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Stilisierter, zweifarbiger Schattenriss einer Person; weiß auf hellgrau.

Dr. Alexa Geisthövel

researcher staff

Charité - University Medicine Berlin
Thielallee 71
14195 Berlin

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Alexa Geisthövel has been working as a research associate in externally funded projects at the Charité Institute of Medical History since 2012. She is currently a collaborator in the ERC project network "Taming the European Leviathan: The Legacy of Post-War Medicine and the Common Good"

Current research project 

The current research project "European Matchmaking. Organizing Kidney Transplant across Borders, 1965-1990" deals with transnational relations in European transplant medicine. Organ exchange organizations such as Eurotransplant and Intertransplant as well as local transplant centers in the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and the two German states are being examined. 

Research focus 

In the field of medical history, Alexa Geisthövel has focused on the history of the psy disciplines in the 20th century, in particular on psycho-medical assessment at the interface with social insurance and criminal justice. This has resulted, among other things, in two concept volumes, with Volker Hess (ed.): Medizinisches Gutachten. Geschichte einer neuzeitlichen Praxis, Göttingen 2017 and with Bettina Hitzer (ed.): Auf der Suche nach einer anderen Medizin. Psychosomatik im 20. Jahrhundert. Berlin 2019. A monograph on the psychiatric assessment of offenders in divided Berlin is in preparation. 

Selected Publications 

Geisthövel, A. (Hg.), Themenheft Zur Zeitgeschichte »abnormer Persönlichkeiten«, Gesnerus 77 (2020) Heft 2.

Geisthövel, A., Hitzer, B. (Hg.), Psychosomatik im 20. Jahrhundert. Auf der Suche nach einer anderen Medizin. Berlin: Suhrkamp 2019.

Geisthövel A., Hess, V. (Hg.), Medizinisches Gutachten. Geschichte einer neuzeitlichen Praxis, Göttingen: Wallstein 2017.  

Vita Dr. Alexa Geisthövel

Alexa Geisthövel is a historian and, after receiving her PhD (2000, HU Berlin), initially worked as a lecturer at the Central European University in the Program on Gender and Culture. 

She was a collaborator in the SFB „Das Politische als Kommunikationsraum in der Geschichte“ ("The Political as a Space of Communication in History") at Bielefeld University (2001-2004) and subsequently a Lise-Meitner fellow of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (2005-2006). She switched to the history of science with a project on the psychological anti-racism of the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas in the DFG priority program „Wissenschaft, Politik und Gesellschaft. Deutschland im internationalen Zusammenhang im späten 19. und im 20. Jahrhundert“ ("Science, Politics and Society. Germany in International Context in the Late 19th and 20th Centuries") (2009-2011, HU Berlin) and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in the research group "Twentieth Century Histories of Knowledge About Human Variation" (2012). 

At the Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine, she was a collaborator in the ERC research group "Ways of Writing: How Physicians Know, 1550-1950" (2012-2017) and in the DFG project „Zweierlei Maß? Forensische Psychiatrie und Strafrechtsreform in Berlin, 1960-1980“ ("Double standard? Forensic Psychiatry and Criminal Justice Reform in Berlin, 1960-1980") (2018-2021). She joined the editorial board of the Medizinhistorisches Journal in 2021. 

Research profile