Third Mission

Equality initiative: Forschungsplattform GAIN – Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities

The interdisciplinary research platform GAIN explores processes of in_visibilisation that shape power relations between the genders. Both for individuals and topics, such as queer politics, visibility is an essential, albeit ambivalent, factor: it is necessary to initiate social change and succeed within political discourse; yet visibility can also expose, even endanger, as recent racist and/or homophobic attacks demonstrate. GAIN addresses the relevant challenges in gender relations from an intersectional perspective, by including axes of power such as racism, disability, religion and belief or sexual orientation.

Against this background, numerous activities and events have been and will be taking place that will hopefully have an impact not only on the academic community but also on civil society. Workshops with colleagues from Maseno University in Kenya discuss challenges to non-colonial knowledge production, for example by juxtaposing Euro- and Afrocentrism. We organise regular lecture series aimed at students. GAIN also offers a variety of events that target a broader public. One of these is Gender Bites: a one-hour digital discussion format that revolves around a conversation between two academics or one academic and one journalist, who work on current topics (such as digitalisation or the COVID pandemic) from a gendered perspective. The spectrum of GAIN's diverse activities ranges from the GAIN Gender & Agency Lecture by renowned researchers (name a few speakers?) to the GAIN Poetry Slam 2022.

GAIN's activities try to raise awareness – of the challenges intersectional gender equality faces, since diversity is always permeated by power relations –, while our scholarly analyses strive to grasp the arising complexities and ambivalences. Knowledge production has an impact on civil society, which means the results of critical analyses are up for discussion. In this way, we hope to be able to make a contribution to the empowerment of marginalised individuals and groups beyond academia. Its Third Mission is a cornerstone of GAIN: academics and students act as catalysts who initiate and engage in social debates. GAIN also contributes to the promotion of gender equality and diversity within the university, in cooperation with the Equal Opportunities Working Party, whose chairperson, Susanne Hochreiter, is a member of the research platform. GAIN thus acts as a knowledge hub for the challenges of intersectional gender equality and power-sensitive diversity into which individuals from different positions can plug to contribute to initiating changes for the better.