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Theorizing Bodies and Genders: Interdisciplinarity in Action

Theorizing Bodies and Genders: Interdisciplinarity in Action

This project belongs to the following research constellations:


Cultural & Social Critique


Eliza Steinbock


Staff: Mireille Rosello, Tarja Laine, Esther Peeren, Marijke de Valck, Murat Aydemir, Laura Copier, Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University)

PhD candidates: Eliza Steinbock, Jules Sturm, Noa Roei, Cigdem Bugdayci, Jillian St-Jacques, Maryn Wilkinson, Ingeborg Lowisch (Utrecht University)


Issues of gender and corporeality have taken root in every discipline housed at the university. As fields of study that cross through the sciences and humanities they are exemplary of the state of interdisciplinary work. Since the close of the Belle van Zuylen Reasearch Institute for the Multicultural and Comparative Gender Studies, the Universiteit van Amsterdam has scattered scholars of gender. ASCA has often brought these far-flung researchers together in the theory seminar where feminist perspectives in anthropology, visual culture, postcoloniality etc. are regularly highlighted. In this context, gender as it relates to corporeality is one axis of inquiry where an interdisciplinary trajectory is necessitated and deliberated. As such, embodiment and gender has a bearing on nearly every cultural object, forming diverse and widespread analyses in ASCA’s research.

This project began as an investigation of corporeal literacy under Maaike Bleeker’s NOW project “See Me, Feel Me, Think Me: The Body of Semiotics” that productively brought together scholars from performance studies, art history and gender studies, among other fields. With an expanded aim, “Theorizing Bodies and Genders” is currently an umbrella project that will function as a meeting point for researchers of various levels that approach the issue of gender and/or the body in their work. As such, it seeks to foster critical engagement with the full range of approaches that inform contemporary body and gender theory, such as feminism, phenomenology, semiotics, and performativity. Scholars are welcome from all areas of disciplinary interaction (e.g. film and media, art history, literature, music, theatre, anthropology, the sciences).

This umbrella shelters the possibility for enriching one’s research by encountering new perspectives and for networking with like-minded scholars. It provides the opportunity to anyone involved to organize a reading group, seminar, course, symposium, conference, or other such academic event that has a gender, body, and/or sexual politics concentration. This project will also see alliance with pre-existing gender-focused programs by working together with scholars at the Utrecht University, Maastricht University, and Radboud University in Nijmegen.


Reading groups: “The Anatomical Theatre Revisited” (Fall 2005 and Spring 2006), “Desiring Images: Reading Deleuze and Guattari” (Fall 2007), and “Desiring Images II: Image and Affect: Deleuze’s Grin without the Cat” (Spring 2008).

Conference: The Anatomical Theatre Revisited (Spring 2006).

Journal: Issue of University of Leeds’s parallax journal ‘Installing the Body’ edited by Maaike Bleeker and Eliza Steinbock (Feb 2008).

Graduate Course Development: ‘The Persistence of Identity’ Short Intensive Course (June 2008)

Seminar: (provisional) “Areas of Interaction: Bodies and Genders” (Jan 2009- ongoing)

Symposium: “Trans/cinema” (19 May 2009)

Contact Person:

Eliza Steinbock (, office no. 020 525 3878)