WORKSHOP Decolonizing Gender Studies: Methodologies of In_Visibilization

Workshop for PhD students in Gender Studies

18th November 2021, Online Event 09:00-11:00, 11:15-13:15 (CET)

A joint project of the research platform GAIN – Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities at the University of Vienna and the Maseno University of Kisumu

Coordinators: Elisabeth Holzleithner and Maria Sagmeister (University of Vienna), Mary Aswan, Susan Kilonzo and Karen Nyangara (Maseno University)

Participation:  15 PhD candidates from the University of Vienna and the Maseno University of Kisumu

Application: Please apply with a short bio & motivation via mail to until 7th November 2021.
Participation is limited to circa 7 PhD candidates from Vienna this time, but we plan to offer further workshops in cooperation with the Maseno University in the future.



This workshop aims at bringing together researchers from Austria and Kenya to explore different methodological approaches to the interdisciplinary field of Gender Studies and to reflect on how to decolonize our theoretical and methodological tools. The focus will lie on the potential of methodology as a means of visualization, highlighting blind spots of traditional methods with regard to gender in its intersectional dimensions. In preparation to the half-day workshop, students will be asked to read two papers introducing different methodological approaches, as well as a decolonial critique of the Gender Studies canon. These texts will be discussed in the first half of the workshop, followed by a presentation on the ongoing project of decolonizing the Gender Studies curriculum at Maseno University by Susan Kilonzo and Mary Aswan. In the second part of the workshop, selected participants will be given the opportunity to present methodological challenges they face in course of their PhD research, which will be discussed in the group. We believe all participants will benefit greatly from discussing these real-life methodological problems and from the diverse methodological expertise from the participating research institutions.


Programm (CET)

09:00-10:30 Welcome & Discussion of the Required Reading

10:30-11:00 Presentation Susan Kilonzo & Mary Aswan: Decolonzing the Gender Studies Curriculum

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-13:15 Presentation & Discussion of Methodological Challenges faced by PhD Candidates in course of their research (4 Students – 10 minutes for presentation, 20 minutes for discussion)


Required Reading

  • Katharine Bartlett, Feminist Legal Methods, Harvard Law Review 1990, 829-867 (excerpt).
  • Julianne McShane, What does it mean to ‘decolonise’ gender studies? Theorising the decolonial capacitities of gender performativity and intersectionality, Journal of International Women’s Studies 2021 Vol 22/2, 62-77.
  • Sylvia Tamale, Rethinking African Academy, from: Tamale, Decolonization and Afro-Feminism, Daraja Press 2020, 235-284.