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  • Research Training Group

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
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Visiting Scholars

Prof. Dr. Andrea Maihofer (Mercator Fellow)

Andrea Maihofer is Professor Emerita of Gender Studies at the University of Basel.  She is head of the Centre for Gender Studies based there and president of the Swiss Society for Gender Studies. In 2002, she founded the Basel Gender Graduate School. As a philosopher and sociologist, her research focuses on Critical Social Theory and Gender Theory. Her research perspective on gender as a mode of existence is closely related to the topic of the Research Training Group. Andrea Maihofer's fields of research are men's and masculinity studies, change and persistence of gender and gender relations, family studies as well as moral, legal and constitutional theory.

Prof. Toril Moi (Mercator Fellow)

Toril Moi is Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, English, Philosophy and Theatre Studies at Duke University (USA). She is the director of the Centre for Philosophy, Arts and Literature at the university there. Her areas of work include feminist theories and works by female writers that combine literature, philosophy and aesthetics. In 2002, she received an honorary doctorate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Furthermore she earned Duke’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 1998 and received Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring of Graduate Students. 

Prof. Joan Scott

Joan Scott is a historian specialising in French and gender history. She is Professor Emerita at the school of Social Science at the institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (USA) and founding director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Joan Scott has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates (Brown, Harvard, Wisconsin, Princeton (USA), Bergen (Norway)). In 1986, Scott wrote the fundamental and frequently cited article "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis". This article bundles the discourses of Gender Studies that emerged from historical women's studies and combines them with a post-structuralist (re-)reading. This text - as well as her essay "The evidence of experience" (1991), which critically reflected on the concept of experience from a gender-historical perspective - not only marked the introduction of the linguistic turn in historical Gender Studies, but also became significant beyond the field of history for historians working in literature, Cultural Studies and social sciences. Her work, which has won numerous awards and been translated into many languages, includes works on French women's, social and gender history, gender and historical politics, French feminism, universalism and secularism, as well as feminist historical theory.

PD Dr. Donata Schoeller

Donata Schoeller studied philosophy and comparative religion in Vienna, Oxford and Zurich. She did her doctorate on the topic of "Humility" and wrote her post-doctoral thesis on "Close Talking: Bringing Experience to Speech". Donata Schoeller assumes that experience unfolds and becomes richer when we relate to it in certain ways and find a language that does not restrict its unfolding. This responsiveness is a starting point for questioning the separation of mind and body. At the same time, this leads beyond the time-honoured alternative of representation or construction towards intra-actional models of meaning. According to Schoeller, both time-honoured and new practices are needed to get in touch with the complex, multi-faceted, embodied and situational complexity of experience and the challenge of putting it into words. Currently, Donata Schoeller is exploring how this affects our understanding of critical thinking. At the moment, Donata Schoeller is the academic director of TECT (Training Embodied Critical Thinking). This training programme is funded by the Erasmus+ programme and involves a strategic partnership in higher education with the universities of Iceland, Groningen, Jena, Ljubljana, Technion Haifa and ETH Zurich.

Prof. Dr. Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir studied philosophy in Boston and Berlin. She has developed a special interest in the relationship between Nitzsche's philosophical teachings and those of Arendt, Beauvoir, Irigaray and Butler. She is also involved in feminist and environmental philosophy. Sigridur Thorgeirdottir focuses particularly on the intersection between the philosophy of embodied life, phenomenology and transnational issues. She is one of the founding members of the GEST programme at the United Nations University in Iceland (now Unesco, and has been instrumental in coordinating and running the Nordic Summer Schools on Gender and Philosophy. Her current book project is on the philosophy of the body: here she draws on her experience both as leader of the international research project Embodied Critical Thinking ( and with the training programme for embodied critical thinking methods "Training Embodied Critical Thinking".

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