ZiF Research Group

Global Contestations of Women's and Gender Rights

October 2020 – July 2021

Convenors: Alexandra Scheele (Bielefeld, GER), Julia Roth (Bielefeld, GER), Heidemarie Winkel (Bielefeld, GER)

Heidemarie Winkel


FotoFaculty of Sociology,
Bielefeld University, Germany
E-Mail: heidemarie.winkel@uni-bielefeld.de


Heidemarie Winkel is professor of sociology at Bielefeld University and senior research associate at the University of Cambridge (St. Edmund's College/VHI), UK. Her research centers around transcultural gender studies and a globally oriented sociology of religion with a specific interest in the Mashriq. Before Winkel came to Bielefeld in 2015, she worked in Dresden, Graz, Potsdam, Jerusalem, Erfurt, Mainz and Berlin. She received a fellowship for a project on global ecumenical women's movements in the Levante by the German Research Foundation. In this study, Winkel focused on Arab Christian women's everyday reality in their local communities as a paradigmatic example for women's socio-political life in the Mashriq at large. Winkel is a member of the council of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR) and member of the editorial board of the Journal for Religion, Society and Politics. She is strongly related to the Network Women's and Gender Studies in North-Rhine Westphalia and a longstanding member of the German Sociological Association's research network on womens and gender studies (board member 2012-2016) as well as the research network on the sociology of religion (board member 2013-2019).

Current Main Research Interests

Heidemarie Winkel's research interests centre on religious orders of knowledge as well as on gender as social anchor of sense-making and lifeworldly orientation. This includes an interest in the genealogy – and shifting – of socio-cultural ideas and knowledge patterns, like in the case of (religious) gender codes in the Mashriq or religious notions of gender justice and feminist knowledge production. Gradually, Winkel turned towards entangled social histories and colonial legacies. The interest in postcolonial theory resulted in a growing focus on gender as colonial knowledge category and white knowledge production.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the Research Group
  • Global Historical Sociology and Connected Gender Sociologies: On the Re-Nationalization and Coloniality of Gender. InterDisciplines 9 (2) 2018, 89-134.
  • Multiple religiosities, entangled modernities and gender: what is different about gender across religious cultures? Journal for Religion, Society and Politics 1 (1) 2018, 89-109.
  • Religion, Orientalism and the Colonial Body of Gender Knowledge. In Religion im Kontext|Religion in Context. Handbuch für Studium und Wissenschaft, 73-88, edited by Melanie Reddig, Annette Schnabel and Heidemarie Winkel. Baden- Baden: Nomos, 2018.
  • Negotiating Gender Relations: Arab Women and the Transformation of Arab Societies. Special Issue of GENDER. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society 9 (1) 2017, edited by Heidemarie Winkel, Viola Raheb and Ulrike Bechmann.
  • Feminisms in times of anti-genderism, racism and austerity. Special Issue of Women Studies International Forum 68, May-June 2018, edited by Encarnació n Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Pinar Tuzcu and Heidemarie Winkel.