For the academic year of 2023/2024 the Cluster will put a thematic emphasis on Research Area E “Gender and Intersectionality”. Research Area E investigates dependencies associated with gender, sexuality, status, class, ethnicity, religion, age and other historical, anthropological, and representational aspects relevant to explaining differences among persons and human groups, both in past and present societies.
It examines how the dynamic and overlapping relationships between categorical markers of social difference and their associated normativities entangle themselves with broader social structures and in this way create, consolidate, strengthen, perpetuate or undermine social dependencies of collectives and individuals throughout history. Research Area E seizes the opportunity for repositioning that an intersectional perspective presents, in order to inscribe it within the theoretical framework of the BCDSS. This means examining both the disadvantaging and the privileging effects involved in all dimensions of social asymmetry, while taking a consciously critical standpoint in relation to, among others, sexism, classism, racialization, ageism, ableism, or heteronormativity, in order to elaborate on the long and arbitrary legacy of exclusions and on the potential of (so-called) marginalized social groups for social change. For Research Area E it is not only essential to integrate marginalized perspectives but also to demonstrate the necessity of understanding relations of power and asymmetry as constituted and co-constitutive factors in all forms of (strong) social dependency.
We invite applications from researchers with a theoretical and/or experiential background who approach the different social positioning of individuals and groups through reflecting on the ways in which such actors (historically) participate in the reproduction of asymmetrical relations of dependency and/or social exclusion. We welcome a range of individual as well as comparative perspectives, including that of the household, the community, the nation and/or the global. We are interested in project proposals which take into account and reflect upon intersectional aspects from theories and methodologies such as, but not exclusive to, the genealogical approach; social justice and anti-discrimination; critical race theory; structural and post-structuralist intersectionality; gender history and feminism.
The Heinz Heinen Kolleg is part of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) that hosts the Cluster of Excellence "Beyond Slavery and Freedom. Asymmetric Dependencies in Pre-modern Societies" funded by the German Excellence Strategy. The BCDSS approaches asymmetrical dependencies from antiquity to the present and across many regions in five different Research Areas. These form five different thematic and methodological angles. Each of these Research Areas draws on specific conceptual debates and approaches of the humanities and puts them to the test in order to arrive at a new social history of asymmetrical dependencies.