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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Gender as a Category of Knowledge

The Research Training Group

The DFG Research Training Group »Gender as a Category of Knowledge« at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has promoted a variety of innovative research projects and greatly enriched the debates of gender research since its inception in January 2005. When extending the group’s funding, the DFG commended on the Research Training Group’s excellent job and made the group as a high funding priority, therefore increasing its funding starting in 2009.

With the end of this second funding period at the close of 2013, the group itself will be dissolved. This brochure presents the participating scholarship holders and supervisors with an impression of the range of the transdisciplinary research done as a part of the Research Training Group.

The Berlin Research Training Group was enormously productive, with a total of 85 funded doctoral students (including 24 associate fellows), 31 completed doctorates, 13 anthologies, 15 lecture series, and 19 national and international conferences, symposia, and workshops. This has in the past decade helped us to think conceptions of gender afresh: many individual disciplines were encouraged to critically review their methods and categories, as well as encouraged to work more transdisciplinarily. Gender research itself also directly benefited from these reflections, coming to more complex interpretations and more in-depth theorizing of gender and gender relations.

Particularly sustainable methodological impulses were the theoretical developments taken from and developed based on French and Anglo-American contexts: deconstructivist gender theories (such those by Judith Butler) have replaced essentialist feminisms, postcolonial perspectives allow for greater awareness of ethnocentrism, and different approaches from within queer theories promoted a norm-critical (research) practice.