Cornelia Goethe Centrum

GRADE Gender Program – Winter 2019/20

You can find the GRADE Training Program for the Winter Semester 2019/2020 here. The current brochure of GRADE is also available as a direct download.

Registrations for the individual events via mail to

Center-Specific Workshops and Lectures


Saturday, 12.10.2019 Josef Barla (Goethe University Frankfurt), Pat Treusch (TU Berlin) and Christoph Hubatschke (University of Vienna)

Diffracting AI and Robotics: Decolonial and Feminist Perspectives

In December 2018, the EU Commission published a draft report entitled Ethics guidelines for a trustworthy AI with the aim to address a technology that according to the commission will thoroughly “alter the fabric of society” in the near future. In a striking way, at the very moment intelligent machines are supposed to become a reality, the question what it means to be human and what sociality entails seems to become the focal point in the call for a “human centered” robotics and AI. While recent research more and more demonstrates that robots, algorithms, and AI often perpetuate gender and racial biases along with social power relations (see, for example, Atanasoski/Vora 2019 and Noble 2018), the question arises how social power relations, bias, and interests built into ‘intelligent’ machines and programmed into AI—both intentionally and unconsciously—could be identified and deprogrammed, in order to get to more just and inclusive futures.

This workshops shall spark a dialog between early carrier scholars from different disciplines critically exploring questions of de/coloniality, social justice, response-ability, dis/ability, and techno-biopower, to name but a few, as well as potential challenges for decolonializing, feminist, queer, crip, and other critical scholars in engaging with ‘intelligent’ machines, code, and algorithms.

We welcome contributions from early career scholars (predocs and postdocs) of all academic fields. In order to register for the workshop, please send a short statement of interest and a description of your research project or the questions you would like to discuss, if you are currently not working on a specific research project, (max. 500 words) to by 15 August 2019. Notifications will be sent out by the end of August.

The workshop is part of the symposium “Diffracting AI and Robotics” taking place at Goethe University on 11 October 2019. The keynote address will be given by Mitali Thakor, Science in Society Program, Wesleyan University.

The symposium and the workshop are jointly organized by Josef Barla (Goethe University Frankfurt), Pat Treusch (TU Berlin), and Christoph Hubatschke (University of Vienna). For more information, please contact Josef Barla (

Language: English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Saturday, 22.10.2019, 10 am – 2 pm
Location: Campus Westend.

Friday, November 22, 2019 Claire Colebrook (Penn State University)

How (not) to think in/corporeal feminisms and environmental post/humanisms

What are we talking about when we talk about matter, sexual difference, the body and in/corporeality in feminist theory? What role does environmentalism play for posthumanisms and the environment for the post/human? In what ways do and don’t posthumanisms and new materialisms tie in with trajectories of feminist theory? We seek to explore these and further related questions through engaging with the work of Claire Colebrook.

Colebrook makes an instructive contribution to feminist (new) materialisms by developing a genealogy that does not build on a critique of representationalist accounts of materiality. Instead, she discusses the early writings of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz and Luce Irigaray. Colebrook highlights that it is already in their theories of ‘sexual difference’ that they theorize matter and representation non-dualistically. While affirming the new materialist critique of phenomenology and poststructuralism, for Colebrook, the main issue with the de-corporealization of the body and matter is not a textualist, linguistic, postmodern and constructivist tradition of feminism. She rather develops a concept of matter as a positive, in/corporeal event that is neither ‘the other’ of representation, nor a negated origin.

In her more recent work, Colebrook develops a critical account of posthumanisms in the Anthropocene. She argues that the biopolitical management of life posthumanist theories criticize and the ecological redemption they advocate are two sides of the same coin. Colebrook argues that insofar as finding the culprit for ecological threats and extinction – be it the Anthropos or Capitalism – entails the promise of a better humanity; the human becomes destroyer and preserver at once. According to her, posthumanisms promise to extinguish (the humanist idea of) Man through a turn to an ecological notion of life that reconciles the human with his environment. However, projections of survival based on this understanding are always anthropomorphic modes of existence that (re)enact (the humanist notion of) the human.

These two strains of theory in Colebrook’s work will be explored by engaging with key texts that present and discuss the respective arguments during two sessions of a one-day-workshop. Our discussions will be guided by the participants’ particular interests in Colebrook’s thinking, as it becomes relevant in their own research. The workshop is rounded off with a concluding reflection that traces the intriguing manner of thinking that runs through Colebrook’s engagement with both thematical complexes.

Participation is possible either actively or passively. Active participants will have the opportunity to discuss aspects of their own work with Claire Colebrook and the group. For active participation, please send an abstract of your research project that will be provided to all participants in advance. For active and passive participation both, please send a short statement of interest (max. 400 words in total). Please submit your abstract and/or statement of interest by September 15, 2019.


Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University (Pennsylvania, USA). She wrote numerous articles and books on the philosophy of feminist new materialisms and Gilles Deleuze, sexual difference, feminist ethics and representation as well as more recently on extinction, time and futures. Currently, she is completing a book on the fragility of the species, the archive, and the earth.

Franziska von Verschuer | Anastassija Kostan | Josef Barla

Language: English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Friday, November 22, 2019, 1 – 6 pm
Location: Campus Westend

Friday, December 6, 2019  Imke Lode (ProSciencia, Lübeck)

Poster Design and Presentation

The contents of the workshop are input units as well as various application-oriented individual and group exercises on the following topics:

  • General aspects regarding purpose, audience, story of your poster
  • Poster content; planning your poster
  • Poster layout and text; poster illustrations
  • Oral presentation skills of your poster, e. g. body language, use of your voice
  • Question & Answer session; “what if …” and other challenges
  • Gender specific and diversity-sensitive aspects of posters and their presentation.

The workshop is characterized by the fact that theoretical input is interlocked with practice and applied immediately. Participants should either bring a poster with them, digitally on their laptop, so that they can continue working on the poster directly, or print images and texts for a poster, which they can integrate into a layout.

The aim of the workshop is for the participants to improve an existing poster in the course of the workshop or to develop first steps and elements for the layout of a new poster. The workshop documents, which are made available to the participants as pdf files, ensure that they can continue to use what they have learned as a resource for further posters in the future.


Registration until November 22 to

Language: English/German
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Friday,  December 6, 2019, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
Location: Campus Westend, Seminarhouse, Room 5.108

Thursday, 16.01.2019 Jack Halberstam (Columbia University)


Wildness is a great category with which to think. It references all at once the opposite of civilization; the idea of unsorted relations to knowledge and being; nature after nature; queerness after and before nature, and life as an encounter with both the bio-political forces of being and the necro-political forces of unbecoming. We will start by locating wildness as a disorderly and disordering discursive frame and then move to the topics of decolonial bewilderment, race and sexuality, anarchy and destitution, animal politics.


  • Chisholm, Dianne (2010): Biophilia, Creative Involution, and the Ecological Future of Queer Desire. In: Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands & Erickson, Bruce (eds.): Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire. 359-382.
  • Halberstam, Jack (2019 upcoming): Becoming Feral: Sex, Death and Falconry. In: Halberstam, Jack: Wild Things: Sexuality After Nature. Chapter 3.
  • Hartmann, Saidiya (2018): The Anarchy of Colored Girls. Assembled in a Riotous Manner. In: The South Atlantic Quarterly, 117:3. 465-490.
  • Sandilands, Catriona (2001): From Unnatural Passions to Queer Nature. In: Alternatives Journal, 27:3. 30-35.


Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of six books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, most recently, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).  Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book titled WILD THING: QUEER THEORY AFTER NATURE on queer anarchy, performance and protest culture the intersections between animality, the human and the environment.

In addition to an input lecture by Jack Halberstam and a discussion of the texts, you will also have the opportunity to discuss your own theses and dissertations as well as current research projects in related areas during the workshop. For this purpose, please send us a current abstract of your work until the registration deadline.

Registrations until 05.01.2020 to

Language: English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Thursday, 16.01.2020
Location: Campus Westend, Seminarhouse, Room 3.105.

Fireside Chats

In our fireside chats we invite academics and public figures to speak about their biography, their motivations and academic practices in an informal setting. These meetings also provide the space for networking among the participants.

Monday, 11.11.2019 Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and honors, among them multiple doctor honoris causa, the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize in the Social Sciences, election to the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands, and made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.

Saskia Sassen will hold the celebratory lecture of the commemoration event ‘100 Years of Sociology at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main’  on the following Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Language: English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Montag, 11.11.2019.
Location: Campus Westend.

Other Events

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Helma Lutz & Marianne Schmidbaur (Goethe University)

GRADE Gender Semester Closing Ceremony with Poster Presentation.

Languages: German & English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Location: Campus Westend, PEG 1G191.


Cornelia Goethe Colloquien | Cornelia Goethe Lectures

Titel: GENDER UNDER PRESSURE. Gender Politics in Europe.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Veronika Magyar-Haas – Zur Vulnerabilität des Selbst im Transformationsprozess
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Chris Quinan – Theorizing Gender at the Border: Biometric Technologies
and Trans and Non-Binary Subjectivities
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Lann Hornscheidt – Exit Gender
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Joris A. Gregor – Wenn der rote Faden Knoten schlägt.
Queering Biographicity als method(olog)ische Antwort
auf die spätmoderne ‚Komplexitätsoxidation‘
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Tamás Jules Fütty – Wenn der rote Faden Knoten schlägt.
Transformationen biopolitischer Grenzen: am Beispiel
intersektionaler Lebens- und Todespraktiken zu Trans*
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Jack Halberstam – Exit Routes: On Dereliction and Destitution
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Yv Nay – Zugehörigkeit(en) im Trans*-Aktivismus
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, February 05, 2020, 6 pm – 8 pm.
Panel Discussion
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Organizer: Cornelia Goethe Centrum für Frauenstudien und die Erforschung der Geschlechterverhältnisse (CGC)

Conception: Bettina Kleinert, Marianne Schmidbaur, Franziska Vaessen, Tina Breidenich
Coordination: Lucas Schucht


*M Elementary Courses for well-advanced Masters students
E Elementary Courses for Doctoral Candidates in 1st and 2nd Year
A Courses for Advanced Doctoral Candidates
P Courses for Postdocs
NL Natural and Life Sciences
HS Humanities and Social Sciences

Organizational Information

Main Languages: German and English
Contact: Dr. Marianne Schmidbaur | Cornelia Goethe Center