Magdalena Nowicka is professor of migration and transnationalism at the Humboldt-University to Berlin and Head of Department Integration at DeZIM-Institute (German Center for Integration and Migration Research). She is Guest Professor in Memory of Willy Brandt at MIM, Malmö University, during spring 2020.


Taking its beginning in the pioneering research by Crenshaw in the 1980s on the US legal system that categorically discriminated against Black women, intersectionality is now used in diverse disciplines as a method for studying the complexity of social inequalities. Yet by following the everyday experience of race, ethnicity, ability and gender and the supposed self-evidence of its perceptibility – for we think we know a person’s race or gender when we see it – intersectionality continues to accept categories as the main mode of engagement with social inequalities, missing thus to address the complexity of differences which are tacit, hard to name and unsuitable to distinguish or to translate into exclusive categories. It is urgent to equip social sciences and cultural studies with adequate conceptual and methodological instruments to understand how ethnicity, like race and gender, is constructed as a visual signifier of difference, especially in relation to the Othering of Muslim minorities in Europe.

In the ongoing project “Revis(ualis)ing Intersectionality” which I want to present and discuss with the audience, we take as their starting point the visuality of human differences rather than modes of visibility and representation. In other words, in the project, we propose a methodology of visual intersectionality research. Such an approach wants to transcend binary and fixed categorizations in the analyses of multidimensional inequalities.

The seminar will be held in English and online.

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