A Conference of the Graduate Research Group
"Gender as a Category of Knowledge"
Thursday June 21st, 2007 - Saturday June 23rd, 2007
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Debates about 'parallel societies', the politics of integration and recognition, as well as the questioning of immigrants' 'democratic capabilities' not only reveal anxieties about being 'swamped' by foreigners. They also serve to stabilize and newly construct the unmarked 'Self'. With reference to the scholarship of Edward Said, who has analyzed concepts of an oriental 'Other' as constructions of colonial hegemony, it seems obvious why the aforementioned processes should be linked to his work on 'Orientalism'. In the face of current 'cultural wars' against Muslims and other persons living in European immigration societies who are being identified as 'foreign' or 'not belonging', one can even speak of 'Neo-Orientalism' which must be seen in relation with eurocentrism and ethnocentrism and in conjunction with what postcolonial theorists have also termed 'Occidentalism' (Fernando Coronil). The conference will take up the task of examining new constructions of the 'Occident' in the sense of a 'Critical Occidentalism'. These renewed expressions of 'Occidentality' can be most clearly observed in debates about a seemingly unbridgeable cultural 'difference' which is seen as manifesting itself first and foremost in the arena of gender and sexual politics (patriarchy, headscarf, forced marriage). Therefore, the conference will make a sustained attempt to contribute to a transfer of gender-critical postcolonial theory to German/European societal contexts. By focusing on three major thematic fields (Knowledge/Religious Belief, Criticizing Hegemony: Theories in Dialogue, and Critical Occidentalism) we hope to encourage discussions about strategies towards a decentralization of Occidentalism which aspires to be (self)-critical of hegemonic structures.
Confirmed keynote speakers
are Rey Chow, Fernando Coronil, Lisa Lampert-Weissig, Jasbir Puar and Yasemin Yildiz.
Conference languages are German and English.
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Dietze
Academic Support Team:
Prof. Dr. Edith Wenzel, Claudia Brunner, Elahe Haschemi Yekani, Daniela Hrzán, Jana Husmann-Kastein, Carsten Junker, Karolina Krasuska, Beatrice Michaelis, Simon Strick.
Organization and Administration:
Viola Beckmann, Desirée Zwanck, Dörthe Schulz
Graduiertenkolleg „Geschlecht als Wissenskategorie“
Sophienstr. 22a, 10178 Berlin
Website of the Graduate Research Group