Tomke König researches mechanisms of reproduction and transformation of class and gender relations. In her micro-sociological research, she has addressed issues of power, the division of labor, and processes of experiencing one’s gendered body. The topic of the Research Training Group is directly related to a central finding of her empirical research on families: Gendered ways of being include definitions, roles, social categories, conventions, feelings, which are explicit, known, and thus easy to say. But these old patterns or schemata of the hegemonic gender order aren’t sufficient to express the meaning of the experiences people make around work and family. Often, there is “something” intangible concerning one’s gender in a specific situation. People must go beyond the prevailing conventions of thought and language to express their felt sense of their gender. Reinterpretations are needed.This finding became the starting point of an Experiential Gender Research developed together with Ulle Jäger, which is based on a theory of the implicit and methods of verbalizing what cannot yet be said.
Heinke Deloch (www.experientielle-beratung.de), Philosophy/English Philology and Political Science (M.A.), is a freelance trainer for Experiential and Person-Centered Counseling (GwG e.V., WAPCEPC e.V.) and co-founder of the creativity and coaching method Experiential Concept-Coaching, which makes the concretely felt physical-bodily experience the point of reference for creative thinking. Based on Ludwig Wittgenstein's Ordinary Language Philosophy and Eugene Gendlin's approach of Experiential, Focusing-oriented Psychotherapy, she is interested in formulating and shaping a practice of science that starts with the personality of the scientist, including her implicit experiences and interests that are still difficult to articulate in language. She pays particular attention to the inclusion of bodily sensing and the gradual unfolding of linguistic meanings, as well as to the mutual recognition and intertwining of these processes in collaborative thinking processes. In her publications in the context of counseling and psychotherapy, she is also concerned with the intertwining of psychological, linguistic philosophical and phenomenological aspects of creative, self-determined and holistic thinking.
Walter Erhart researches and publishes on literary topics in gender studies, on theories of gender studies and their further development, as well as on literary stagings of masculinities since the 18th century. One particular research interest is the connection between historical and contemporary worlds of gender experiences with literary-aesthetic and narrative forms. From this perspective, a genuinely aesthetic and literary contribution to the Research Training Group is set up and secured: This involves the epistemological value of historically and aesthetically staged gender practices as well as the question, which was revisited in literary theory, of to what extent art and literature make it possible to directly experience one's own and other people's gender.
Oliver Flügel-Martinsen has published numerous works on theoretical approaches (including post-structuralism, discourse theories, theories of subjectivation, critical social, and political theory) and authors (including Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Iris M. Young, and Wendy Brown) that are relevant for the research program. Methodologically, he works with hermeneutic, discourse-analytic, deconstructive, and genealogical methods, which have an interdisciplinary orientation. This strong interdisciplinary dimension (including political science, sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies) of his research is important to the Research Training Group’s research and training program. Thematically, he has worked extensively on theories of subjectivation, resistance, and political-social transformation, which play an important role in the Research Training Group. Many of his works include gender-theoretical dimensions and one important focus of his research lies on the tension between different dimensions of subjectivity/subjective identity and social orders.
Within the framework of empirical school and classroom research, Valerie Kastrup works on questions related to the training of physical education teachers, the communication and interaction processes in physical education, as well as professional health management and questions of dealing with various dimensions of heterogeneity in physical education in school. She has researched the relationship between the gender of physical education teachers and their attributed competence, as well as the hierarchizing dynamics of the male-dominated profession of physical education in school.
Vera Kallenberg is a historian working at the crossroads of Jewish history, gender studies, North American studies, and European studies. She is a Research Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies at Bielefeld University. In the Research Training Group, Vera Kallenberg focuses on the relationship between intersectional experience and critical knowledge production in the 20th century. Using the example of a Jewish migrant woman, she analyzes, on the one hand, how experience is constituted through interpretations of various interacting relations of inequality, political and social practices, and self-relations. On the other hand, she examines how such experiences have shaped the thought of experience in academic feminism. The life and work of Gerda Lerner (1920-2013), Jewish refugee and immigrant from Vienna, leftist activist, feminist writer, and U.S. history professor, serves as a case study. A pioneer in academic women’s history, Lerner shaped historical women’s studies and feminist thought in the second half of the 20th century, beginning in the United States. The study reveals the interactions between the fractured European Jewish experience and the U.S. experience, its social fault lines, and actors. The focus on the category of women’s historical experience appears as a promise of coherence to create feminist consciousness and collective political action aimed at changing gender relations.
Petra Kolip´s research projects deal, among other things, with the medicalization of phases of physical upheaval (pregnancy/birth, menopause) and the relevance of gender in the practice of prevention and health promotion. Her projects focus on the practical relevance of theoretical and empirical research findings, be it in health care or the conception and implementation of prevention and health promotion. Theory-practice transfer is a constituent element in the health sciences for which the lived (gendered) body is central.
Diana Lengersdorf conducts research on questions of events, experience, and experiencing in a practice-theoretical perspective both on a theoretical and methodological level. Lengersdorf's central field of research is the change of practices of masculinity regarding digitalization processes, family and fatherhood, as well as employment, among other things. In addition, Lengersdorf works on the relationship between masculinities and power/domination constellations.
Julia Roth works on the concept of intersectionality - especially in transnational and postcolonial contexts. Part of her research and teaching focuses on hip-hop as an intersectional space of experience and knowledge. Her most recent research is on gender and right-wing populism, especially on the role of gender as an "affective bridge" (Gabriele Dietze) in struggles for hegemony in a neoliberal context, and on the significance of feminist protests against the right-wing trend, as practices of "embodied intersectionality." She has also published on gender and citizenship as central dimensions of global inequality and the resulting "practices of embodiment" of women and marginalized people.
Rainer Schützeichel´s research focuses on sociological theory as well as on the sociology of knowledge, professions, and emotions. In his theoretical research, he has dealt with the epistemic category of experience and, on the basis of enactivist theoretical dispositions, investigates the affective conditions and consequences of orders of experience in various social functional fields, especially regarding professions and their corresponding institutions.
Magdalena Suerbaum is an anthropologist with a focus on migration and forced displacement. Her regional-ethnographic competence spans the Middle East and Europe. She has conducted extensive periods of ethnographic fieldwork with Syrian refugees in Egypt and with migrants from diverse backgrounds in Germany. A key aspect of her academic trajectory has been the focus on gender. In her PhD dissertation, she delved into the predicaments of Syrian refugee men in Egypt. Her monograph “Masculinities and Displacement in the Middle East: Syrian refugees in Egypt” (I.B. Tauris, 2020), takes an intersectional approach with close attention to the ‘refugee’ as a classed and gendered person tracing Syrian men’s various strategies of constructing masculinities in exile. In her post-doctoral research project at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, she analysed how migrants are affected by the legal and bureaucratic inscriptions they experience. In particular, she focused on migrant women’s mothering practices in times of legal precarity. In her habilitation project, she currently engages with childrearing practices and intergenerational transmission of knowledge among Syrian parents who live in protracted displacement in Turkey and Germany. Magdalena Suerbaum holds a Ph.D. in Gender Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). She completed an M.A. at the University of Exeter in Middle East and Islamic Studies, and a B.A. at Philipps University Marburg in Islamic Studies.
Heidemarie Winkel works at the intersection of global sociology of religion and transcultural sociology of gender. She has researched changes in religious orders of meaning and knowledge about gender and the symbolic re-codings of gender linked to these processes. Areas of interest include feminist religious movements and religion as a source of meaning for ideas of equality and justice. A primary empirical reference point for her research is the Mashriq. In more recent work, Winkel has increasingly addressed the issue of situated, experiential knowledge production about gender from a postcolonial perspective. In addition to her expertise in interpretive, phenomenologically oriented social research, Winkel's contribution to the Research Training Group will primarily consist of approaching religiously based modes of gendered existence from an experience-based sociological perspective and deepening the understanding of gender as a colonial category of knowledge and experience.
Benedikt Wolf´s central concern is the relationship between gender and sexuality and its relation to literature. In his research, he adopts a methodological and theoretical position that is interested in the phenomena of the literary text itself and its sexual and gendered dimensions. As a result, the relationship between the experiences that enter the text and the experiences that are made in the text itself and in its reading becomes the focus of interest. In this sense, his dissertation Penetrated Masculinity explored the discursivization of bodies and the corporeality of texts. He has pursued the sexual corporeality of narrative and lyric texts in essays on Wolfgang Borchert, Dinos Christianopoulos, Hubert Fichte, and on the anonymous pornographic poetry collection Die braune Blume. Furthermore, he is also particularly interested in German literature of the 1970s.