Sophia Wagemann


Having studied Anthropology here in Leipzig and having focused on new materialism (BA thesis) and on emotions and knowledge production of social movements (MA thesis), my research interests include History of Emotions, Cultural history of the body Cultural studies in technoscience and biomedicine, Medical discourses, Contraception History. My current project focuses on the history of the hormonal body with respect to the contraceptive pill and examines the continuities and discontinuities of research on the side effects since the 1970s as well as historicizes critiques directed at the pill in the context of notions concerning the “natural” body.


Current Research Project

The hormonal body: the contraceptive pill and its side effects (1970-today)

Starting from post-structuralist theories of the permeable body, interwoven with its environment, as well as a social history of emotions, my project examines the current debates on hormonal contraceptives and how they affect the body. The project further explores how current trends that are critical of the hormonally altered body of women* reopen debates on natural and unnatural hormones. So far, research on the history of the body has hardly examined the hormonal body. Likewise, researchers often have asked for a connection between the history of emotions and the history of the body, without such an endeavor being carried out empirically. The focus on hormones also puts forward research on material objects in including objects such as hormones that are both internal and external to the body.

In the past 5-10 years, women* have increasingly stopped taking the pill. The project will show how this renewed questioning of hormonal contraception creates and shapes new body ideas, both in medical discourse and in popular literature and the media.

This study deals with local, German debates in the literature and non-fiction literature as well as with endocrinological articles on psychological side effects. In addition, an object analysis of the package inserts is carried out and I will participate in workshops on contraceptive methods. The results will show to what extent hormonal preparations create new boundaries between hormones and emotions, notions of artificiality and naturalness and which transnational connections reproduce and revive old and new body images compared to previous debates.


Research Interests

History of the body
Science and technology
Global circulations of knowledge
Medical history
Objects of knowledge


Academic CV


2017 B.A. in Anthropology
2019 M.A. in Anthropology

Awards and Fellowships

Short-term grant for internships abroad by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for an internship at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo (Max Weber Institute)



Regional anthropology: Asia "South Asia" (Tutorial) (Leipzig University), Summer 2018 & Summer 2019
Conducting supervisory interviews in relation to the tutorial program at the Medical Department (Leipzig University)