Sarah Horn, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/26

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27277

Title of the Dissertation

Testo-Techniques. Queer Temporalities and Self-Documentation in trans Vlogs

Project Description

Many trans people document their gender transition via video blogs (vlogs) on YouTube. A strikingly large number of these videos by Female-to-Male (FtM) vloggers refer to the date when they got their first dose of the hormone testosterone. Titled, for example, “12 weeks on T” or “6 months on testosterone”, these videos are recorded to provide an update on emotional and, especially, bodily changes that have occurred since the beginning of the hormone therapy. Expected effects – like the growth of facial hair, increase of muscle mass, change of body shape – are emphasized, in order to present and, at the same time, certify the body as male.

In popular discourses testosterone appears to be a ‘magical’ hormone that transforms the body according to certain scripts – mainly concerning rejuvenation, masculinization, procreation. In and with the trans vlogs we find that the hormone does not automatically deliver on these promises as it regularly engenders only some or unforeseen effects. The projects aims to rethink the entanglement of testosterone and vlog and the role of this agencement in the process of gender transition. The process itself is heavily institutionalized and relies on various pathologizing and paternalistic modes of medical, legal and therapeutical documentation. Whereas trans vlogs have been described as self-determined opposition to these protocols, we cannot uphold this perspective with regard to the uncertainties that are inherent to the hormon therapy and the vlogging. Therefore, self-documentation here is not understood as self-determination alongside a teleological progression from one gender (identity) to another. Rather, the project aims to analyze the queer temporality of testosterone and vlog and its impact on the continuous becoming of the gendered self.

Scholarly Career

  • Since 10/2016: Ph. D. student at the DFG-graduate school “Documentary Practices. Excess and Privation”, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 04/2016 to 09/2016: Scholar at the Mercator Research Group „Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge“, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2014 to 09/2015: Research Assistant for the preparation of the interdisciplinary DFG Research Group „Mediatised Life. Installations of the human since the 18th century“, Romance Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2011 to 06/2014: Master studies in Media Studies (M.A.), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 10/2007 to 02/2011: Bachelor studies in Media Studies (cultural media studies, media law), University Cologne







  • Mediated Masculinities: Visual Archives, Masculinities and Race in Contemporary Practices of Self-/Documentation | Masculinity and Body Image in the 21st Century | Birmingham City University | 03.05.2019 | with Jasmin Degeling
  • „Beißkomplexe“, oder: Einwände dagegen, die Zukunft von Queer/Feminismen aufs Spiel zu setzen | Doppelpass: Lesben, Schwule & der Feminismus | Schwules Museum* Berlin | 31.08.–01.09.2018
  • „Happy T-Day“–Transmale Bodies in Self-Documentary Vlogs, 29.06.–01. 07.2017 | NECS conference 2017 “Sensibility and the Senses” | Université Sourbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
  • Mit Hormonpräparat und Webcam – selbstdokumentarische Praktiken in Trans*-Vlogs, 08.–10.03.2017 | 30. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium | University of Hamburg


Memberships / Miscellaneous