Seminars

The inter-university Joint Commission for Women’s Studies, Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, Gender and Queer Studies offers seminars every semester to complement the regular teaching in the fields of gender and diversity offered by the various universities.

summer semester 2024

Female Blues

with Dr. Risto Lenz

Dr. Risto Lenz is a historian/cultural studies researcher in the field of American Studies and pop music research. He completed his doctorate at the University of Cologne with a dissertation on the American folk music revival (published by Peter Lang Publ. in 2022). His research focuses on music historiography, music and mobility, music and migration, and figuration processes in pop music. His current research deals with the figure of the singer-songwriter in times of digitality.

The blues is the mythical “original music” of America, which still characterizes pop culture today. Its historiographical classification first found a worldwide audience during the folk revival of the early 1960s. Its strong focus on “authentic” music arose from a male/white expert view, which portrayed the so-called folk blues as a masculine culture of rural African Americans. Ironically, the first blues that appeared in the 1920s was a female-dominated musical genre. At the time of the revival, however, this style was referred to as commercial blues, and was widely perceived as a sort of artificial counterpoint to the “authentic” folk blues. In this seminar, we will look at the question of why black masculinity became the authenticity marker of the blues and led to the exclusion of female interpreters from the discourse. In addition, using an intersectional approach, the work of female and black revivalists will be examined, whose interpretations were marginalized in this process.

We will use a concrete example – female blues – to emphasize the strong common historiographical references as well as the general intertwining of Gender Studies and American Studies and illustrate how knowledge production is shaped and defined by power relations. The seminar aims to encourage a greater sensitivity to the significance of gender in the the field of the blues – a musical style whose popularization historically took place in a field between popular culture, academia and social activism. Of central importance here is the concept of intersectionality, which – shaped by black feminisim – is a common analysis tool in both Gender Studies and American Studies. By focusing on the multidimensionality of social processes of domination at the time of the folk revival, we can better understand how discrimination and inequalitiy not only run along lines of class, gender/sexuality, ethnicity/nationality but are to be understood in relation to each other. In this way the seminar links theory and empiricism and enables inter- and transdisciplinarity. The aim is to develop a critical view of how knowledge production in music is always linked to institutions of knowledge and thus power – institutions whose activities, products and epistemic concepts are shaped and defined by power relations. We therefore want to focus on the places where knowledge was produced during the folk revival in order to historically examine the forms, systematization and classification of knowledge about the blues. 

dates:

  • 22.4. 18-20 pm, digital
  • 3.5. 14-20 pm, Monetastraße 4 in person
  • 4.5. 10-18 pm, Monetastraße 4 in person
  • 5.5. 10-18 pm, Monetastraße 4 in person

Diversity & Intersectionality: Theoretical Perspectives and Analytical Concepts

with Robel Afeworki Abay (Dr. phil.)

Robel Afeworki Abay (Dr. phil.) is a sociologist and currently a visiting professor for participatory approaches in the social and health sciences at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. He previously worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Sociology at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. In the participatory study he conducted as part of his dissertation at the Humboldt University of Berlin together with BIPoC with experiences of disability, he dealt with intersectional colonialities of racism and ableism. His research interests include Intersectional Disability Justice; Sociology of Disability and Social Inequality; Sociology of Migration; Diversity and Intersectionality; Racism and Ableism; Disability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit); Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories; Climate and Social Justice; and Participatory Research.

The seminar analyses the main characteristics and the complexity of intersectional discrimination. Therefore, the goal of this seminar is to give a broader overview of both concepts (Diversity & Intersectionality) in attempting to understand the complexity of heteropatriarchal capitalist societies. Yet, this seminar does not claim to provide a comprehensive account of social inequality of the various marginalized communities in Germany, nor does it seek to do so. More importantly, it marks a humble attempt to stimulate critical discussions on the concepts like Diversity and Intersectionality, which deserves not only more theoretical and empirical engagements, but also legal and policy change in addressing multiple and intersectional structures of social inequality and institutional discrimination as well as ensuring social justice and social equality of many marginalized groups like BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), disabled and queer communities.

 2. Intersectionality: It is evident that disabled and queer BIPoC are often marginalized and wholly or partially excluded from participation in economic, social, cultural and political processes not only in the Global South but also in the Global North. In German context, stigmatization and exclusion of disabled BIPoC has a long lineage: Due to ongoing racialized, ableist and heteropatriarchal power structures, these populations have been physically and politically marginalized and subjected to interlocking forms of discrimination. Racism, Ableism, (Hetero)sexism and Homonationalism have therefore been some of the everyday lived realities of much larger structural processes of many marginalized communities. Intersectionality would prove to be enormously fruitful to address these overlapping forms of oppression that are embedded in discursive and institutionalized practices of difference, discrimination and dehumanization. This seminar therefore sought to explore the ever-growing and complex structural discrimination that legitimizes existing power structures and social inequality within the dominant society leading to social exclusion of many marginalized communities.

 2. Diversity: We will discuss the corresponding relevance of the Diversity concept, which has received heightened attention in political and academic discourses in recent years. Based on the existing theoretical and empirical findings, this interdisciplinary seminar focuses on the prevailing topics of social inequality and intersectional discrimination within the heteronormative structures.

On this basis, participants of the seminar will get to know central basics of intersectional inequality and diversity research (Diversity & Intersectionality) in order to meaningfully connect theoretical considerations with practice.

Perspektives On Gender

with Merle Marie Eckert, M.A.

Merle Marie Eckert, M.A., studied Gender & Queer Studies at the University of Cologne. Her research focuses include areas such as sex work, critical masculinity, sexual education, and queer theory. In addition to her academic pursuits, she works as a Diversity Manager & Designer and volunteers in Kiel.

This seminar focuses on the fundamental concepts of gender and queer and aims to provide a thorough understanding of these topics. Over two weekends, we will cover a wide range of subjects, starting with an introductory examination of feminist theories on the construction of a binary concept of gender, hetero- and cisnormativity, and structural queerphobia, leading to a critical analysis of masculinity. The course content draws upon theoretical concepts and texts supplemented by practical applications and more accessible literature in the field of gender and queer. From groundbreaking works by Raewyn Connell, Sara Ahmed, and Mike Laufenberg to the influential voices of Margarete Stokowski, Lydia Meyer, and Emilia Roig – we explore a broad spectrum of intersectional perspectives. Prior knowledge is not mandatory, as we will collectively work through various topics through an equal exchange of ideas. The course will primarily be conducted in the German language.

dates:

  • 1. block: Friday, 07.06.2024, 9 am-16 pm + Saturday, 08.06.2024, 10 am -15:30 pm (incl, one hour lunch break)
  • 2. block: Friday, 21.06., 9 am-16 pm + Saturday, 22.06., 10 am -15:30 pm (incl, one hour lunch break)
Close-up of a modern building facade

winter semester 2023/2024

ISA-200.014 Gender & Queer – an introduction to gender & queer theories

by Marvin Jansen

Marvin Jansen is an educational scientist and currently a freelance doctoral student at the European University of Flensburg in the field of empirical educational research. His focus is on education and social inequality, queer perspectives on education, and qualitative-reconstructive social research. His dissertation explores challenges and coping processes in relationships of gay men. Along the way, he teaches courses and lectures on heteronormativity in education, heteronormative (media) socialization, and poststructuralist and (queer) feminist approaches in psychology.

This seminar will first provide an overview of the three waves of the women’s movement in Germany and the different feminist schools in order to understand how gender theoretical approaches have become professionalized and established. Finally, through text sequences by Judith Butler (1993), Ines Pohlkamp (2015), and Nina Degele (2005; 2019), among others, there will be an introduction to the different gender and queer theoretical approaches, which will also be classified in cultural-historical terms. Following on from this, different issues such as the treatment of gender and normativity in research or in the (social) media will be considered (from partly interdisciplinary perspectives). These topical insights will be discussed on the basis of current examples.

Dates:

  •      Fri., 3.11., 14-16, VMP 8 R 020
  •      Fri., 24.11., 14-19,  VMP 8 R 05 
  •      Sat., 25.11., 10-15, VMP 8 R 106
  •      Fri., 15.12., 14-19, VMP 8 R 106
  •      Sat., 16.12., 10-15, VMP 8 R 106 

Starting in the second half of the seminar, participants will have the opportunity to incorporate their own interests and expertise into the seminar design.

Registration: The registration period for the lectureships starts on 04.09.2023 at 12:00 until 03.10.2023. The number of participants is limited to 30 participants, a waiting list for latecomers will be established. Places are allocated in the order of registration.

ISA-200.011 Sex, Gender and Crime. Introduction to Cultural Anthropological Perspectives on Delinquency

by Manuel Bolz, M.A.

Manuel Bolz, M.A. is a cultural anthropologist, researcher and lecturer from Hamburg. He has worked for the University of Hamburg, the Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt (MARKK), the Isa Lohmann-Siems-Stiftung, the Hamburg Authority for Culture and Media (BKM), the Harburg District Office, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among others. His research interests lies in ethnography, historical anthropology, urban studies, and the intersectional exploration of bodies, sexualities, and gender. He is currently working on a research project on crisis narratives and socio-material transformation processes of the St. Pauli entertainment district/pleasurescape.

The seminar deals with the questions of how crime, criminality and deviance in history and the present can be investigated in a cultural-scientific, i.e. transdisciplinary way, especially against the background of the so-called ‘Dark Anthropology’. This has made it its task to investigate power, violence and conflicts with an understanding approach and to make problem areas as well as social structures visible, tangible and analyzable.

We are guided by the following working questions: Which sources can be used for a scientific examination of crime (e.g. popular culture, court records or media coverage), which questions regarding sexuality, body and gender can be asked and how does this look with reference to Hamburg’s urban spaces by day and by night? How do gendered feelings of (in)security structure perceptions, experiences and narratives in everyday life? But what specific (gendered) infrastructures, practices, economies, imaginaries, and “figures” do these also produce? What meanings are attributed to crime, how is knowledge negotiated (including psychopathologizations), and how is it socially and culturally constructed in lifeworlds and realities? And how are stubbornness, resistance, and social orders expressed, produced, and challenged?

Dates:

Tuesdays, 14-16 pm, seminar room Monetastraße 4

We thank the ISA center at UHH and the NTA department at TUHH for funding this teaching assignment.

Registration: The registration period for the lectureships starts on 04.09.2023 at 12:00 until 03.10.2023. The number of participants is limited to 30 participants, a waiting list for latecomers will be established. Places are allocated in the order of registration.

ISA-200.012 From Cybernetics to Cyborgs – Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

by Jannis Steinke

Jannis Steinke, M.A.; research assistant at TU Braunschweig and doctoral candidate at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. Jannis Steinke studied social work in Bochum and Cologne. In addition, Jannis Steinke qualified in theories of gender and queer studies and decolonial theory at the University of Cologne. Since April 2018, Jannis Steinke is a member of the research group “Compostist International”, which aims to inscribe Donna Haraway’s concept of “compost, not posthuman” as a queerfeminist intervention in media and cultural studies and gender studies. He has held various teaching positions in Gender and Queer Studies since the summer semester of 2017. Since January 2021, the WG DIG*IT*AL has started its work in the German Gender Studies Association. The WG sets itself the goal of making diversity-critical, intersectional, and gender-theoretical interventions in technologies and algorithms. Jannis Steinke is one of three spokespersons, together with Prof.in Dr.in Corinna Bath and Dr.in Tanja Kubes. Since October 2021, Jannis Steinke is a research associate in the group “Gender, Technology and Mobility” in the research project “Sociotechnical Practices of Objectivation”.

The seminar will start with an introduction to Science and Technology Studies (STS) using Katherine Hayles’ history of cybernetics (systemic thinking within technology development) as an example. Subsequently, the specifics of feminist STS will be elaborated by jointly elaborating Donna Haraway’s writings of Situated Knowledge and the Cyborg Manifesto, which are seminal for this purpose. Here, the cyborg is a boundary-pushing hybrid of human and machine, but also a being that radically renegotiates the question of the separability between technology and organism. These different ways of thinking and approaching will be traced, illustrated and discussed together using numerous examples of technological innovations (chat GPT, autonomous weapon systems, crash test dummies, etc.).

Dates:

  • Sat, 09.12.2023, 09:00-18:00 pm, TUHH room A 0.19
  • Sun, 10.12.2023, 09:00-18:00 pm, TUHH room A 1.20
  • Sat, 13.01.2024, 09:00-18:00 pm, TUHH room  A 0.18
  • Sun, 14.01.2024, 09:00-18:00 pm, TUHH room A 1.20

We thank the ISA center at UHH and the NTA department at TUHH for funding this teaching assignment.

TUHH students register via the general registration procedure (NTA). Students from other universities, register by email: <koordinationsstelle-nta@tuhh.de>

Registration: The registration period for the lectureships starts on 04.09.2023 at 12:00 until 03.10.2023. The number of participants is limited to 30 participants, a waiting list for latecomers will be established. Places are allocated in the order of registration.

ISA-200.013 Intersectionality in the context of identity, flight/migration and othering processes.

by Simone Beate Borgstede

Simone Beate Borgstede is a sociologist and historian. She organizes seminars on intersectionality, feminism in postcolonial perspective and racism in the context of flight/migration. In her research she focusses on racism and social movements. She is particularly interested in how we can overcome racism, sexism and classism and their intersections. Simone lives since 1982 in St. Pauli Hafenstraße. She fights against racist police controls with other neighbours in her neighbourship and works together with refugee and migrant women for respect and equal rights for all.

We start with a theoretical examination of intersectionality as an essential concept for understanding social inequalities in their interaction in current feminist theorizing. With the insights gained from this, we analyze the formation of the construct of ‘us’ and ‘the others’ in antiquity and the Enlightenment. We discuss sociological and literary texts on identity and migration and deal with the meaning of intersectionality in the context of othering processes. This includes gender identities and sexual orientation. We examine migrant resistance against racist attributions in an intersectional perspective and how refugees currently represent themselves.

The seminar is designed as a reading course. However, we also engage with film spots, images and music. The seminar discussions are introduced by presentations of the participants, supported by the teacher. The seminar encourages critical reading and penetration of theoretical approaches. The students deal with identity formation in a globalized world and have the opportunity to bring in their own experiences of being made the ‘other’ from their everyday life and to reflect on them together.

I understand the seminar as a place where a set of tools is developed that allows the participants to analyze the formation of othering processes in relation to gender relations, class and the construction of racist attributions and what this means for identity intersectionally and to understand them as historically contested.

Dates: Thursdays, 10 am-12 pm, seminar room Monetastraße 4

Registration: The registration period for the lectureships starts on 04.09.2023 at 12:00 until 03.10.2023. The number of participants is limited to 30 participants, a waiting list for latecomers will be established. Places are allocated in the order of registration.

ISA-200.015 Broaden, changing and mad-ing perspectives with Mad Studies 

by Franziska Hille

Franziska Hille lives in Berlin and is doing her PhD at the TU Berlin at the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies from socio-critical and -utopian perspectives on ambivalences of self-care in dealing with madness and mad making circumstances. She holds a degree in Sociology and in her studies she focused on power-critical and anti-discriminatory intersectional approaches to thinking subject and society together, works by Michel Foucault, Kritische Psychologie (marxist theory in psychology) and Feminist Standpoint Theory.
These approaches also shape her ongoing PhD project and Mad Studies, User/Survivor Research and Disability Studies are added as approaches and localizations.
Franziska Hille brings Mad Studies to colleges and universities through teaching assignments and begins to make her research content accessible in workshops outside of the university. In the summer of 2023, based on her research question, there was a workshop on “Self-Care in Dealing
with Madness and Mad-Making Circumstances: Empowering and Emancipatory or Neoliberal
Isolation Program?”

One of the concerns and at the same time practices of Mad Studies was 2014 described by Lucy Costa as „flipping the microscope“ : no longer examining the crazy, the people diagnosed as mentally ill, but the (supposedly) normal. Mad Studies are activist research intended to lead to emancipatory change. Mad Studies do not act paternalistically on behalf of others. Instead those who are made others – mad people – do research themselves, bring their own knowledge and experiences into research, make it accessible and circulable. Research reflexivity in this context means, for example, asking who is doing research, why and how with whom, what is being researched about, what interests the research serves, and more. The starting point of the seminar is the assumption that Mad Studies is unknown to most of the participants, but that a closer look reveals manifold connections to already existing theoretical knowledge, methodological engagements and personal experiences. Knowledge is shown to be manufactured and related to power as well as different ways of engaging with knowledge. Positioned research, questions about reasons for it and possibilities of implementation accompany the course as well.

Material bases include inputs, small group work, PowerPoint presentations, video recording of a panel discussion, blog posts, interviews, theoretical literature, audios, activist and art materials.

While one goal is to show Mad Studies as another Critical Studies alongside Gender-, Queer-, Critical Race-, Disability Studies and engagements with classism and thus broaden intersectional perspectives, another goal is to unmask practices of Othering also with regard to Madness and to change own perceptions and perspectives of analysis in a power-critical anti-discriminatory way. Madness is to be depathologized and also celebrated. At the same time, psychiatry is made recognizable as a social structure. Subjects, society, activism, and the academy are to be made perceptible as networks of relationships and starting points for emancipatory change are to be explored.

The students are encouraged and supported to become aware of their own interests in the context of the seminar contents and connected with the seminar concerns of the production and practice of emancipatory research and to develop their own approaches.

Dates:

Tuesdays, 10am-12pm, digital via zoom

Registration: The registration period for the lectureships starts on 04.09.2023 at 12:00 until 03.10.2023. The number of participants is limited to 30 participants, a waiting list for latecomers will be established. Places are allocated in the order of registration.

Close-up of a modern building facade

summer semester 2023

 ISA-200.021 Diversity & Intersectionality: Theoretical Perspectives and Analytical Concepts

with Robel Afeworki Abay 

Robel Afeworki Abay is a Black German activist, Queer-feminist and PhD fellow at the Humboldt University of Berlin: https://zfib.org/de/beteiligte. His participatory PhD research project critically examines the intersectional relationship between racism and ableism as discursive and institutionalized practices of difference, discrimination and dehumanization. He has also studied Sociology and Political Science at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Cardiff University, Wales, UK, and Social Work in Interdisciplinary Research and Practice at the University of Kassel, Germany. His research and teaching interests include: Decolonial Intersectionality; Racism & Ableism; Critical Migration & Diversity Studies; Climate & Social Justice; Participatory Research; Gender, Queer and Disability Studies.

The seminar analyses the main characteristics and the complexity of intersectional discrimination. Therefore, the goal of this seminar is to give a broader overview of both concepts (Diversity & Intersectionality) in attempting to understand the complexity of heteropatriarchal capitalist societies. Yet, this seminar does not claim to provide a comprehensive account of social inequality of the various marginalized communities in Germany, nor does it seek to do so. More importantly, it marks a humble attempt to stimulate critical discussions on the concepts like Diversity and Intersectionality, which deserves not only more theoretical and empirical engagements, but also legal and policy change in addressing multiple and intersectional structures of social inequality and institutional discrimination as well as ensuring social justice and social equality of many marginalized groups like BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), disabled and queer communities.

 2. Intersectionality: It is evident that disabled and queer BIPoC are often marginalized and wholly or partially excluded from participation in economic, social, cultural and political processes not only in the Global South but also in the Global North. In German context, stigmatization and exclusion of disabled BIPoC has a long lineage: Due to ongoing racialized, ableist and heteropatriarchal power structures, these populations have been physically and politically marginalized and subjected to interlocking forms of discrimination. Racism, Ableism, (Hetero)sexism and Homonationalism have therefore been some of the everyday lived realities of much larger structural processes of many marginalized communities. Intersectionality would prove to be enormously fruitful to address these overlapping forms of oppression that are embedded in discursive and institutionalized practices of difference, discrimination and dehumanization. This seminar therefore sought to explore the ever-growing and complex structural discrimination that legitimizes existing power structures and social inequality within the dominant society leading to social exclusion of many marginalized communities.

 2. Diversity: We will discuss the corresponding relevance of the Diversity concept, which has received heightened attention in political and academic discourses in recent years. Based on the existing theoretical and empirical findings, this interdisciplinary seminar focuses on the prevailing topics of social inequality and intersectional discrimination within the heteronormative structures.

On this basis, participants of the seminar will get to know central basics of intersectional inequality and diversity research (Diversity & Intersectionality) in order to meaningfully connect theoretical considerations with practice.

 Every other Thursday: 2-6 pm, 06.04.; 20.04.; 25.05.; 08.06.; 22.06.; 06.07.

The seminar is held online via zoom.

The seminar serves as Pflichtmodul for the ZGD certificate „Intersektionalität und Diversity.“

ISA-200.020 Undoing Time

with Yannik Ehmer

Yannik Ehmer studied Philosophy, Mathematics and Protestant Theology in Berlin, Edinburgh and Seoul. Yannik Ehmer is a doctoral candidate in Protestant Theology (subject: Old Testament) at the Humboldt University of Berlin and is doing his doctoral thesis on “Discursive Wisdom?! An investigation into the poetics and composition of Prov 10:1-22:16” with a doctoral scholarship from the Studienstiftung. Yannik Ehmer taught as a research assistant at the Chair of Literature, Religious and Contemporary History of Early Christianity (Prof.in Dr.in C. Gerber) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Yannik Ehmer’s research interests are biblical theology with a focus on wisdom literature, 20th century French philosophy, postmodern hermeneutics(s) and epistemologies, the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, and queer studies and gender studies in their relationship to theology.

In this block seminar, contemporary impulses of queer theory and gender studies will be taken up and explicated on the basis of the category “time” in the broadest sense: How can time be determined in a queer sense? How are gender and temporality connected? To what extent do the constellations of past, present, and future shift against the backdrop of queer temporalities? How can linear progressions of time be unbound (as undoing of time)?

These and other questions will occupy us in the block seminar. The category of time, which itself can be located at the interface of philosophy, theology, history, but also of physics and mathematics, among others, opens up an interdisciplinary potential, which is also reflected in the selection of literature and can thus ensure connectivity for a variety of disciplines.

Although the individual approaches differ from each other, they share this fundamental conviction: Queer utopias and temporalities are central desiderata of current theorizing. They bring forth temporalities of a different kind that lie outside the linearly arranged parameters of birth, marriage, procreation, and death.

In an alternation of close reading of the most important texts and short impulse presentations prepared by the participants, we want to approach this desideratum.

introductory meeting (online): 05.04., 12:00 am-1:00 pm, zoom

course times:

  • 28.04, 10 am-5 pm, VMP 8 room 404
  • 29.04., 9 am-4 pm, VMP 8 room 105
  • 23.06., 10 am-5 pm, VMP 8 room 213
  • 24.06., 9 am-4 pm, VMP 8 room 213

In the course the learning platform OpenOlat of UHH is used. Students who do not have access to OpenOlat apply for the short-term identification by e-mail (zgd[at]uni-hamburg[dot]de) with the following
information: Name, first name, matriculation number, course of study, university, name of the lecturer, title of the course. The short-term identification is issued for one semester only.

 

ISA-200.019 Human Rights and Beyond

with Maria Guadalupe Rivera Garay & Gilberto Rescher

Gilberto Rescher is the coordinator of Latin American Studies at the University of Hamburg and holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Bielefeld. His dissertation is entitled “Doing Democracy in Transnacionalized Indigenous Communities: The Negotiation of Local Political Change in Central Mexico” and is based on nearly two years of ethnographic fieldwork (divided into several phases) in the Valle del Mezquital, a Mexican region considered indigenous. Gilberto Rescher has worked at the Ruhr University of Bochum and the University of Bielefeld, in addition to various short stays at Mexican universities.

His research interests include (local) politics, development and alternative perspectives, migration, transnationality/locality, socially minoritized groups, indigeneity/ethnicity, gender issues, decolonial perspectives, “sociologies of the South,” and qualitative methodology. He has conducted extensive empirical field research in Mexico, Nicaragua, the United States, and the Philippines. On this basis, he has published several articles, including on migration and political change in an indigenous region of Mexico.

Maria Guadalupe Rivera Garay is Hñähñu (an indigenous people from central Mexico). She studied her Bachelor’s degree (Licenciatura) in Sociology with a focus on Education in Mexico City. In Germany, she earned her degree in Sociology at the University of Bielefeld, specializing in gender studies, sociology of development, and qualitative methods. She is currently completing her PhD at the Faculty of Sociology in Bielefeld. She works as a global learning officer, as a lecturer, and also does translation work.

Her academic interests lie in research on migration processes of ethnic minorities and the gender dimension, transnationality and translocality, and on social inequalities in the global South. Gender issues and feminisms in the context of coloniality and decoloniality are another important research area. One of her central interests lies in the mediation and analysis of Latin American social theory, diversity, intersectionality, subalternity and alterity in the context of indigenous societies. In this context, she works on concepts of community, knowledge from indigenous perspectives, transfers and their embeddedness within global processes such as climate change and feminism, and the theoretical approaches of indigenous intellectuals, both scholars and other thinkers.

In the context of minorities, diversity of sexual orientation and climate change, discussions often arise about rights both for the individual, collectives or even for nature. Bruno Latour writes in his book “Struggle for Gaia”: the forests, the air and the oceans would need rights, a “parliament of things” would abolish the dichotomy of nature and society and a reorganization of the collective, which would then be composed of humans and non-human beings. In different reports, we see indigenous groups fighting against extractivism, seeking recognition of their rights as the actual historical owners of certain territories. At the same time, in international forums, they are acted as important actors to stop climate change. In Germany, the first transwomen enter parliament, they are celebrated, but also criticized and discriminated against. What is the discrepancy between these cases? What does this say about ideas of human rights? Are they privileges for certain individuals or collectives, or can they be thought of differently.
In this context, we would like to use such examples to discuss in a transregional comparison when, where and for whom in social reality which rights apply, taking into account the fact that we live worldwide in a colonially shaped system of inequalities (in the sense of decolonial approaches).

course times: Tuesday, 10:00-12:00

room: VMP 9 A315

 

Queer Gender in Literature – Butch, Femme, Trans

with Dr. Jara Schmidt & Clara Schwarz

Dr. Jara Schmidt is a literary scholar at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Hamburg. After studying English, German, and Modern History, she received her PhD in German Studies (Intercultural Literary Studies) with the thesis Literarische Narreteien. Carnivalesque strategies in contemporary German and English-language migration novels (2019). Her research interests include: postmigrant and postcolonial discourses in literature and culture; gender studies; queer studies; witchcraft studies.

Clara Schwarz is working on their doctorate in sociology at the University of Freiburg where they research the role and development of queer friendships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clara has a master’s degree in gender and sexuality studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She conducts research into and is interested in queer friendships, queer care work, femme studies, and queer literary history.

Published in 1993 and now a classic of queer literature, Leslie Feinberg’s novel Stone Butch Blues celebrates its 30th anniversary of publication in 2023. The novel is considered the initiator of Trans Studies and contributed to a shift from talking about trans people to increased visibility of trans voices in society and academia. In the early 1990s, queer studies was also established in the United States as an interdisciplinary cultural studies research direction that critically examines sexual identities and sexual desire with the help of queer theory – that is, a ‘weird’, ‘twisted’ theory that questions the regularities. Forms of power and norms, such as the assumption of a binary of masculinity vs. femininity or heterosexuality vs. homosexuality, as well as heteronormative socialization, are analyzed and deconstructed.
The course provides students with access to queer literature through prose texts – in addition to Stone Butch Blues, Lou Conradi’s Baby Butch (2019) will also be read – poetry as well as scholarly contributions. The central themes are particularly oriented around the intersection of sexuality and gender, and their relationship to race and class. Students learn about the history of femme/butch dynamics, engage with (trans) gender, and consider the development of these themes over the past 30 years through literary texts.

Close-up of a modern building facade

winter semester 2022/23

Gender and Antisemitism

with Randi Becker

Randi Becker studied social sciences, sociology and political theory in Gießen, Darmstadt and Frankfurt. She is a doctoral candidate of sociology at the university of Passau and works as a lecturer at different universities. She also lectures at an educational center for the volunteer service (BFD). Her main subjects in both teaching and research are antisemitism, racism, nationalsocialism and gender.

Studies on antisemitism are nowadays starting to also include intersectional analyses of antisemitism, such as analyzing its intersection with gender. The seminar will focus on this specific intersection: We will start learning about different forms and functions of antisemitism. The second part will focus on the intersections of sexism and antisemitism, while in the third part we will concentrate on analyzing and criticizing antisemitism that can be found in some feminist movements.
We will thereby get an idea of the variety of intersections between gender and antisemitism, both historical and present forms.

course times:

  • Fr, 21.10. 16-18 h, digital
  • Sa, 5.11. 9-16 h, digital
  • Fr, 9.12. 14-18 h, in person, Von-Melle-Park 8, room 106
  • Sa, 10.12. 9-16 h, in person, Von-Melle-Park 8, room 08
  • Fr, 27.1. 14-18 h, in person, Von-Melle-Park 8, room 205
  • Sa, 28.1. 9-16 h, in person, Von-Melle-Park 8, room 205

Intersectionality /Diversity in the Context of Identity, Migration and Processes of Othering

with Simone Beate Borgstede, PhD.

Simone Beate Borgstede is a sociologist and historian. She organises seminars on feminism in postcolonial perspective and racism in the context of flight/migration. Her research focuses on racism and social movements. She wants to understand how we can build a society beyond racism, sexism and classism.

Simone lives since 40 years in the former squatted houses of St. Pauli Hafenstr.. She is active in a group with refugee and migrant women and against racist profiling in her neighbourhood – for equal rights for all.

We start with a theoretical discussion of intersectionality and diversity, main concepts of understanding social inequalities and their interrelatedness in the development of actual feminist theory. From here on we analyse the construction of ‚we’ and ‚the others’ in Greek antiquity and German enlightenment. We discuss sociological and literary texts on identity and migration and the meaning of intersectionality and diversity in the context of processes of othering. We reflect what happens when we conceive of identities as developed in process, not always without contradictions; overlapping identities which create new starting points. We analyse how these concepts help to understand migrants’ and refugees’ self-representation.

The seminar is conceptualized as a reading course. Discussions are initiated by students’ group presentations, supported by the teacher. The seminar furthers critical reading and understanding of theoretical approaches. Students discuss identity building in a globalised world and get the opportunity to reflect together on their own experiences of being made ‘the other’ in everyday life.

I conceive of the seminar as a space in which we develop the instruments to analyse the development of othering-processes in relation to gender, class and racialization and what this means for identity in an intersectional perspective. We need to understand that these processes are always historically embattled.

course times: weekly, thursday, 10-12 am

digital seminar

Black, Queer, African. Transnational Literatures as a safe space for (re-)imagination, vision und critisism

with Dr. Ricarda de Haas

The Art of Failure

with Karin Michalski

Karin Michalski works as artist and film- and video art curator. With her films and videos such as The Alphabet of Feeling Bad (2012), working on it (2008), Monika M. (2004), Pashke and Sofia (2003) and women videoletters – a second text on war and globalization (2004) she has been invited to numerous festivals and exhibitions. In 2016 she edited the artist edition An Unhappy Archive (Edition Fink, Zurich), in 2015 the book I is for Impasse. Affektive Queerverbindungen in Theorie_Aktivismus_Kunst (bbooks, Berlin) as well as in 2011 the fanzine FEELING BAD – queer pleasures, art & politics.

What notions of success and recognized knowledge production shape our work and projects? What does it mean when a project is said to have failed? Some events that were not planned for work projects and processes can end up shaping them or influencing them in interesting ways. This also raises the question of what we mean by success or failure and how the framework for this view is laid out. Jack Halberstam suggests leaving room for the unexpected and a mode of transformative thinking and creative work that is in motion between ‘high theory and low theory, high culture and low culture’, that also makes use of archives other than conventional ones and operates on multiple levels simultaneously, be it also borrowing from pop culture and avant-garde performances, for example.

“Failure sometimes offers more creative, cooperative, and surprising ways of being in the world, even as it forces us to face the dark side of life, love, and libido.” (Jack Halberstam)

The starting point of this seminar is also the analysis of social hierarchies produced by norms of gender, sexuality and “whiteness”.

The seminar will look at examples of film, video and performance art and relate them to cultural studies texts from the fields of queer and postcolonial/decolonial theory, in which moments of failure are taken up and played through in terms of their potential and unexpected consequences.

Not only for scientific, but also for artistic projects the question arises, which partly productive forms of expression “failure” could take.

course times:

  • 18./19. 11: friday 12-18 pm, saturday 10 am-16 pm, digital
  • 9./10.12.: friday 12-18 Uhr, saturday 10 am-16 pm, digital

Feminist Epistemologies of the South

with Maria Guadalupe Rivera Garay

Maria Guadalupe Rivera Garay is Hñähñu (an indigenous people from central Mexico). She studied her Bachelor’s degree (Licenciatura) in Sociology with a focus on Education in Mexico City. In Germany, she earned her degree in Sociology at the University of Bielefeld, specializing in gender studies, sociology of development, and qualitative methods. She is currently completing her PhD at the Faculty of Sociology in Bielefeld. She works as a global learning officer, as a lecturer, and also does translation work.

Her academic interests lie in research on migration processes of ethnic minorities and the gender dimension, transnationality and translocality, and on social inequalities in the global South. Gender issues and feminisms in the context of coloniality and decoloniality are another important research area. One of her central interests lies in the mediation and analysis of Latin American social theory, diversity, intersectionality, subalternity and alterity in the context of indigenous societies. In this context, she works on concepts of community, knowledge from indigenous perspectives, transfers and their embeddedness within global processes such as climate change and feminism, and the theoretical approaches of indigenous intellectuals, both scholars and other thinkers.

Is the meaning of feminism the same for everyone? Is it interpreted differently in other contexts or are there particularities depending on the context or position? What does it actually mean to be a feminist? What moves us people to position ourselves as feminists? Because it is true that feminism is a global social movement that works to overcome gender inequalities and has already achieved great success. Nevertheless, most of the movement is mostly developed, discussed, financed and propagated in the so-called Global North. For this reason, it often presents itself as a homogenizing, Eurocentric, and one-sided movement that emerges and operates primarily in urban, academic, heterosexual milieus, and the middle class. Therefore, it is of great importance to see if there are other interpretations, in other contexts and how it is discussed and analyzed by other actors.

We will discuss these different questions in the seminar and analyze them through a focus on “Epistemologias del Sur”, trying to discuss epistemologies of the South especially from Latin America and to think them in a new or different way, so that we have the possibility to understand interpretations of for example feminism in a different way. Special approaches will be those of decolonial theorists, indigenous feminists and Afro-Latin Americans, but we will also look at postcolonial feminists and African feminists like Chimamanda Adichie or Oyeronke Oyewumi.

course times: weekly, monday, 10-12 am

room: Ü35-01043 (E) Überseering 35

summer semester 2022

Diversity and intersectionality: theoretical perspectives and analytical concepts

with Robel Afeworki Abay

Robel Afeworki Abay describes himself as an Afro-German and queer-feminist activist. He is currently completing a doctorate at the center for inclusion research (Zentrum der Inklusionsforschung, ZfIB) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: https://zfib.org/de/beteiligte. His particular interest within his participatory dissertation project lies in increasing and furthering the theoretical and empirical participation discourses on BIPoC with disability experiences within gainful employment. He previously studied sociology and political science at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and Cardiff University in Wales in addition to social work at the University of Kassel in Germany. For some years now, his academic and political activist work has focused on the topics of intersectionality; racism and ableism; gender, queer, and disability studies; participatory research; postcolonial theories and decolonial approaches; climate justice; migration and diversity research.
Contact: robel.abay@hu-berlin.de

This seminar examines the hypothesis that a perspective based on intersectionality theory offers a particularly suitable basis for a fruitful discussion on how to deal with difference, inequality, and diversity in a society of dominance. A critical-reflexive and domination-critical thematization of discursively produced and institutionalized relations of difference and inequality, such as racism, ableism, (hetero)sexism and homonationalism, is of great relevance to self-positioning as well as to intersectionality and diversity research, especially against the backdrop of the current political shifts in discourse. This is because the altered sociopolitical conditions also have fatal influences on the practical work with those affected as well as on scientific research into social relations of inequality.

The discussions on selected literature will be based on the theoretical approaches of diversity and intersectionality, which grant access critical to domination and dominance to contexts and modalities for the production, updating, and reproduction of patriarchal heteronormative structures and social relations of inequality:

  1. Intersectionality: We’ll look at the multiple intersectional identities, affiliations, and realities of life as well as symbolic and political representations of marginalized groups. Based on this theoretical exploration of perspectives on society and institutions such as social work, school, or advisory services, we’ll then consider what challenges the prevailing heteronormative structures present for marginalized groups in particular, such as black, indigenous and people of color (BIPoC), disabled and queer communities, which are construed as “the others” through powerful attributions and excluded from or left out of equal participation in society.
  2. Diversity: We’ll critically examine the lack of recognition and appreciation of social diversity and the associated impeded political, social, and economic participation and realization opportunities of marginalized communities in a capitalistically organized society of dominance.

Seminar participants will thus be familiarized with fundamental aspects of intersectional inequality and diversity research and moreover learn how to meaningfully link theoretical considerations with practice.

Course times: 2–6 pm on occasional Thursdays: 07.04, 21.04, 12.05, 26.05, 09.06, 23.06, and 07.07

Intersectionality and diversity: positions and criticisms

with Agnes Böhmelt

Agnes Böhmelt pursued cultural studies and gender studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and also completed several semesters of a degree in theatre studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests lie in power relations, with a focus on post-structuralist and queer_feminist informed subject and category critique and intersectionality in addition to on Foucault. She’s currently revisiting the subject of cyborgs and their subversive potential.

Intersectionality is about the manifold entanglements of social power relations and multiple differences. It is assumed that sexualized/gendered and racialized positions, social class/status as well as empowerment, age or religious affiliation/order, etc. are interlinked, inherently plural even, and that this complexity must be analyzed accordingly. Diversity concepts strive to implement such approaches in practice, for example in anti-discrimination work and equality policies. While there has long been talk of a paradigm shift in gender studies, a depoliticization of intersectionality is lamented in light of its growing academic institutionalization, and diversity is criticized for having been absorbed into neoliberal market conformity. It must also be questioned whether intersectional or interdependent categories have also become rigid in grating identitarian definitions. The seminar aims to trace the course of intersectionality and diversity over time, critically question these, and determine alternative approaches.

Interested parties are asked to contact Agnes Böhmelt in advance via email: agnes_boehmelt@gmx.de

Gender, knowledge, and queer theory

with Clara Schwarz

Clara Schwarz completed her doctorate in sociology at the University of Freiburg where she researched the role and development of queer friendships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clara has a master’s degree in gender and sexuality studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She conducts research into and is interested in queer forms of (platonic) relationships, queer care work, femme studies, and queer literary history.

This course aims to take a genuinely intersectional approach to give an overview of the beginnings of queer theory and gender theory. Theories and texts will be reviewed and discussed, and the normative perceptions of gender, sexuality, power/dominance, and knowledge production questioned. The focus will be on texts by black, decolonial, queer, and transgender feminists. At the end of the course, students must prepare an essay (1,500 words) in English or German on a topic of their choice, applying at least two of the theories covered during the seminar. The seminar aims to convey the complexity of the concepts of “gender” and “queer” to students, and to address contextual, temporal, and geographical differences. To this end, students should question the structures in which they learn and produce knowledge, and break down normative expectations about gender and sexuality. The literature used in the seminar will mainly be in English; the seminar itself will be conducted in German and English and take a digital format. Students not enrolled at Universität Hamburg will need to contact Dr. Michaela Koch to request access to the online learning platform.

Cyborgs, microbes, and blackboxes: the histories of feminist science and technology studies

with Jannis Steinke

Jannis Steinke is a research associate at the Technical University of Braunschweig. He conducts ethnographic research into the practices of objectivization of AI-based diagnosis apps. Jannis Steinke is one of the three spokespersons for the DIG*IT*AL working group of the German expert association for gender studies (Fachgesellschaft für Geschlechterstudien). The working group takes a a diversity-critical and gender-theoretical perspective to discuss and intervene in digitalization technologies, and contributes its expertise in political voting processes to guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence.

Jannis Steinke researches and publishes articles on the subjects of new materialism, science and technology studies, French post-structuralism, and decolonial theory. He holds a number of teaching positions at different universities on these subjects.

With its approach of researching science and technology as an amalgamation of sociocultural factors (cf. Bauer et al 2020, p. 13), science and technology studies is a research field that abandons the paradigm of passive nature processed and transformed by technology. It is thus extremely compatible with (queer) feminist research approaches and gender and diversity studies in particular. Binary gender notions sedimented in the maxim of passive nature and active technology can thus be identified, dissected, and deconstructed in this field as well, through the shift from science as the objective production of knowledge to science as politics. The seminar will begin by briefly outlining the history of science and technology studies from the first to the third waves. The paradigm shift from an understanding of neutrality of technical sciences to the maxim of “Science is politics by other means” (Latour) towards participatory research will then be traced.

The specifics of feminist science and technology studies will be elaborated based on Donna Haraway’s seminal writings on situated knowledges and the cyborg manifesto. Susan Leigh Star’s approaches will subsequently be introduced as an important strand in science and technology studies that links Latour’s and Haraway’s approaches and renders them productive as a new research paradigm. The seminar will conclude by looking at examples of applications of feminist science and technology studies, with the reading and discussion of excerpts from Annemarie Mol’s recent work entitled ‘Eating in Theory’ (2021).

Pandemic permitting, the course will take the form of an in-person block seminar.

Preliminary meeting (online): 4–6 pm on 30.05

In-person attendance: 10 am–4 pm on 01.07 and 02.07

In-person attendance: 10 am–4 pm on 08.07 and 09.07

Close-up of a modern building facade

winter semester 2021/22

Gender in law: legally unresolvable?

with Laura Jacobs

Laura Jacobs is a lawyer and is writing her dissertation on civil disobedience. She’s a research associate within the Institute of Foundation Law at Bucerius Law School and a scholarship holder of the Hans Böckler Foundation. Her research interests include legal gender studies, materialistic legal theory, and legal didactics. She’s one of the co-founders of the blog staat-sex-amen.de.

Law is one of society’s fundamental structural features. It regulates almost all aspects of everyday life, including highly personal and sensitive matters such as gender, sexuality, love, family, career, and political participation. During this course, we’ll discuss what expectations the law has when it comes to physicality and desire. While the law is seen by some as a guarantee of equality, others consider it an instrument of patriarchy. Indeed, others still even deem it a battleground for social change. This course primarily focuses on the awareness of individual (subjective) rights and the ability to exercise these.

At the start of each session, we’ll establish a collective basis for discussion, whereby a text (excerpt), video (excerpt), or short presentation could form the starting point. The course draws on academic sources and court rulings as well as on references from pop culture. All sessions are structured to allow sufficient time for discussions and dialogue.

The course is open to all interested parties, both with and without prior legal knowledge.

Course times: 2–4 pm every Wednesday (digital from 13 October 2021)

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 01.10.2021. Registration opens on 01.09.2021 (first come, first served).

Intersectionality in the shifting discourse on flight/migration

with Simone Borgstede, PhD.

Simone Beate Borgstede is a sociologist and historian. She organizes seminars on feminism from a postcolonial perspective and on racism in the context of flight/migration. Her research focuses on racism and social movements. In particular, she’s interested in how we can overcome racism, sexism, and classism, and their points of overlap in everyday life.

Simone has lived on Hafenstraße in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district for 39 years. Together with other neighbors, she strives to combat the racist controls in her neighborhood and works with female refugees and migrants to achieve mutual respect and equal rights for all.

This seminar is about understanding intersectionality and diversity. Both concepts are indispensable in the discussion of feminist theory. Intersectionality is viewed more as an analytical concept of intertwined social inequalities that lead to various exclusion mechanisms, while diversity is seen to have a more practical orientation (e.g., in diversity management) and therefore criticized as perpetuating domination. By teaching and critically discussing the history behind the theory, the course aims to provide an introduction into ways of applying it to current developments and discourses.

As an example, intersectionality is discussed in the context of the shift in discourse surrounding flight/migration in the wake of the incidents in Cologne on new year’s eve in 2015/16. The discourse of welcoming was replaced by a discourse of criminalisation and deportation here—facilitated by a critique of sexism that attributes sexism to ‘the others’/Muslims/refugees and, at its core, perpetuates racist stereotypes such as that of the black rapist. The victims of sexual violence were consistently presented as white and German; sexual assaults on female refugees in collective accommdation were not addressed.

The poems of May Ayim and Semra Ertan provide good starting points for discussing the development of anti-racist initiatives, from Kanak Attack to the Black Lives Matter movement. Other recent developments are analyzed during the discussions of the texts according to students’ interests.

The seminar is designed as a reading course, whereby discussions are initiated through presentations by the participants, with additional input provided by the lecturer. In addition to the written theory, poem, and literature dealing with these concepts are explored. Images, short films, newspaper articles, and other materials are also incorporated into the discussions. The seminar encourages critical reading and an exploration of theoretical approaches in addition to the elaboration of theses for discussion in the course. Students have the opportunity to contribute their own experiences of sexism, racism, discrimination based on sexual orientation, class or age, for example, from their daily lives and to reflect and theorize on these together. They will also explore the concepts of intersectionality and diversity in terms of their suitability for the analysis.

Course times: 10 am–12 pm every Thursday (digital from 14 October 2021)

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 01.10.2021. Registration opens on 01.09.2021 (first come, first served).

Gender and diversity in practice. Strategies and pitfalls in institutional and political approaches to gender and diversity

with Johanna Elle

Johanna Elle is a doctoral researcher working in the field of cultural anthropology and in higher education and political education for QueerSchool e. V. in Hamburg. The topics of her research and teaching range from gender, flight and immigration policies, feminism and pop culture to anti-discrimination and diversity. Most recently, she co-authored a shadow report on implementation of the Istanbul Convention in relation to refugee women and girls in Germany for Pro Asyl: www.proasyl.de/news/istanbul-konvention-umsetzen-schutz-vor-gewalt-auch-fuer-gefluechtete-frauen-und-maedchen (in German).

In the seminar, we’ll look at institutional and political approaches to gender and diversity and their pitfalls.

We’ll begin by familiarizing ourselves with the fundamental concepts of gender and diversity as well as intersectionality, participation, and empowerment as analytical tools. In the second part of the course, we’ll attempt to apply the knowledge gained and use current examples to explore how gender, sexuality, and diversity are dealt with in Germany. We’ll use concrete cases (for example, the debate on gender-appropriate language) to among others consider the following questions:

What do strategies for equal participation and a sensitive approach to diversity actually entail? What is their impact? What role do empowerment, participation, and power sharing play here? What difficulties and pitfalls can arise? What are femonationalism and pink washing (for example)? What role do intersectional perspectives and practices play? Who do specific measures target, who do they render visible, who do they help to gain access to social participation? Which everyday practices, which activist struggles are (not) included in institutional strategies?

Course times:
Preliminary discussion: 12–2 pm on 18.10, digital
Block seminars: 06.11(10 am–3 pm, VMP8 R05), 27.11 (10 am–3 pm, VMP8 R105), 11.12 (10 am–3 pm, VMP8 R05), 15.01 (9:15 am-5 pm, VMP08 R020)

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Search for the corresponding entry for 01.10.2021. Registration opens on 01.09.2021 (first come, first served).

The Color of Sex

with Dr. Michaela Wünsch

Michaela Wünsch is a cultural scientist, psychoanalyst with her own practice, and publisher at b_books in Berlin. Her research focuses on critical race studies, queer theory, psychoanalysis, media philosophy, seriality, and television. Recent publications include ‘Differentielle Serialität’ [Differential Seriality], in Fernsehwissenschaft und Serienforschung. Theorie, Geschichte und Gegenwart (post-)televisueller Serialität, Dominik Maeder, Denis Newiak, Herbert Schwaab (eds.), Springer 2021; ‘Serialität und Intertextualität’ [Seriality and Intertextuality], in Handbuch Filmtheorie, Bernhard Groß, Thomas Morsch (eds.). Springer 2021; ‘Teleanalyse—Medien der Übertragung’ [Teleanalysis—Media of Transmission], in Übertragungen. Zur Politik der Beziehungen, Peter Lenhart, Harald Strauß, Gereon Wulftange, Manuel Zahn (eds.), Parodos Verlag 2021.

In the first block, we’ll explore the processes that allowed bodies and behaviors labeled as ‘racial’, gendered, and sexually deviant to become visually and epistemologically tangible. This will in turn enable us to address the scientific, cultural, and historical backdrop to the current discussions on race, sex, and gender. The second block will then focus on the medium of film. Taking the hashtags #oscarssowhite and #blacklivesmatter as the starting point, we’ll trace the ways in which US American films are steeped in racism. The example will be taken of the film ‘Birth of a Nation’ dating from 1915, which seeks to portray the emergence of the United States as a nation and, in doing so, privileges whiteness and racially devalues black people, as well as the film of the same name from 2016, which traces the history of slavery and resistance to this. Approaches from film studies such as the analysis of narration and aesthetics will be combined with a critique of racism. The next block will then look at queer counter-aesthetics that emphasize the fragility of the constructs outlined in the first part of the course. The constitutive nature of intersectionality will moreover be highlighted. The final block aims to explore the significance of social categories in the formation of our own identity on the one hand and the significance of identity in the development of theory on the other, taking psychoanalysis as an example. Contrary to the ever-common idea that psychoanalysis is male, European, and white-centered, queer, black, and Jewish perspectives will be presented that simultaneously deconstruct and depathologize the subject, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.

The seminar will employ a variety of interdisciplinary methods, including discourse analysis, science history, film analysis, art history, cultural studies, gender studies, critical race studies, and psychoanalysis. In addition to presenting theoretical developments, the interweaving of theory and practice will be demonstrated using examples from contemporary film and political debates. The first and last blocks will be taught online; in light of the visual materials, there will also be an intensive weekend phase. Students should have a good command of English.

Course times:
Preliminary discussion: 3–5 pm on 14.10
Block seminars: 30.10 (10 am–6 pm), 20.11 (12–6 pm, VMP8 R020), 18.12 (10 am–6 pm)

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 01.10.2021. Registration opens on 01.09.2021 (first come, first served).

Current approaches and debates on gender research and intersectionality in the context of peacebuilding processes

with Dr. Rosario Figari Layús

This seminar is being offered in partnership with the Peace and Security Studies (MA) program offered by the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at Universität Hamburg (IFSH).

This seminar will deal with current approaches to and debates on gender studies and intersectionality in the context of conflict dynamics and peacebuilding processes. To this end, it will present the basic concepts of gender and intersectionality from a social science perspective within the context of peace and conflict research. The seminar will also look at the most important international legal instruments for combating gender-based violence and for the inclusion of women in decision-making in peacebuilding. The seminar offers an analysis of gender-based violence in times of conflict from an intersectional perspective as well as the handling of its consequences and explanatory models in post-conflict contexts. This will become apparent that certain forms of gender-based violence are strongly criticized and brought into the public eye, while others remain invisible, naturalized, and even legitimized by large parts of the population. Throughout the course, students will analyze specific case studies to illustrate the range, divide, and contradictions between the struggle, achievements, and successes of the women’s movement with regard to international norms on the one hand and the challenges of implementing them effectively in times of peace and war on the other. This raises a number of questions: What role do gender and intersectionality play in the perpetration of violence in armed conflicts? How are this violence and its victims represented in social stereotypes of women and men in armed conflicts? What are the roles and participatory approaches of or for women in peacebuilding contexts? Which gender perspectives do transitional justice mechanisms use to address the consequences of gender-based violence in the wake of dictatorships and armed conflicts? Do the instruments of transitional justice include sufficient intersectional perspectives in their search for truth, justice, and reparation?

Block seminars: 30.10. (10 am–6 pm), 20.11. (2–6 pm), 21.11. (2–6 pm)

Register for this course via the IFSH portal:
https://webpss.ifsh.de/register/346587344

Use your username and password to register online. You’ll then be redirected to the “Edit personal details” page after logging in where you can select courses.

Registration phase: 14 September–5 October 2021

Close-up of a modern building facade

Summer semester 2021

Resentment. Interdisciplinary social science research on anti-Semitism, racism, and authoritarian politics

with Florian Hessel

Florian Hessel is a Hamburg-based social scientist. His research, teaching, and publications focus on political psychology, the sociology of science, and critical social theory. He is a lecturer for social theory and social psychology, among others at Ruhr University Bochum, and also works as a freelance speaker and academic advisor in the fields of political education and anti-Semitism prevention. He is a founding member of Bagrut e. V., an association that strives to promote democratic consciousness.

For more information on his biography and publications, see:
www.sowi.rub.de/soztheo/team/hessel.html.de

This seminar will explore different forms of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-feminist violence in addition to other types of legitimized violence.

Resentment and prejudice are fundamental elements of modern, diverse, and heterogeneous societies and count among their most current and pressing issues: they legitimize rejection, discrimination, exclusion, and violence in word and deed. Driven in particular by the violence emanating from racism, anti-Semitism, and authoritarian politics, social scientists have been using a wide range of empirical and theoretical approaches to achieve a differentiated understanding of these phenomena since the first half of the twentieth century. Is resentment primarily social or psychological? Does it relate mainly to specific groups or group conflicts, or is it cognitively structured?

This seminar will draw on key approaches and studies from sociology and social psychology, history, psychoanalysis, and empirical social research to introduce the origins, development, and entanglement, (political) function and possible forms of racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-feminism in particular as well as scientific research into these and how they can be prevented through education.

Course reading (further literature will be recommended during the seminar):
Institute for Social Research (1956/1974). Vorurteil. In Soziologische Exkurse. Nach Vorträgen und Diskussionen (3rd ed., p. 151–161). Frankfurt am Main/Cologne: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.

Preliminary discussion (online): 15.04. (4 pm c.t.)

Course times: 28.05, 29.05, 18.06, 19.06; 12–6 pm on the Fridays and 11 am–6 pm on the Saturdays.

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 31.03.2021. The registration deadline is30.03.2021.

Intersectionality and diversity: anti-authoritarian concepts in the analysis of social inequalities

with Robel Afeworki Abay

Robel Afeworki Abay describes himself as an Afro-German and queer-feminist activist. He is currently completing a doctorate within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He previously studied sociology and political science at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and Cardiff University in Wales in addition to social work at the University of Kassel in Germany. For some years now, his academic and political activist work has focused on the critique of racism and authority; intersectionality and diversity research; postcolonial and decolonial perspectives; discrimination-sensitive educational work; participatory research as well as community, ableism, and disability studies.
Contact: robel.abay@hu-berlin.de, www.zfib.org/de/beteiligte

The hypothesis for this seminar is that a perspection based on intersectionality theory is particularly suitable to foster a fruitful discussion on how to deal with difference, inequality, and diversity in a society of dominance. The following topics will be addressed based on a critically reflective and anti-authoritarian thematization of differences and inequalities generated and institutionalized by discourse:

1. Diversity: The seminar critically questions the lack of recognition and appreciation of social diversity in a capitalistically organized society of dominance and the resulting barriers to the political, social, and economic participation and realization opportunities of black, indigenous and people of color (BIPoC), disabled, and queer communities.

2. Intersectionality: We’ll explore the many intersectional identities, affiliations, and realities of life as well as symbolic and political representations of marginalized groups. This theoretical examination of perspectives on society and institutions such as social work or schools will be taken as the basis for questioning what challenges the persisting heteronormative structures pose, especially for marginalized groups such as BIPoC with experiences of disability, who are construed as ‘migrant others’ as a result of racist attributions and as ‘disabled’ as a result of ableistically coded difference.

Course times: 1–5 pm on 08.04, 22.04, 13.05, 27.05, 10.06, 08.07, 15.07.

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 31.03.2021. The registration deadline is 30.03.2021.

Whiteness in focus. The power of white (women)

with Dagmar Weber

What role do white people play individually and structurally in our racially structured society? In what ways do white women struggle to be perceived as individuals? What are the characteristics of the privileged ‘typical Karen’ trope? How can situations in which different forms of discrimination combine be addressed from an intersectional perspective? How can solidarity in the struggle against oppression be shaped in an intersectional manner? These and other questions will be addressed.

This seminar aims to provide insights into the effects, privileges, and functions of whiteness. Whiteness and white privilege are increasingly being addressed in racism research, political education, and the debate on racist attitudes in society. The social and political discourse as well as the discussion on white feminism make clear that whiteness requires differentiating attention, especially from an intersectional feminist perspective.

In the seminar, we’ll change our perspective and focus not on racism and the construction of the so-called ‘other’, but rather on whiteness as a structure of perpetration and the white individual as (subconsciously) acting in a racist manner. We’ll also analyze the functions of control and domination engendered in whiteness. This focuses on whiteness as a racist and powerful structure. Furthermore, based on a postcolonial, intersectional perspective, we’ll discuss concrete case studies, current discourse, and thematic issues in which different forms of discrimination come together. In addition, questions regarding successful solidarity will be considered.

The aim of the seminar is to stimulate (self-)reflection and an interactive exchange in the context of feminist debates and to encourage a critical questioning of social power structures, privileges, and current debates as well as narratives in mainstream society.

Course times: 10 am–12 pm every Friday from 09.04.

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 31.03.2021. The registration deadline is 30.03.2021.

Deconstructive body practices in contemporary art

with Tonia Andresen and Marlene Mannsfeld

Art historian Tonia Andresen is writing her dissertation on global work in contemporary art. She’s currently a research associate within the ‘SVAC—Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict’ international research group at the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Culture. Her areas of expertise include contemporary artistic practices that address global inequalities and working conditions as well as gender and the associated attributions. In 2018, she teamed up with Marlene Mannsfeld to organize the ‘Inter_Sections: Mapping queer*feminist art practices’ event series for which an anthology has also since been published (2019). In 2019, she teamed up with Marlene Mannsfeld again to curate the ‘PAT PAT PAT finding comfort in materiality’ exhibition at the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) in Hamburg.

Marlene Mannsfeld is an art historian whose research focuses on contemporary art in connection with feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories. Within the scope of her master’s dissertation for her degree in art history at Universität Hamburg, she’s analyzing prostheses and bodily norms in contemporary art, drawing on disability studies in the process. She organizes art projects, including the Inter_Sections. Mapping queer*feminist art practices series and the PAT PAT PAT. finding comfort in materiality exhibition in collaboration with Tonia Andresen. She previously studied art history and Islamic studies in Kiel/Germany and Graz/Austria, and worked in marketing, public relations, and administration in tourism companies and the cultural sector.

The seminar will draw on different theories (queer theory, disability studies) to demonstrate that the body is a social/cultural phenomenon in which power structures materialize in specific ways. Disciplining associated with subjectification processes always takes place in and through the body. Suggestions will be made on how to break up these hegemonic power mechanisms and offer ways out of processes of exclusion. The artistic examples deal with how notions of normality and ways of standardizing the body can be aesthetically broken, appropriated in a resistant way and rendered productive. Drawing on works of art enables a discussion of the theories using concrete examples. What is the relationship between the text and the art scene being analyzed? To what extent does artistic production alter and/or expand theoretical approaches? Which bodily narratives are discussed and which perhaps remain invisible? [How] Can a body be imagined away from all attributions and ascriptions? The seminar spans an arc from feminist debates since the 1960s to queer, cyberfeminist, post-pornographic, and crip activist practices. The aim is to give course participants an overview of the debates and to present concrete approaches and subversive counter-strategies for discussion by supplementing them with artistic examples.

Conditions for participation: No prior knowledge required; willingness to complete a presentation and read literature that is in part also in English.

Course times: 2–4 pm every Thursday from 08.04.

Register for this event via ZGD’s events calendar:
https://zgd-hamburg.de/aktuelles/veranstaltungenskalender/

Find the according entry for 31.03.2021. The registration deadline is 30.03.2021.