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

Dr. Jennifer John

PhD Project:

White Cubes | Gendered Cubes: Inscriptions of Gender in the Discursive Practices of Art Museums –
An Analysis Using the Example of the Hamburger Kunsthalle

 

Description of the Project

Traditionally, art museums are represented as contextless spaces of knowledge transfer, regularly conceptualized by art-historical research as neutral places. But they should not be understood as »white cubes,« as Brian O’Doherty described this purportedly objective presentation, but rather as instruments of knowledge production. On the basis of an analysis of the structuring effect of gendered categories in the discursive production of meaning, the study shows how museums construct and disseminate knowledge about art and art history. Following the practice of cultural analysis, the study concentrates on the development of the exhibition and collection activities of the Hamburger Kunsthalle from 1960 to 2010 and argues that art museums have to be understood as »gendered cubes,« although the negotiation of gender issues in the museum changes during this period. The continuous legitimation of the art museum as an objective institution works to effectively maintain the traditional-symbolic gender order.

                                        

Particulars

 

Jennifer John, studied art history, cultural management, and cultural & gender studies in Berlin, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Zürich. 2005-2006 scholarship holder at the Graduiertenkolleg „Geschlecht als Wissenskategorie“ at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. 2010 Promotion at the Carl von Ossietzy Universität Oldenburg. 2003-2005 and 2006-2011  scientific assistant at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. Since 2011 director of an adult education center in Wiesbaden.

   

Selected Publications

 

White Cubes – Gendered Cubes. Einschreibungen von Geschlecht in die diskursiven Praktiken von Kunstmuseen. Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel der Hamburger Kunsthalle. Universität Oldenburg 2010. (http://oops.uni-oldenburg.de/1427/).

zus. m. Sigrid Adorf (Hg.): Das Private bleibt Politisch ! Symptomatische Subjektentwürfe der Gegenwart. FKW // Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur 49 (2010).

zus. m. Sigrid Schade (Hg.): Grenzgänge zwischen den Künsten. Interventionen in Gattungshierarchien und Geschlechterkonstruktionen, Bielefeld 2008.

zus. m. Kornelia Imesch, Sigrid Schade, Daniela Mondini (Hg.): Inscriptions/Transgressions. Kunstgeschichte und Gender Studies, Bern 2008.

   

Contact

jennifer@john-ette.de