Ty Vanover


Ty Vanover (2017) studies 19th- and early 20th-century art, specializing in Central European visual culture, theories of sexuality, and histories of science and medicine.

His dissertation, “Graphic Impulses: Drawing, Sexuality, and Science in Germany, 1869-1933,” focuses on drawings produced by queer men in order to rethink the conceptual emergence of the modern homosexual in German discourse. Commencing from an examination of how drawings came to be linked to conceptions of “healthy” and “degenerate” sexual desire in the early nineteenth century, the dissertation pivots to analyze how drawings, sketches, and doodles produced after 1869 served crucial functions for both queer men (who came to rely on their pens and pencils to visualize their sexual identity) and scientists (who used these drawings to map the contours of the new scientific category of “the homosexual”). Tracing several categories of drawings that proved central to the German scientific project of homosexual definition—academic nude studies, tattoos, scientific diagrams, and book illustration—the project reveals the ways in which producers of scientific knowledge were fundamentally reliant upon modernist aesthetics to conceptualize queer graphic expression as inherently pathological.

Ty received his BA in Art History from the University of Virginia and his MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art.