A footballer who went on to become a leading queer theorist has died.
Katharina Lindner was born in Munich, Germany in 1979 and grew up in the Bavarian town of Kleinostheim. At the age of 16, she joined the women’s football club now known as 1. FFC Frankfurt. She played for the German under-16 and under-18 teams, and in 2000 secured a football scholarship to study media science and psychology at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. It was there that she became a National Soccer Coaches Association of America “All-American”, meaning that she was recognised as the best player in her position in women’s college football.
In 2005, while pursuing a PhD in film studies at the University of Glasgow, Dr Lindner became a striker at Glasgow City FC, the Scottish Women’s Premier League team that had been co-founded by her long-term partner, Laura Montgomery, in 1998. She rapidly established herself as a star. A statement from the club said that she was “widely regarded as one of the greatest ever players to play in the Scottish women’s game” and had proved “instrumental in the club’s amazing run of success…[She] helped the club win five Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups and was part of the treble winning team in 2009.”
Although she retired as a player in 2011, Dr Lindner continued as a coach at City and served as policy director for Scottish Women’s Football (2014-16). She also forged a new career as a lecturer in the department of communications, media and culture at the University of Stirling. She wrote a celebrated article on how women are objectified in fashion advertising and once argued that a boycott of the “lily white” Oscars might be the best way to encourage more diversity. Her 2017 book Film Bodies: Queer Feminist Encounters with Gender and Sexuality in Cinema was described in Times Higher Education as “fleshing out a new approach to queer film theory that introduces the rich philosophy of thinkers such as [Sara] Ahmed to the study of sensuous spectatorship”.
Richard Haynes, professor of media sport at Stirling, claimed that “Kat Lindner brought the passion and enthusiasm she had from her football career into her academic life…Because she had been part of the struggle for the recognition of women’s football in Scotland, she was able to transfer her gender politics into her teaching…She leaves a legacy of outstanding scholarship.”
Dr Lindner died on 9 February and is survived by Ms Montgomery.