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Research institutes

Centre for Gender and Diversity

The Centre for Gender and Diversity (CGD) is a research platform at Maastricht University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The CGD's mission is to connect researchers in the fields of gender and diversity studies, to facilitate networking with societal partners, and to enhance public-facing scholarship.

Our members broadly focus on studying mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion from an intersectional perspective. The research we conduct concerns the making of cultural and social differences in cases of embodied experience, art, language, law, institutions, science and technology, and is grounded in feminist and intersectional approaches to critical analysis. We aim to use our research as a vector of change - to not only describe and explain social issues but to engage stakeholders and intervene for the sake of social justice.

History and Ambition

Founded in September 1998, the CGD has a nearly 25-year tradition of creating synergy between the Three As: Academic Research, Art, and Activism. Our research projects are interdisciplinary, embedded, and conduct knowledge creation with the participation of partners. CGD scholarship charts the symbolic systems of the arts, cultural production, and language use. It maps and transforms the interactions of schemata for masculinity and femininity with social difference categories of race, class, age, ability, sexuality, religion, residency status, as well as multitude emerging factors that influence personhood/subject positions. The overarching CGD intellectual mission is the historical and contemporary study of the complex interactions between these intersecting vectors of power differentials, in the tradition of feminist theories and methods of intersectionality.

In our research on a wide variety of minoritised subjects we do not lose sight of how intersectional approaches have been developed primarily by Black and of color feminists to account for multiple forms of oppression. In an interdisciplinary fashion, we seek to contribute to the development of intersectionality by combining empirical and sociological data and philosophies of embodiment with a humanities approach to the study of the arts: including literature, life-writing, performance, visual culture, digital culture, heritage, and cultural institutions.

Our theoretical ambition is to reassess the humanism at the core of intersectionality. We do so through the key question we ask of these art forms interfacing with society: what composes the Human? Here, there, now, and then? This brings our scholarship to debates in science (technicity), ethics of medicine and care (personhood), to the exigencies of enslavement (coloniality), and to the realm of nature (animality). Hence, we also contribute to Critical Life Studies that grapples with the multiple ‘turns’ (e.g. new materialism, Anthropocene, affective) and multiplying field ‘studies’ (trans, queer, critical race, postcolonial, animal, age, disability) in critical theory that interrogate the ontological hold of the Human in the face of global crises of climate and social justice.

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Upcoming events

  • 28 Aug 02 Sep

    Queer, Trans, Sexual Archives

    Queer, Trans, Sexual Archives is a Summer school programme by the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies

Logo design: Sinine Nakhle

CGD logo 25

Centre for Gender and Diversity

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
+ 31 43 388 2679