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.
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:
‘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:
“Stereotypes about what is ' feminine ' or 'masculine' don’t make life enjoyable, exciting or warmer. At most, they create an artificial clarity which is maintained by force if necessary.”
“Feminist, decolonial and queer studies all converge on the question how to ‘think’ difference positively. I see contemporary art as a vital way to become answerable to this question.”
“Implicit stereotypes about sexuality, such as the myth of the asexual elder, can affect the perception of older people themselves or the way they are treated by others.”
"Besides the 'politics of the veil' the issues of masculinities and homosexuality today increasingly feature in debates on multiculturalism, citizenship and religion."
Article in news paper Trouw about intercountry adoption by Lies Wesseling.
Article by Lies Wesseling in Dutch newspaper Trouw