Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Zentrum für Transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien

Generational Transmission

Generational Transmission Network
“Generational Transmission and Academic Culture Building in European Gender Studies in the 21st Century”
– supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Stockholm) –


The Generational Transmission Network strives to further develop an academic culture in the interdisciplinary field of European Gender Studies.

Dr. Kerstin Alnebratt (University of Gothenburg), Angeliki Alvanoudi (University of Thessaloniki), Dr. Sabine Grenz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Dr. Clare Hemmings, (London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE) Mia Liinason (University of Lund), Maria do Mar Pereira (London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE), Dr. Iris van der Tuin, (Utrecht University).

Dr. Sabine Grenz (Humboldt-Universität).

As an interdisciplinary subject of study and research, gender studies has been institutionalized in different ways in the context of European higher education during the last 30 years. However, only in some countries (such as Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) is gender studies organized autonomously in academe — with chairs, teaching positions and PhD programs solely denominated to gender studies. In other countries, (such as Germany), gender studies has been organized transdisciplinarily, meaning that chairs in the field are mostly located within other disciplines such as literature, musicology, philosophy, the natural sciences, or history. As a result, gender studies in Germany has not become a subject in its own right. Still, regardless of the different forms of its institutionalization – or precisely because of the great organisational variety – gender studies is often characterized by its multi-, inter-, or transdisciplinary focus. In effect, gender studies research is wide in scope, covering a variety of fields within and across the humanities, the social and the natural sciences.

Within this context, we — a group of younger senior and junior gender studies scholars coming from the humanities, as well as the social sciences, and working in academia in different European national contexts — aim to strengthen the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, a field that is influenced by many disciplines but still needs a more secured platform in the academy to further develop multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary gender theories on issues such as the gendered aspects of knowledge and its production, ethics, racism, sexism, gender identity, and sexuality. Within the network we will investigate the politics surrounding the field of gender studies and the transfer of knowledge, as well as the emergence of new knowledge within it.

Important questions for the activities in the network are:
    •    How is new knowledge in gender studies produced?
    •    How can the knowledge and managerial practices of the retiring generation of gender studies scholars be successfully transferred to a younger generation of gender studies scholars?
    •    What does multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinarity mean in an institutionalized setting?
    •    How can gender studies become more “European”? In other words, how can we enhance communication among European scholars, despite the fact that we all speak different languages and that for most of us, English is a second or third language?
    •    How can we develop reference points beyond the well-known, strong US-American influence that is integrated in gender studies undergraduate, graduate, and research-training programs around Europe?
    •    What does the strong influence from the US-American academic context mean for the development of theory and teaching canons in gender studies?
    •    How can “the” history of the field be told in different national contexts?
    •    How can we develop new forms of institutionalization, as well as co-operation between universities, as we work to meet the challenges presented by the Bologna process?

The activities of the network include regular meetings to which researchers from outside may be invited, regular conference presentations and collaborative writings.