Prof. Dr. Alex Müller

Alex Müller is Alexander-von-Humboldt Research Fellow at the Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin from July 2020 to December 2021.

From 2015 to 2020, she worked as Senior Researcher and Associate Professor at the Gender Health and Justice Research Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her work focuses on the health consequences of heteronormative health and socio-legal systems in Southern Africa and emphasizes the agency and self-representation of queer people living in the region.

She works in collaboration with non-governmental organisations and international agencies to conduct and publicize community-led, participatory research that supports evidence-based advocacy to challenge heteronormative laws, policies and socio-political contexts that harm queers. 

Her research has informed law and policy related to sexual orientation, gender identity and health in Southern Africa. For example, in the case of LM vs. Attorney General in the High Court of Botswana, she submitted expert evidence on the impact of colonial-era laws that criminalize same-sex sexuality, which supported the court’s judgment to decriminalize same-sex sexuality in 2019.

With the collaborative project Qintu Collab, she published the anthology ‘Meanwhile… Graphic Short Stories about everyday Queer Life in Southern and Eastern Africa’

  • Sexual orientation, gender identity, health and rights in Southern and East Africa
  • Intersections between sexuality, gender, health and law 
  • Community-led and community-based participatory research
  • Challenging heteronormativity in health sciences education and professional development training

Meer, T. & Müller, A. (under review). The messy work of decolonial praxis: Some insights from creative collaboration among queer African youth. Feminist Theory. 

Meer, T.  & Müller, A. (under review). Making ‘Meanwhile…’: Representing Queer African Youth through Spontaneous Collaborative Graphic Autoethnography. Qualitative Research.

Müller, A. & Meer, T. (under review). Re-thinking hate crimes through the experiences of queer survivors of violence in South Africa. Law and Society Review.

Meer, T. & Müller, A. (2020 forthcoming). _Perspective: Queer Love within, through and beyond Creative Queer African Collaboration. _On Culture.

Müller, A. (2020). Legal gender recognition in Lesotho – an analysis of law and policy in the context of international best practice. Research brief for Southern African Litigation Centre (Johannesburg).

Müller, A., Daskilewicz, K. & Southern and East African Research Collective on Health (SEARCH) (2019). Are we doing alright? Realities of violence, mental health and access to healthcare related to sexual orientation and gender identity in East and Southern Africa: Summary report based on a community-led study in nine African countries. Cape Town: UCT & COC Netherlands.

Tsampiras, C. & Müller, A. (2018). Overcoming ‘minimal objectivity’ and ‘inherent bias’: Ethics and understandings of feminist research in a health sciences faculty in South Africa. Feminist Encounters, 2(2): 16.

Müller, A., Spencer, S., Meer, T., & Daskilewicz, K. (2018). The no-go zone: a qualitative study of access to sexual and reproductive health services for sexual and gender minority adolescents in Southern Africa. Reproductive Health15(1), 12.

Müller, A. & Daskilewicz, K. (2018). “These are the topics you cannot run away from” – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex health in medical and nursing education in Malawi and South Africa. Amsterdam: COC Netherlands. p. 1-72.

Müller, A. (2018). Beyond ‘invisibility’: Queer intelligibility and symbolic annihilation in healthcare. Culture, Health & Sexuality20(1), 14-27.

Müller, A. & Meer, T. (2018). Access to justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survivors of sexual assault in South Africa. UCT: GHJRU. p. 1-68.

Meer, T. & Müller, A. (2017). “They treat us like we’re not there”: Queer bodies and the social production of healthcare spaces. Health & Place 45:92-98.

Spencer, S., Meer, T., & Müller, A. (2017). “The care is the best you can give at the time”: Health care professionals’ experiences in providing gender affirming care in South Africa. PloS One12(7), e0181132.

Müller, A. (2017). Scrambling for access: availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of healthcare for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in South Africa. BMC International Health and Human Rights17(1), 16.

Müller, A. (2016). Health for All? Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Implementation of the Right to Access to Health Care in South Africa. Health and Human Rights 17(2).

Collaborative graphic autoethnography? Methodological experiments in creative collaboration with queer African youth. International Conference of Autoethnography, Online. 20-21 July 2020. (co-presenting with T. Meer)

Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and the right to health, African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, 65th Ordinary Session in Banjul, The Gambia, 23 October 2019.

New collaborations to co-produce knowledge on queer health: reflections from the Southern and East African Research Collective for Health (SEARCH). 5th European Geographies of Sexualities Conference, 27 September 2019, Prague, Czech Republic (with Southern and East African Collective on Health (SEARCH)).

Comics and podcasts by and for queer African youth: creative methods for contemporary queer archives. Queering Memory: ALMS Conference Berlin 2019, 29 June 2019, Berlin, Germany (with T. Meer).

Participatory creative methods as decolonial research practices. Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterforschung, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany. 4 July 2019 (co-facilitated with T. Meer).

Community-led data collection on sexual orientation, gender identity and health, United Nations Human Rights Council41st session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva (Switzerland), 26 July 2019.

Against the law? Public health research on sexual orientation and gender identity in Southern Africa. Institut für Ethik und Geschichte der Medizin, University Medical Center Göttingen26 September 2018.

Kritische Überlegungen zu sexueller Orientierung und Geschlechtsidentität in gesundheitswissenschaftlichen Studien.Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie: Kongress. 25 September 2018, Göttingen, Germany (with K. Daskilewicz).

Putting the Money Where the Men Are: Homonormativity and HIV in Malawi. International Sociological Association: World Congress of Sociology. 21 July 2018, Toronto, Canada (with T. Meer)

Does homophobia make you sick? Sexual orientation and gender identity as social determinants of (mental) health. Lecture series ‘Primary Health Care @40’, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 26 February 2018.

Transgender-specific care in South Africa: opportunities and challenges for healthcare providers in the absence of national clinical guidelines. School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 24 March 2017.

 “As a queer doctor…”: Reflections on teaching with the Self, The Humanization of Health Sciences through Innovation in Health Professions Education, 16 March 2016, University of Stellenbosch, SA.

Invisible women, invisible risks: socially constructed immunity among lesbian women in South Africa, 3rd International Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV Conference, 9 July 2015, Stellenbosch, SA.