Dr. Sarah Kiani | Associated Researcher

Mobilities, Migrations, Reconfiguration of Spaces
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
Email: sarahkianister  ( at )  gmail.com Tel: 0049 152 09 57 15 42
Website: http://http://

Position : Chercheuse associée | Disciplines : History |


Sarah Kiani is historian and filmmaker (MA visual anthropology and Ateliers Varan). She completed her PhD at the University of Bern in 2014 on the impact of the women's movement on equality legislations in Switzerland (1975-1995). Since 2009, she directed several films, some dealing with her research themes. She is now working on a book for which she received a scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, dealing with the surveillance of homosexualities in the GDR (1970-1990) that will be published in 2020. This work is based on an extensive research in the Stasi archives.


CV File

Advanced Postdoc.Mobility du FNRS.


Bourse postdoc du Centre Marc Bloch.



Histoire du genre, mouvements sociaux, homosexualités, anthropologie visuelle.



Homosexualités et surveillance d’Etat en RDA : Ruptures et continuités d’Est en Ouest
Résumé du projet :

Ce projet est une prolongation de la bourse EarlyPostdoc.Mobility : Homosexualités, surveillance d’Etat et loyauté en RDA (1970-1990) et consiste en une socio-histoire des liens entre Etat et homosexualités en République démocratique allemande (RDA) en interrogeant les pratiques de surveillance de la police politique (Staatssicherheit – Stasi). Cette continuation a pour but d’intégrer de nouvelles perspectives en répondant principalement à trois questions de recherche : celle des spécificités de la RDA dans sa régulation des homosexualités dès les années 1970, celle de l’existence ou non d’une « politique homosexuelle » du parti au pouvoir (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschland – SED) et celle d’une « libération » homosexuelle des années 1970 en RDA. Cette recherche aboutira à l"écriture d"un livre sur la question de la surveillance des homosexualités en Allemagne de l'Est dans une perspective comparative avec l'Allemagne de l'Ouest et depuis la République de Weimar.

« Homosexualités et surveillance d’Etat en RDA : Ruptures et continuités d’Est en Ouest »

My post-doctoral project "Homosexuality and State Surveillance in the GDR: Ruptures and Continuities from East to West",  is a socio-historical approach of the links between State and homosexuality in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) looking closely at the surveillance practices of the political police (Staatssicherheit - Stasi). I am preparing a book on this question, entitled "Surveilled Bodies. State Surveillance of Homosexuality in the GDR after Depenalization (1970-1990)" to be published approximately in 2020. This research mainly seeks to answer to three questions: the one of the specificities of the GDR in regulating homosexuality since the 1970s, the one of the existence or not of a "homosexual politics" of the ruling party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschland - SED) and of a 1970s homosexual "liberation" / sexual revolution in the GDR.  I seek to answer these questions by comparing homosexual surveillance practices in the 1970s and 1980s by the Stasi with homosexual surveillance practices in the FRG, but also before the creation of the two Germanies, which allows me to identify possible specificities of surveillance in the GDR, but also to rethink the question of a "liberation" of sexualities in the 1970s. My work postulates a continuity between surveillance practices in the East and the West and on the long run by demonstrating that homosexuality surveillance practices are common in the FRG  and already identifiable in the Weimar Republic. Finally, I demonstrate that the post-decriminalization years in the GDR are years of "visibility" of homosexuality, while drawing a line between "good" and "bad" homosexuality.