About GAIN

The interdisciplinary research platform “GAIN - Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities” deals with complex processes of intersectional gendered invisibilities. It was established at the University of Vienna in May 2020 and will be active for four years. GAIN is truly interdisciplinary, as six faculties are involved: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Philosophy and Educational Science, the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies and the Faculty of Catholic Theology. The different perspectives brought to bear on questions of in_visibility and in_visibilisation thus inform, question and supplement each other. In particular, the platform is dedicated to researching ambivalence in connection with processes that produce intersectionally gendered in_visibilities: For although being visible is a prerequisite for being perceived politically, it is not to be equated with political agency. On the contrary, visibility determined by others can also have a disempowering effect and thus reinforce inequality(s). Accordingly, GAIN analyses how invisibility is connected to intersectional gendered power constellations, but also produces resistance against them.

GAIN Activities

GAIN is a network of academics who bring with them subject-specific competences and methods as well as inter- and transdisciplinary experience. GAIN thus offers the ideal space for addressing current challenges in gender and queer studies. Public events connected to the platform take place on a regular basis. These include the formats GAIN Gender Bites and GAIN Gender Lounge, and we will soon add GAIN Gender Lunch. Within the framework of the GAIN Gender & Agency Lecture, internationally renowned guests are invited to the University of Vienna every semester. In addition, science prizes are awarded annually to promote young researchers from Gender Studies for outstanding dissertations and MA theses.


Elisabeth Holzleithner, from the Institute for Philosophy of Law, is the platform’s Head, and is assisted by deputy spokespersons Andrea Lehner-Hartmann, from the Department of Practical Theology, and Sylvia Mieszkowski, from the Department of English and American Studies. The core team is completed by PostDoc Maria Sagmeister and the organisational assistant Sara Vorwalder. The Steering Committee, which meets monthly and is responsible for the main planning of GAIN activities, also includes Marlen Bidwell-Steiner, Emma Dowling, Eva Flicker, Sabine GrenzChrista Hämmerle, Gabriella Hauch, Susanne Hochreiter, Brigitta Keintzel, Claudia Kraft, Birgit Sauer, Andrea Seier and Katharina Wiedlack.