Conference: Race, Class, Gender as categories of difference and inequality: Which perspectives arise from the concept of ‚intersectionality‘ for human and cultural sciences? 10.-12.09.2009, Paris

Ciera – Centre interdisciplinaire d’études et de recherches sur l’Allemagne (Web), Paris Deutsch-Französische Hochschule/Université franco-allemande, Saarbrücken (Web); Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris (Web); Konzeption und Organisation: Vera Kallenberg, Jennifer Meyer, Johanna M. Mueller

Les hommes naissent et demeurent libres et égaux en droits. (Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen 1789)

«In der That unterscheiden sich die Frauen in gewissen Grundzügen ihres Charakters, gerade wie die Männer, je nach ihrer Lebenslage, ihrer Klasse und ihrer Erziehung.» (Hedwig Dohm, Der Frauen Natur und Recht 1876)

„Ni putes, ni soumises.“ (Motto der «Marche des femmes des quartiers pour l’égalité et contre les ghettos» im Jahr 2003, die die Situation der Frauen in den französischen Banlieues anprangerte; Name des nach der Demonstration gegründeten Vereins)

Zeit : 10.-12.09.2009
Ort : Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris
Register until: 06.09.2009
The recent paradigm of ‚intersectionality‘ reissues struggles about ‚identity,‘ ’subjectivity,‘ and ‚experience‘ as well as about ‚agency,‘ and structures of social inequalities that pervade theoretical and methodological discussions in the sciences humaines et socials and beyond. The metaphor ‚intersectionality‘ anticipates a multi-dimensional perspective. It aims at analysing as capacious as possible the positioning of subjects/persons and their courses of action in historical contexts, i.e. within a heterogeneous, but by no means arbitrary field of discourses, institutions and social practices.
Due to their multi-perspectivity, intersectional approaches have to be seen as parts of a current shift of emphasis within cultural sciences and the humanities which is significantly related to ongoing reflections on processes of globalization and the „spatial turn“. This scientific orientation can be characterized by its attempt to explore multiple forms of crossings, blurrings, and transgressings of ‚borders‘ and ’spaces,‘ as prevalent concepts like ‚transculturality‘ and ‚transnationality‘ demonstrate. In this sense intersectionality studies share certain similarities with the „histoire croisée“ inititated as a heuristic device by Bénedicte Zimmerman and Michael Werner. According to the „histoire croisée,“ no object in history exists as an isolated entity, or independent of interrelations with other phenomena. Thereby we deal with a processual activity which constantly produces new interrelations between already interrelated objects. What need to be distinguished in this heuristic perspective are, on the one hand, the interrelations of different perspectives that guide the views on the interrelated objects, and, on the other hand, the interrelations of analytic practices performed by researchers. While the „histoire croisée“ focuses on diachronic ’space-time‘-structures, intersectional approaches seem to emphasize synchronous relations of social and geographical ‚locations‘. In this constellation, the organizers see the need for clarification especially in two regards. First, concerning the question of the historicity of „axes of inequality“ (Klinger, Knapp) and, second, concerning the use of intersectionality as a methodology within the heterogeneous fields of transnational cultures of knowledge.
Following up previous discussions, our conference gives young academics the opportunity to discuss analytical and methodological questions that have emerged from their own research and that are situated in the humanities as well as in the historical and social sciences. While the main focus will be on historical analyses, social practices related to the production of knowledge and representation are considered as well. The presentations encompass both micro- and macro-levels of society.
You are cordially invited to participate in the seminar. Please register until the 6th of September via email: Conference languages will be German, French and English.
Link to the Program
Vera Kallenberg
MPIeR, Hausener Weg 120, 60489 Frankfurt am Main

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