CGD headerimage Intergenerational feminisms
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 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.

Vectors for Change

The Centre for Gender and Diversity is thrilled to launch a new lecture series called Vectors for Change. Invited speakers from near and far will share their unique analyses of intersecting vectors of power differentials. The series aims to showcase how research can become a vector of change - to not only describe and explain social issues, but to involve public partners and intervene for the sake of social justice. Join us for exchanges that seek to further develop engaged research in the tradition of feminist theories and methods of intersectionality.

Programme 2023-2024:

6 September 2023
"Africa’s Second Struggle for Freedom: What’s decolonization got to do with it?"
Lecture from Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (Cornell University)
- Co-organised with research programme Globalisation, Development, and Transnationalism

25 October 2023
“Heavy Processing for Networked Intimate Publics (NIPs): Cultivating Trans-Feminist & Queer Digital Praxes”
Lecture from TL Cowan and Jas Rault (University of Toronto)
- Co-organised with research programme Arts, Media, and Culture

10 November 2023
“Disability Justice in Selective Termination Practices: Reproductive Freedom or Disability Discrimination?”
Lecture from Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Emory University)  

6 March 2024
"Big Brands Are Watching You: Marketing Social Justice and Digital Culture"
Lecture from Francesca Sobande (Cardiff University)
- Co-organised with research programme Arts, Media, and Culture "Inclusive Societies" strand

Latest News

  • Pieter du Plessis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. His project, 'Belonging and Unbelonging in Amsterdam's Het Zuid-Afrikahuis', was awarded funding by the NWO PhD in the Humanities funding scheme. 

  • Tais Terletskaja is a visiting PhD from the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen. 

  • PhD supervisors Eliza Steinbock and Sophie Withaeckx and their PhD candidate Pieter du Plessis have received funding from the NWO PhD in the Humanities scheme for the research project titled ‘Belonging and Unbelonging in Amsterdam’s Het Zuid-Afrikahuis: A Decolonial Study of Dutch Whiteness in...

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Logo Centre for Gender and Diversity contact

Centre for Gender and Diversity

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
+ 31 43 388 2679