Ketil Slagstad

Image of Ketil Slagstad
Norwegian version of this page
Visiting address Kirkeveien 166 Fredrik Holsts hus 0450 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1130 Blindern 0318 Oslo
Other affiliations Faculty of Medicine (Student)

Academic interests

  • History of medicine
  • History of science
  • Historical epistemology
  • History of psychiatry
  • History of sexuality
  • History of gender and sex
  • History of HIV/AIDS
  • Gender theory, queer theory, transgender studies
  • Biomedicalisation theory
  • Science and technology studies

My PhD project, Biomedicalization of Transgender: Sex and Gender in Postwar Medicine, aims to analyze the medical terms which have been used to characterize, define, distinguish, and pathologize biological, psychological, and social sex and the extent to which these terms still have effect in the present. By so doing, we hope to shed light on the historical struggles and exercises of power within the field of transgender, in the medical discourse, in the public debate, and among activists, that shaped the character of contemporary conceptions and practices.

The three overarching research objectives are to: (1) analyze how the concepts of "transvestitism" and "transsexualism" came into being, how the concepts were defined in different periods, and how doctors diagnosed and treated patients who wanted gender-affirming therapy through the second half of the 20th century in practice; (2) explore the coming into being of the popular conception of "transsexuality" in the media, and among activists and politicians; (3) explore the experiences of trans* people/people who have experienced gender incongruence or dysphoria/non-binary people and their meetings with the healthcare services and the perspectives of their caregivers.

The study will draw on a range of material from archival material, published sources (including books, newspaper articles, and medical journal articles), analysis of medical records, and oral history interviews with people who have sought gender-affirming treatment, activists, and health professionals.


Ketil Slagstad graduated from medical school in 2011. He worked as a physician before he picked up a position as an editor of the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association. He started as a PhD student in the history of medicine at the University of Oslo in 2019.

Tags: Medical History, Gender, Medicalisation, Medical Anthropology, Queer theory, Science and technology studies


  • Slagstad, Ketil (2020). Meaning and Matter in Psychiatry: A Historical View and a New Approach. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare.  ISSN 2052-5648.  8(3), s 376- 384
  • Slagstad, Ketil (2020). Mediene er blitt en del av medisinen. Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening.  ISSN 0029-2001.  140(1) . doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.19.0715
  • Slagstad, Ketil (2020). The Amphibious Nature of AIDS Activism: Medical Professionals and Gay and Lesbian Communities in Norway, 1975–87. Medical history.  ISSN 0025-7273.  64(3), s 401- 435 . doi: 10.1017/mdh.2020.21 Show summary
  • Slagstad, Ketil (2020). The Pasts, Presents and Futures of AIDS, Norway (1983–1996). Social history of medicine.  ISSN 0951-631X. . doi:
  • Slagstad, Ketil (2019). Hjernen er ikke alene - Nettverksmodellen og psykiatrisk epistemologi. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening.  ISSN 0332-6470.  56(11), s 822- 832
  • Slagstad, Ketil & Hofmann, Bjørn (2017). Ny fostertest ble svaret, men hva var spørsmålet?. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0800-336X.  34(2), s 150- 164 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-3053-2017-02-04
  • Slagstad, Ketil (2016). Sex, piller og moral. Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift.  ISSN 0800-336X.  33(4), s 285- 295 . doi: 10.18261/issn.1504-3053-2016-04-02

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Published May 20, 2019 9:09 AM - Last modified Dec. 1, 2020 9:06 AM