Mission statement

The research platform "GAIN - Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities" aims at attending to the complex and ambivalent processes that give rise to intersectionally gendered in_visibilities. Being/becoming visible is a prerequisite of being politically and socially intelligible, yet visibility does not necessarily translate into political power. And what has been gained in legal rights and social acceptance can never be taken for granted; a recent initiative to eliminate the word ‘gender’ from UN human rights documents, invisibilising and denying the existence of transgender, intergender and nonbinary persons provides but one example. A network of scholars equally qualified in specific disciplines as well as in the trans-discipline of gender studies provides the perfect array of perspectives, skills and methods to investigate the dynamic at play.

The starting point of this is “the visible” as a complex of problems, against the backdrop of enormous globalized cultural and social changes triggered by the economisation of the social sphere, (forced) migration, religious pluralism, new media technologies and the narrations they produce. What is visible is not a given, but the historically specific and contingent result of processes of visibilisation – and, conversely, of invisibilisation, on the shifting terrain of the public and the private spheres. The platform will study the social practices, cultural meanings and political power structures in which these processes are embedded, and the diverse array of visuals that are produced. Its goals are analytical and methodological as well as normative: The platform will analyse the ways in which in_visibilities create ambivalent and intersecting gendered relations of power and agency, subjugation and resistance; it will develop an interdisciplinary framework that integrates the various approaches involved and it will also try to identify transformative strategies of agency and empowerment.


Keywords: Intersectional Gender and Queer Studies; In_Visibility and Processes of In_Visibilisation; Public and Private; Inter- and Transdisciplinarity; Intelligibility of Identities and Issues; Agency; Power; Political Movements; Digitalization; Globalisation.