Successful seminar, conducted by Mara Mürlebach “Gender-terror? Gender-nonsense? Gender trouble! Yes, please.”

Since the ominous G-word has seeped into project applications, research evaluations, and institutional guidelines, the need has grown to think about how ‘gender’ can inform research. This seminar introduced the concept of gender and outlined its importance for academic research. Speaker Mara Murlebach, a member of Bonn’s Feminist Geographies working group, outlined three areas of engagement with feminist theory: research foci, methodologies, and academic practices. First, feminist scholars have inspired a whole range of research topics. This research need not necessarily be about women, gender or sexualities; in fact, feminism-inspired research can be about anything from social inequalities to soil sciences. Second, feminist theories of knowledge have inspired rethinking methodologies. Important debates have been initiated on the processes of making knowledge as well as on reflexivity, positionality and collaborative methods. Third, the concept of gender encourages researchers to think about their own practices. Academia is a workplace in which gender inequalities persist and are (re)produced. Therefore, engaging with hiring practices, workplace atmospheres, and research designs are crucial in working towards gender equality.

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