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Diversity@Uni Bremen: chancengerecht exzellent?! 2018/2019

Modes of Being vs. Categories – Queering the Tools of Intersectionality

26.06.2019, 5 pm - 6:30 pm (University of Bremen, MZH 6210)

In the last decades feminism has continuously struggled with the deconstruction of its presumed precondition for political action, namely the supposedly coherent subject position ‘woman.’ Drawing on the work of queer theorist José Muñoz, ‘modes of being’ will be presented as an alternative to categories in intersectional framings of identity. The talk will present pros and cons of employing terms such as subject/subjectivity, identity, and difference in political discourse. To do so I will revisit the paradigm of intersectionality, which initially promised to be a critical tool with which to tackle power and privileged positions as well as the misguided idea that oppression could be safely targeted via one category of marginalization only. But following the implementation of intersectionality as the main methodological tool for acknowledging and analyzing different regimes of marginalization in gender studies, the approach has been increasingly criticized for recreating binaries. Accordingly, I want to map a terrain in which situatedness, identities, differences, and positionalities are not considered to be the only possible precondition for political agency. Such a queer focus on ‘modes of being’ could help describe forms of resistance that are based less on an identitarian logic and more on notions of political commonality.


Elahe Haschemi Yekani is Professor of English and American Literature and Culture with a Focus on Postcolonial Studies at the Department of English and American Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Previously she was Junior Professor of English Literature at the University of Flensburg and a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz. 

She is about to finish her second book Familial Feeling, in which she traces an entangled literary history of canonical bourgeois novels of the late 18th and 19th century with the earliest written testimonies of Black British writers. Her research interests are Postcolonial and Gender/Masculinity Studies as well as Queer Theory and Intersectionality. Publications include: The Privilege of Crisis. Narratives ofMasculinities in Colonial and Postcolonial Literature,Photography and Film (Campus 2011); together with Beatrice Michaelis and Gabriele Dietze (Ed.). Special Issue of Feministische Studien: The Queerness of Things Not Queer: Entgrenzungen, Materialitäten, Interventionen (2/2012); together with Eveline Kilian and Beatrice Michaelis (Ed.). Queer Futures: Reconsidering Ethics, Activism, and the Political (Routledge, 2013; paperback 2017).


Public closing event of the series Queering University

Friday, 28.06.2019 at 12:00 - 1:20 pm in the foyer of the MZH (University of Bremen)

Among others there will be:

► Queer Community of the University of Bremen

►Dr. Margrit Kaufmann, Scientific Expert on Diversity

► Caro Schulte and Annette Mattfeldt, RAT&TAT Centre Bremen

There will be an opportunity for informal exchange over a meal.

All those interested are cordially invited!

The event series:


The series of events Diversity@Uni Bremen started in autumn will be continued in the summer semester 2019. Everything will continue to revolve around the topic “Queering University” – gender and sexual diversity at the University of Bremen. In the following, you can find further information about the program.

Gender and sexual diversity are dimensions of diversity that have so far received little attention at universities. This is despite the fact that social discourse and legislation are gradually opening up to gender diversity. Does everyone at university have equal rights and opportunities in this respect? What specific forms of violence and discrimination are concealed behind the lack of discourse on this subject? Are teachers and employees sensitive to gender identities and gender assignments? And what about the representation of gender/queer studies in teaching and research?
With Queering University we would like to present different levels of the university field “que(e)r lesen” as part of the series of events: structural factors, dealing with self-definitions and attributions, forms of representation, and interactions in research, administration, counselling, teaching, and study.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at diversityprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de.