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

Astrid Hackel

PhD Project:

Blinded Beauty: Performances of Blindness and Gender



Description of the project


Based on the correlation between the concepts of blindness, perception, and gender in cultural history and psychoanalysis, this thesis explores artistic investigations into blindness in contemporary literature, theater, and performances, with particular emphasis on practices that expose the audience to a comparable experience, e.g. performances in a so-called »black box.« The comprehension of blindness, drawn from exemplary analysis, challenges the conventional preference of visuality in the domains of visual performance arts, and engages the audience in an explicit sensual perception which is simultaneously linked to conventional (gender-specific) role models. In this context, touch and hearing become more important among the five traditional senses, demanding a revision of traditional concepts of reading and spectatorship, and of strategies for  intermodal reception.




Astrid Hackel studied German literature, theater studies and art history in Berlin and at Université Toulouse Le Mirail. 2013 research fellow in Research Training Group »Gender as a Category of Knowledge«.


Selected Publications


[erschöpft]. In: Glossar inflationärer Begriffe. Begleitbuch zur Ausstellung Die Irregulären – Ökonomien des Abweichens, hg. v. Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin 2013. S. 25–32.


Kalkulierte Kontrollverluste. Der Schwarzraum in Meg Stuarts Tanzperformance All together now. In: Transformationen. Grenzen und Entgrenzung in bildender Kunst, Film, Theater und Musik, hg. v. Ruth Reiche, Iris Romanos, Berenika Szymanski u.a., Bielefeld 2011. S. 33 – 46.