Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

The Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG):

  • Coordinates research and teaching related to the field of Gender Studies across all departments at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin,
  • Fosters a robust investigation of gender by bringing together methodologies and theories from a range of disciplines, 
  • Offers an independent Master’s program, as well as a minor and a concentration for Bachelor’s students,
  • Serves as a liaison between academic, public, and private sectors in addressing gender questions, 
  • Provides a meeting point for teachers, researchers, and students from across the globe,
  • Cooperates with gender research centers in Germany, Europe, and the United States.

The Center brings together everything necessary for a scholarly investigation of gender relations: various academic disciplines, diverse agents of knowledge and knowledge production, and a multifaceted perspective on the examination of the gender category that draws upon all theoretical and practical fields.

  • At the ZtG students, teachers, and researchers alike seek to deepen their understanding of gender by: thinking, learning, teaching, reading, writing, filming, talking, experiencing, experimenting, discussing, presenting. Researchers working with gender in over seventeen academic subjects come together at the ZtG. We promote a transdisciplinary setting that advances a truly innovative approach to gender research.
  • The ZtG offers students, scholars, and the public at large a place for intellectual exchange, inquiry, and critical reflection on gender. We support research and information inquiries through a structure that fosters interdisciplinary work.
  • At our colloquia, round table discussions, and public events, we discuss how to implement our enriched understanding of gender within and beyond academia.

All of this is possible thanks to the unique transdisciplinary structure that has developed over the years at the ZtG.

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What is Gender Studies at Humboldt University?

Gender is one of the central interdependent categories that structures (among other things) perception, identities and judgments.

  • Gender Studies investigate the significance, production, constitution, negotiation, and relevance of gender and gender relations, the ways in which they work, and their transformation. This comprehensive and complex claim can only be put into practice by means of an interplay between various disciplines and points of access. In this way, the relevance and variability of gender is fully encompassed in terms of content, epistemology, and methodology.
  • This double movement – the simultaneous linking of various academic disciplines and critical reflection upon those very disciplines – is achieved at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU) using a transdisciplinary approach. Transdisciplinarity signifies a critical and theoretical reflection on the disciplines, combined with an interest in gender across the disciplines.
  • Gender is understood as an interdependent category and thus always investigated in its complex interplay with other categories such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, (dis-)ability, faith and beliefs. Thereby further perspectives, questions, and fields of knowledge are continuously analyzed.
  • Gender Studies thematize the significance of gender in various contexts: culture (i.e. in the media, in art and literature), the state, the economy and society, in religion and law, in medicine, technology, and the sciences. Moreover, the field of Gender Studies at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin also includes Queer Studies, Critical Race Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and other critical approaches in a variety disciplines. In addition to subjects of political debate, this research touches on the foundations of our culture. It inspects religious interpretations as well as contemporary cultural phenomena, legal decisions, and global social and economic trends.
  • Today, Gender Studies is a differentiated field of research, not only generating new knowledge, but also feeding back into the disciplines and traditional subjects of study. Gender is understood to be a category of identity as well as a category of analysis in dealing with various forms of knowledge production. Knowledge is inseparably linked with gender. Our psyches and our bodies, religion and politics, technology and the environment, states and corporations are all heavily influenced by gender – and themselves create notions of gender.
  • The production of knowledge has long been regarded as gender neutral. Research presenting itself as general, objective, and genderless has been, in its various understandings of gender, an important subject of inquiry in Gender Studies. As a result, many disciplines now integrate this knowledge into their research and teaching.
  • Gender Studies teaches students to critically reflect on knowledge formation, to ask new questions, and open up complex contexts. Students of Gender Studies, just like the researchers teaching the subject, are therefore not confined to theory. They also put their questions and their knowledge into practice, considering problems ranging from developing new categories for personal identification documents, to much larger questions of federal policy.