In this segment of New Books in History, Jana Byars talks with Elizabeth “Libby” Otto
, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Studies and Executive Director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Buffalo about her forthcoming work, Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics
(MIT Press, 2019). The MIT press release appropriately notes that Otto “liberates Bauhaus history” with this work, drawing the focus from the handful of male artists like Klee and Breuer outward as she considers the other 1200 odd Bauhäusler. Otto discusses spiritism, gender constructions, and the nature of queer before turning her attention to the unavoidable political landscape of the 1930s. Our conversation was wide ranging and as edifying as it was fun.