Cornelia Goethe Centrum


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. The Program Brochure for the upcoming summer semester will be available soon.

Please register for the events, if not otherwise indicated, via mail to

Information on COVID-19

Due to the currently unpredictable developments regarding COVID-19, the Cornelia Goethe Centrum reserves the right to postpone or cancel events at short notice or to arrange video conferences. Please check again before the beginning of the events to find out about time, place and format.

Center-Specific Workshops and Lectures


Friday, April 24, 2020 – Claire Colebrook (Penn State University, USA)

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.

[The registration is preliminarily closed]

There will also be a lecture on Thursday, April 23, at 4 pm in HZ 13 as part of the colloquium on „Biotechnology, Nature and Society“.


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.

Thursday, April, 30 2020 – Kathy Davis (VU University Amsterdam)

Intersectional Conversations: How to Use Intersectionality

In this workshop, participants will use the insights of intersectionality theory to analyse everyday situations that involve differences in identity and power inequalities (job interviews, walking on city streets at night, embracing one’s partner in public, wearing a marker of one’s religious affiliation, etc.).  This is a hands-on workshop in which participants will be writing, discussing, and reflecting.  After describing situations involving inequality or discrimination, they will be invited to assemble relevant differences (i.e. gender, ethnicity, class background, sexual orientation, national belonging, etc. )for analysing these situations. Conversations will be initiated among participants concerning why certain categories are more or less relevant for analysing a particular situation as well as how these categories can help them understand what is happening in terms of power.  The goal is to consider how conversing in an intersectional way can enrich or change our understanding of how power works in specific contexts as well as how categories of difference shape situations in different and sometimes unexpected ways.

Kathy Davis is senior research fellow in the Sociology Department at the VU University in the Netherlands. She is the author of Reshaping the Female Body (Routledge, 1995), Dubious Equalities and Embodied Differences (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders (Duke, 2007) and Dancing Tango: Passionate Encounters in a Globalizing World (NYUPress, 2015).


  • Davis, Kathy (2008): Intersectionality as Buzzword. A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful. In: Feminist Theory. 9:1. 67-85.
  • Davis, Kathy (2014): Intersectionality as Critical Methodology. In: Lykke, Nina (ed.): Writing Academic Texts Differently: Intersectional Feminist Methodologies and the Playful Art of Writing. New York: Routledge. 17-29.

Registration until April 17, 2020 via mail to Lucas Schucht at

Language: English.
Target Groups: M, E, A, P, HS.
Time: Thursday, 30.04.2020, 10 am – 2 pm
Location: Campus Westend, Casino, 1.802

Monday, June 15, 2020 – Vanessa Thompson (Goethe-Universität)

Racial Profiling of Blackness. An Intersectional Analysis of Critique.

Further Information to be announced shortly.

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.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – Malathi de Alwis, University of Colombo (Sri Lanka)

Malathi de Alwis is a Socio-Cultural Anthropologist affiliated with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. She has written extensively on nationalism, militarisation, humanitarianism, maternalism, ‘disappearance’, suffering, trauma, and memorialisation. Her most recent publication — Archive of Memory (2019), is an object-related people’s history of Sri Lanka’s 70 years of Independence.

6 – 8 pm, Campus Westend PA-Building P04

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 – Ann Phoenix, University College London (UK)

Ann Phoenix is Professor of Psychosocial Studies at Thomas Coram Research Unit, Department of Social Sciences, UCL Institute of Education. Her publications include work on narratives, theoretical and empirical aspects of social identities, gender, masculinity, youth, intersectionality, racialization, ethnicisation, migration and transnational families.

6 – 8 pm, Campus Westend PEG – 1.G191

Other Events



Cornelia Goethe Colloquien | Cornelia Goethe Lectures

Titel: Intersectionality in a Crossfire?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Vanessa Thompson – Intersektionale Kritik der Polizei. Racial Profiling und abolitionistische Alternativen.
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Thursday, April 30, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Kathy Davis – Who owns Intersectionality? Some Reflections on Feminist Debates on how Theories Travel.
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend Casino 1.801

Wednesday, May, 13, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Malathi de Alwis – Intersectionality in the Context of War and Peace: Lessons from Lanka.
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, June 03, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Elisabeth Holzleithner – Intersektionalität im Recht – Genese, Krisen, Perspektiven.
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Anne Waldschmidt – Dis/ability als ‘etc.’ in der Intersektionalitätsforschung? Reflexionen im Anschluss an die Disability Studies.
Language: German
Location: Campus Westend PEG 1G191

Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 6 – 8 pm
Ann Phoenix – Interrogating Intersectional Contestations: Should the Privileged Speak?
Language: English
Location: Campus Westend Casino 1.801

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

Conception: Bettina Kleinert, Helma Lutz, Marianne Schmidbaur
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