Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

Humboldt-Princeton Strategic Partnership Grant Symposium

Gender, Sexuality, Queer and Trans Studies Write Back

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, June 15-16, 2017

Unter den Linden 6, R. 2249a

Zentrum für transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien (ZtG) /
Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies
at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
and Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) at Princeton University


The Empire Writes Back (Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin 1989, 2002) was the first published collection of texts dealing with postcolonialism. The post- and neocolonial condition had provoked a radical critique of the Global North’s notions of literature (the title references Salman Rushdie’s 1982 The Empire Writes back with a Vengeance). Today, global economic, sovereign and epistemic violence show that many aspirations of a century of revolutions have not yet been achieved, which in turn has continued to engender new forms of resistance. However, in the face of new populist appropriations of activism, an analysis of politics and revision of concepts of resistance are now urgently needed. This is particularly the case in relation to gender and sexuality since the gender order is the realm in which inclusions or exclusions, and claims to power tend to be strongly demarcated especially in times of transition. Gender must, however, be thought in terms of its intersection with constructions of Race, Class, Nation, Ability, and Religion.


It is precisely these questions that the researchers of the Humboldt-Princeton Strategic Partnership Grant Symposium will interrogate: How concepts of resistance and representation are shifting towards questions of subject formation and agency in connection with materiality, performativity, performance, becoming and futurity in today’s world. Furthermore, the symposium explores where and how post/decolonial, post-secularist and queer approaches inform each other. Which traces of the gendered racialization of the U.S. and Europe’s colonial endeavors need to be highlighted and what are their legacies for our present? How can we understand resistance, subversion, and the social imaginary if they have to be appreciated in their diversity of different forms of materialized life experience?  What adequate answers do Gender, Sexuality, Queer and Trans Studies provide against economic and epistemic violence and towards a radical democracy today?


Program (pdf)

Flyer (pdf)

Abstracts (pdf)

Due to limited room capacities the registration has closed.




Thursday June 15, 2017


11:00 am                              Welcome and Introduction

                                      Claudia Schmidt-Memmler (International Strategy Office, HU)
                                      Ulrike Auga, Gabriele Jähnert, Yumin Li (ZtG)


11:15 am                              Opening Lecture


Ulrike Auga (Wien/ZtG)

Michel Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh and the Performative and Material Body in the Documentary Fake Orgasm


Dara Strolovitch (Princeton University)
When Bad Things Happen to Privileged People: Race, Gender, and the Political Construction of Crisis and Non-Crisis

         Chair: Sophia Ermert


 1:00 pm                               Lunch Break


 2:30 pm                               Panel 1: Intersexuality and Trans

Catherine Clune-Taylor (Princeton University)
Intersexuality and Gender Dysphoria as Disorders of Cisgender Function: An Exercise in Critical Feminist Disability Studies

Ulrike Klöppel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Biopolitics and Counter-Biopolitics of Gender Change in the German Democratic Republic

Gayle Salamon (Princeton University)
Private Places and Fantasy Spaces: On ‘Bathroom Bills’ and State-Sponsored Detransitioning

Chair: Eveline Kilian


 4:00 pm                               Coffee Break


 5:00 pm                               Panel 2: Cultures of Sexuality


Regina Kunzel (Princeton University)

The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability


Andreas Kraß (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin),

Benedikt Wolf, Hannes Hacke and Janin Afken (Research Center for Cultural History of Sexuality, Recent German Literature and Queer Studies)

Short Talk: Cultures of Sexuality – Presentation of the Research Center for the Cultural History of Sexuality


Beate Binder (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Disentangeling HIV/AIDS policies: Research projects on the AIDS-Crisis and Political Mobilization


Christine Wimbauer, Almut Peukert and Mona Motakef (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Ambivalent Recognition Order. Doing reproduction and doing family beyond the heterosexual nuclear family


         Chair: Katharina Mangold


 7:30 pm                              Dinner


Friday June 16, 2017


10:00 am                              Panel 3: The Afterlife of Slavery and African American


Tala Khanmalek (Princeton University)

Legal Binds: Reexamining the 1871 Free Womb Law Alongside Gayl Jones' Corregidora


Elahe Haschemi Yekani (University of Flensburg/ZtG)

Queer Ethics of Reading: The Archive of Slavery between Affect and Surface


Wallace Best (Princeton University)

Looking for Langston: Themes of Sexuality and Subversion in the Life and Work of Langston Hughes


Chair: Gabriele Dietze


12:00 am                              Lunch Break


 1:30 pm                               Panel 4: Gender on Stage and Screen


Brian Herrera (Princeton University)

Was Virginia Calhoun’s Problem Misogyny or Madness?: A Methodological Rumination


Yumin Li (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Shape Shifters: Cross-dressing and sexual deviance in Piccadilly (1929)


Chair: Sofia Varino


 3:00 pm                               Coffee Break


 6:00 pm                               Guided Tour at Schwules Museum*


  7:00 pm                              Reception at Schwules Museum*




Ulrike Auga, ulrike.auga [at]
Yumin Li, [at]
Gabriele Jähnert, gabi.jaehnert [at]