• Cult-I. An Introduction into intersectional Women and Gender Studies

    (Katharina Wiedlack, University of Vienna)

    This Seminar is available to all students. No background required. Recommended for students interested in women’s and gender studies, sexuality studies and feminism.  

    What does it mean to understand our bodies and identities as structured through the categories sex, gender, race, class, dis/ability and sexuality? How can a consideration of these categories in their intersection help us to understand our social, physical, and intellectual lives? What does it mean to embody a female, male, trans*gendered, heterosexual, homosexual identity? How do our gendered, sexed, racialized, classed and sexualized representations structure our access to wealth, rights, resources, and power? This seminar introduces some key concepts in women and gender studies. We will learn concepts like gender performativity, female masculinity, drag, deconstruction, etc. Reading about and using these concepts we will work through questions on sex, gender, and sexuality in all their full complexity. The provided literature will give a brief overview of different schools of thought, including black feminist, post- and decolonial, deconstructivist, queer and other perspectives. Of special interest will be gender studies approaches in and on popular culture. Through our interdisciplinary approach, we will engage with works from the field of different social sciences, cultural studies, literature studies, disability studies, postcolonial studies etc.  Our study-method will be close reading of different short academic texts, watching and discussing movies, performances, songs and works of fiction. The emphasis will lie on the participation in the discussions, and the presentation of short thematically focused talks. With their individual presentations the students will be able to discuss their favorite or most important question on the topic, introduce their colleagues to their favorite feminist movie, song, performance, art piece etc. or their favorite scholar/scholarly work, method or approach.

    As an option to written assignments, students may have an option of producing a short video or film based on discussions or read texts. Although no special training in film/videomaking is expected or needed, some proficiency with video technology is beneficent for students. Short practice-oriented video-workshop could be offered optionally.