Katharina Seibert

E-mail: katharina.seibert@univie.ac.at








Since October 2019, I am a Historian and uni:doc Fellow at the Department for Contemporary History at the University of Vienna and member of the Research Cluster “State, Politics, Governance in Historical Perspective”. Previous to that I worked as a Coordinator for International Relations and Research Assistant at the Department for Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Leipzig, where I studied my BA in History and Political Sciences and my MA in European Studies. During my undergrad and grad studies I have spent several semesters abroad. I studied at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires and the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Furthermore, I spent a term at Central European University in Budapest. Currently, I am working on my PhD thesis on health care during the 1930s and 1940s in Spain and on an international workshop “Rallying Europe. Intersectional Approaches to Youth in the Mid-Twentieth Century” in cooperation with a colleague from Magdalen College at Oxford University. 

Research Interests:

Gender History, Spanish History of the 20th Century, Comparative European History of the Interwar Period, History of Health Care and Medicine, History of the Military, Histories of Civil Wars.

Current Research Project: 

Who cares? Spanish women and men in military health care during the 1930s and 1940s. [working title].

How did the military administrations organize a general mobilization of staff for health care duty; how did they coordinate these men and women and their everyday work in military hospitals, field hospitals and mobile surgical units at the front lines and how did the “winners” of the war deal with this large group of mobilized personnel? These are three of the research questions that guide my PhD project. The 1930s and 1940s constituted a decisive period in Spanish contemporary history in general and its health care history in particular. The proclamation of the Second Republic on April 14th, 1931 was followed by an ambitious reform project that included changes in health care. However, only when the civil war began and the numbers of combatant and civilian casualties started to rise quickly, former pattern of labor division were ultimately challenged. Until then, health care was provided by surgeons and physicians, aided by practitioners and religious care givers. To cover the exorbitant demand for professional medical staff, both belligerent parties then had to mobilize and train an unprecedented number of personnel and create a correspondent system to coordinate these people. Thus, the war induced a gender shift that set gender relations in motion. Focusing on the administrations of the medical corps, allows to study the reorganization in the Republican and the Francoist armed forces as a twofold process: It was at the same time an opening of the social space of military health care for lay women and a closing by controlling and restricting their presence. By approaching, in addition, individual actors, such as surgeons or nurses, helps to better understand the complex process of negotiation of the “doing gender while doing work” (Leidner 1991; Wetterer 2002). In the medical corps people of all political affiliation met, and all mayor prevailing social conflicts surfaced in their day-to-day, too. Analyzing military health care from a gender historian’s lens serves, furthermore, to approach and better understand the Spanish society in its process of collapsing into a dictatorship after its brief, intense democratic experience. As a consequence, I will understand the civil war as part of a larger social process, the Spanish society underwent during the 1930s and 1940s.


  • Schlagabtausch der Feministinnen. Spaniens erste Parlamentarierinnen im Kampf um das Frauenwahlrecht, in: Vorhang auf – Frauen in Parlament und Politik. Ein internationaler Vergleich, hg. v. Tobias Kaiser und Andreas Schulz, Düsseldorf. Forthcoming, Spring 2021.
  • Historia Mundial de España, koord. u. hg. v. Xosé Manoel Núñez Seixas, Barcelona 2018, rezensiert für: H-Soz-u-Kult, https://www.hsozkult.de/review/id/reb-27996?language=de
  • Raus aus dem Krieg, ran an den Herd? Geschlechterordnungen und Heimatentwürfe im deutsch-deutschen Spielfilm der Nachkriegszeit, in: Der lange Weg nach Hause. Konstruktionen von Heimat im europäischen Spielfilm, hg. v. Lars Karl, Dietmar Müller, Katharina Seibert, Berlin 2014, S. 103-124.