binghamton)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2848
Office:418 Paterson Hall

My undergraduate teaching revolves around contemporary German and European history, and I also teach transnational histories of love, sexuality, and everyday life. At the graduate level, I focus on critical theory and interdisciplinary research methods in addition to historiography. My main research interests lie in the history of sexuality and visual culture, especially the role of photography and social media as agents of historical meaning.

My publications reflect these same interests in thinking conceptually as well as historically. My first book Life Among the Ruins: Cityscape and Sexuality in Cold War Berlin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) is a cultural history of reconstruction and traces the rebirth of the city’s various subcultures in the aftermath of World War II. I have written book chapters and articles on same-sex sexuality in post-1945 Germany and co-edited a book with Matt Cook (Birkbeck) entitled Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe Since 1945 (Continuum, 2013). Another in German, on the historiography surrounding homosexuality, was edited together with Florian Mildenburger, Jakob Pastötter, and Rüdiger Lautmann, entitled Was ist Homosexualität? (Männerschwarm, 2013). Current projects a monograph on social media and Holocaust memory and I am also exploring the role of erotic photography as a claim to desire, personhood, and sexual freedom in the era before AIDS.

I currently supervise a growing number of MA and PhD students with wide-ranging interests in the social and cultural history of 20th and 21st century Germany. I am particularly interested in theoretically informed approaches to the history of the body, gender, and sexuality, visual culture, public memory, and the everyday.

Research Interests

  • contemporary Germany and East Central Europe
  • history of sexuality; visual culture, including social media and photography; social and cultural  theory
  • historical subjectivity; the spatial, visual, and now digital turns; “other victims” of the Holocaust; the Sexual Revolution

Honours and Awards

2016 Elected Member of Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists, and Experts
2015 University Research Achievement Award
2013-15 SSHRC Insight Grant, “Photography and the Sexual Revolution”
2011 SSHRC Insight Development Grant, “Hate 2.0: Combating Right-Wing Extremism in the Age of Social Technology” Research Blog:
2003-06 SSHRC Standard Research Grant, “The Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi and Postwar Germany”.
2003 Carleton University Students Association Teaching Award
2002 SSRC Berlin Program Postdoctoral Fellowship

Select Publications


Holocaust Memory in the Digital Mediascape. Co-written with Erica Fagen and Meghan Lundrigan. (Continuum, forthcoming in 2017).

The Ethics of Seeing: German Documentary Photography Reconsidered. Edited together with Paul Betts and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (Berghahn Books, forthcoming in 2017).

Queering German History, Special Issue of German History, (September 2016).

Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe Since 1945 (Continuum, 2013), with Matt Cook.

Was ist Homosexualität? Forschungsgeschichte, gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen und Perspektiven, co-edited with Florian Mildenberger, Rüdiger Lautmann, Jakob Pastötter (Männerschwarm Verlag GmbH, 2014).

Life Among the Ruins: Cityscape and Sexuality in Cold War Berlin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Why Queer German History?” Queering German History, Special Issue of German History, (September 2016).

“Homosexuality and the Politics of Masculinity in the GDR” in The Long Postwar edited by Karen Hagemann and Sonya Michel, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, in 2014), pp. 343-362.

“Seeing Subjectivity: Erotic Photography and the Optics of Desire” American Historical Review vol. 118, no. 2 (2013): 430-462.

“Forum: Cultural History and the Holocaust” German History, vol. 31, no. 1 (March 2013): 61-85, with Monica Black.

“Queer Temporalities: Herbert Tobias und das Bild des schamlosen Selbst in der Zeit vor Stonewall” in Susanne Regener and Katrin Köppert (eds.), Privat/Öffentlich. Visuelle Selbstentwürfe. Mediale Szenarien von Homosexualität (Vienna/Berlin: Turia+Kant Verlag, 2012),  111-130.

“Historicizing the Visual” German Studies Review vol. 35 no. 3 (Fall 2012): 485-489.

“Rethinking Sexual Modernity in 20th Century Germany” Social History vol.37 no. 3 (August 2012): 314-327, with Jane Freeland.

“The 1950s as Radical In-Between”  in Matt Cook and Heike Bauer (eds.), Queer 50s (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012),  13-28.

“The Violence of Survival and the Cost of War” German History vol. 29 no. 2 (Spring 2011): 305-310.

“Life Among the Ruins: Sex, Space, and Subculture in Postwar Berlin,” in Sabine Hake and Philip Broadbent (eds.), Berlin Divided City, 1945-89 (New York: Berghahn, 2010), 11-22.

“Decriminalization, Seduction, and ‘Unnatural Desire’ in the German Democratic Republic” Feminist Studies vol 36.3 (October 2010): 553-77.

“The Moral State: Men, Mining, and Masculinity in the Early GDR” German History, Special Issue on the History of Sexuality), vol. 23, no. 3 (August 2005): 355-370.

“Bahnhof Boys: Policing Male Prostitution in Post-Nazi Berlin,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 12, no. 4 (October 2003), 605-636.

Recent Graduate Supervisions

PhD – Completed:

Erin Connell, “Sexual Education and Social Citizenship in Canada” Department of Sociology. Ph.D. committee member, 2008.

Sean Eedy, PhD, “Comic Books and Culture in the German Democratic Republic, 1955-1990: Between Constructions of Power and Childhood.” 2016

Jane Freeland, PhD, “Domestic Violence in East and West Berlin, 1969-89,” 2016

*won university medal for best dissertation across all faculties

Christine Whitehouse, PhD, “”You’ll Get Used to It!”: The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940-43.” 2016.

*nominated for university medal for best dissertation across all faculties

PhD – Ongoing:

Emmanuel Hogg, PhD, “Football Fan Culture in Berlin, 1961-1989”

Meghan Lundrigan, PhD, “Curating Holocaust Memory Online.”

MA – Completed:

Karin Abma, MA EURUS,  “Women in the GDR: Consumerism and the Political, 1953-70” Institute for European and Russian Studies, 2014.

Christine Chisholm, MA, “Advertising, Family Policy, and Women’s ‘Return to Normalcy’ During the Adenauer Years,“ 2013.

Sean Eedy, MA, “Narrating the Berlin Wall: Nostalgia and the Negotiation of Memory 20 Years Later,” 2011.

Erica Fagen, MA Public History, “Staging the Holocaust: Sachsenhausen, Thanatourism, and Public Memory,” 2012.

Jane Freeland, MA EURUS, “Saying ‘I’: Women, Desire and Their Depiction in East Germany” Institute of European and Russian Studies, 2010.

Ottilie Grisdale, MA EURUS “Artistic Opposition to the Decline of Multiculturalism in the Netherlands,” 2015.

Mandy Koroniak, MA Public History, “Imagery and Identity: Film and National Identity in the German Democratic Republic and Canada in the 1960s,” 2007.

Maggie Lecroix, MA EURUS, “Child Care Policy in Post 1989 Germany” 2005.

Natalie Spagnuolo, MA, “Minority Masculinity in Turn-of-the-Century German Jewish Mysticism,” 2011.

Jan-Mark van der Leest, MA EURUS, “Space and Identity in post-1989 Berlin,” 2008.

Meghan Lundrigan, MA Public History, “Holocaust Denial in the Social Mediascape,” 2013

Christine Whitehouse, MA, “Stolpersteine: Moral Restitution after the Holocaust” 2011.

Alex Cruddas-Wilkinson, MA, “The Future in Stone: Architecture as Expression of National Socialist Temporality” 2016.

MA – Ongoing:

Sarah Hunt, MA, “Female Prostitution in Weimar Germany”