Research institutes

Centre for Gender and Diversity

The Centre for Gender and Diversity develops research projects related to gender as a symbolic cultural system. Gender strongly impacts social processes of inclusion and exclusion, while intersecting with categories of differentiation such as age, religion, sexuality, disability, ethnicity, and nationality: the scripts for the performance of social identities continually re-define each other. The centre analyses these intersections, focusing on the arts.The Centre for Gender and Diversity is a research centre at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Research projects at the Centre for Gender and Diversity delve into the dynamic intersections between crucial categories of social differentiation, specially within the arts. The arts vitally contribute to the recycling and transformation of "behavioral scripts". The centre studies art forms from high culture and popular culture, i.e. fiction, poetry, film, photography, life-writing, the performing arts, and children’s media.


Besides engaging in innovative research, CGD staff also teach courses on gender and diversity at the University College Maastricht (UCM) and in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes Arts and Culture at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. These courses include:

  • Pop songs and Poetry: Theory and Analysis
  • The Making of Crucial Differences: ‘Race’, Sexuality, Gender, and Class in Historical Perspective
  • Cultural Diversity in a Global Perspective
  • Crucial Differences in the 21st Century
  • Cultural Studies I: Doing Cultural Studies
  • Crucial Different Lives
  • Cultural Studies II: Visual Cultures
  • Gothic Literature: The Dark Side of Modernity
  • Surfing the Silver Tsunami

Minor in Crucial Differences

‘Crucial Differences’ is a full-time, 20-week programme about the dynamics and intersections of difference and the origins of some social, economic, and political inequalities within western societies. We will study the ways in which differences are constructed, their cultural texts and images, and individual identities and societies from the 18th century onwards, focusing on the ‘Big Four’: gender, ‘race’, sexuality, and class. The programme consists of three interdisciplinary courses that providing insight into the:

  1. creation of crucial differences, from the Enlightenment on, to the crises originating from the model of western thought and culture that resulted in the catastrophe of the Shoah
  2. dynamics and interactions of crucial differences at present
  3. way in which these differences are represented in narrative, life-writings, and in our real lives


  • Diversity Day 8 March: lively discussions about consent and age

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018, the Centre for Gender and Diversity and the new UM Diversity Officer organized the first Diversity Day for the whole UM community.

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  • Lies Wesseling

    Lies Wesseling interviewed in Dutch newspaper NRC

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018

    NRC newspaper interview with Lies Wesseling on raising kids gender neutral

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  • IRSCL to issue statement defending academic freedom

    Friday, November 17, 2017

    On Universal Children’s Day, 20 November 2017, the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) will issue a Statement of Principles, because it is worried about the ways in which contemporary geopolitics curtail academic freedom.

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  • Lies Wesseling

    Lies Wesseling re-elected President IRSCL

    Monday, October 2, 2017

    During the 25th biennial of the International Research Association for Children’s Literature, Lies Wesseling was re-elected as President of this scholarly society of 360 members from 46 countries worldwide

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  • Maaike Meijer review

    Maaike Meijer lecture reviewed in De Limburger

    Monday, April 3, 2017

    On Monday 27 March, the regional newspaper De Limburger published a review on the lecture given by Dutch language expert Maaike Meijer on the much celebrated relationship between mothers and sons in songs.

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  • Article about Intercountry Adoption by Lies Wesseling in Trouw

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016

    Article in news paper Trouw about intercountry adoption by Lies Wesseling.

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  • Article by Lies Wesseling in Dutch newspaper Trouw

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Article by Lies Wesseling in Dutch newspaper Trouw

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Centre for Gender and Diversity

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences