Following the Humboldt University Academic Senate’s January 28th, 2003 decision, the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies (Zentrum für interdisciplinäre Frauenforschung, ZiF) and the Magister program in gender studies were restructured into the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (Zentrum für transdisciplinäre Geschlechterstudien).
The original ZiF was founded at Humboldt University during the Wende, in December 1989, by women scholars who had been working to establish a feminist research center in Berlin since the late 1970s.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies (ZiF) was established within the Faculty of Culture and Art Studies during Humboldt University’s restructuring in the 1990s, thanks to the support of that faculty’s Review and Development Commission. Women’s and gender research became an institutionalized part of various other faculties and departments at HU as well.
It was within this framework that the gender studies Magister degree program was developed in the 1990s. When the program debuted in Winter Semester 1997/1998, it was the first gender studies Magister major offered in all of Germany. On top of that, the degree program was fully self-financed.
The Bologna Reforms of 2000, especially the introduction of the bachelor’s and master’s degree system, presented new challenges to the entire university and required a restructuring of the HU gender studies program. In our restructuring we sought to ease transdisciplinary work, secure stable access to funding for research and staff, and solidify gender studies’ status as an independent academic institution. And so, in cooperation with the university administration, the unique transdisciplinary structure of today’s ZtG was developed.
Women’s and gender studies at HU has long searched for a “room of its own” on campus. Originally located in HU’s main academic building, Hauptgebäude, the ZiF relocated in 1992 to Mittelstraße 7/8. In 1994, we moved once again into Sophienstraße 22a, with annexes in Ziegelstraße 13 and Monbijoustraße 3. At the end of Winter Semester 2007/2008, the ZtG—along with all of the supporting offices and institutions it had developed over the years, such as the Gender Library, PC-Pool, student organizations, and graduate research program office—moved to Hausvogteiplatz 7-8. Shortly thereafter, the whole Center was moved until December 2011 to Axel-Springer-Straße 54b. Today, after that long journey, the ZtG has finally settled into its permanent home in the Humboldt University building at Georgenstraße 47.
History in Pictures
You can find not only books and documents about the history of the ZiF and ZtG at Humboldt University, but also a wealth of photograph collections and films (see also german page):
- Images from the October 25-27, 2007 conference "Impuls - Innovation - Intervention Gender Studies im Visier"
- The 2007 movie, "Forever und immer wieder neu. 10 Jahre Gender Studies”
- The July 4, 2009 symposium „City Girls – Dämonen, Vamps & Bubiköpfe in den 20er Jahren“
- The December 4-5, 2009 conference, "Traveling Gender Studies"