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. Our members broadly focus on studying mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion from an intersectional perspective. Our research on the making of cultural and social differences combines feminist and intersectional approaches with empirical data, philosophies of embodiment, and/or the study of the arts. We aim to use our research as a vector of change - to not only describe and explain social issues but engage stakeholders and intervene for the sake of social justice. 

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

Vision and Mission

The CGD has a nearly 25-year tradition of creating synergy between the Three As: Art, Academic Research, 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 minoritized 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 data and philosophies of embodiment with the humanistic 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 through the key question we ask of these art forms interfacing with society: what composes the Human? 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 ‘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.

Latest News

  • Sophie Withaeckx

    Where do I come from? A plea for transparency in the adoption system

    Tuesday, March 14, 2023

    The Belgian adoption system is in need of more transparency. Maastricht University's Centre for Gender and Diversity and the Belgian 'Afstammingscentrum' (research centre of filiation) work together to give a greater voice to adoptees, donor-conceived people and metis of the former Belgian colonies.

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  • CGD Rahel-Emma

    Meet our Student Assistant(s) at the Centre for Gender and Diversity

    Wednesday, February 8, 2023

    Starting on 1 February, the Centre for Gender and Diversity (CGD) is happy to welcome a new student assistant.

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  • CGD Workshop nov. 2022

    Workshop and Lecture by Prof. Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

    Tuesday, November 8, 2022

    On Wednesday 2 November 2022, the Centre for Gender and Diversity hosted a workshop and a lecture by the medical anthropologist Prof. Nolwazi Mkhwanazi of the University of Pretoria.

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Upcoming events

Centre for Gender and Diversity

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences