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New Head of Archive and Collections

2. May 2018

We have a new Head of Archive and Collections: Dr. Peter Rehberg. He studied German Philology, Art History, and Philosophy in Hamburg. After university, he primarily researched questions of visual culture, for example contemporary queer photography and fanzines. He received a PhD in German Philology at New York University and has taught and carried out research at several universities in the USA and Germany. From 2011 to 2016, he was DAAD Associate Professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and Max-Kade Professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, in early 2018. In Berlin, his most recent position included working at ICI Berlin – Institute for Cultural Inquiry.

He has published academic work mainly in the area of queer studies, media studies, and popular culture, for example on topics such as pornography or the Eurovision Song Contest.

Rehberg’s journalistic contributions include articles for Merkur, Zeit Online or taz. He’s a regular commentator for Freitag. From 2005 to 2006, he was cultural editor at Siegessäule, and, from 2006 to 2011, editor-in-chief for the monthly magazine Männer.

Regarding his work at Schwules Museum beginning on June 1, Rehberg states: “Clearly, the mission of Schwules Museum consists in collecting, archiving and documenting LGBTQI-history and art, precisely because it is under-represented in non-queer institutions. The French philosopher Michel Foucault pointed out the necessity to form a ‘counter-memory.’ I want to pay attention to this mission in my future work at the Schwules Museum.”

He goes on saying: “To me, the term queer signifies much more than a collective term for sexual and gender minorities, such as lesbian, gay, or tans. In our current social, political, and economic situation, there can be no doubt that questions about sexuality and gender need to be asked from an intersectional point of view, for example by taking ethnicity, race, and class into consideration. Especially over the past year, the Schwules Museum has impressively done this already. I see a considerable opportunity for the Schwules Museum to position itself in the German museum landscape with this self-conception. Many institutions could use help regarding queer topics and intersectionality. The Schwules Museum plays an important role here and has an extraordinary expertise on the topic.“

When trouble lies ahead, Peter Rehberg sticks to a motto that has saved his skin many times: “I take a short break, sit down, and ask myself: What would Beyoncé do?”