Organised by the institute of education and social innovation (ibugi) in collaboration with the English department of the university of Bonn, the institute for philosophy and aesthetic education of Alanus university, Circe theatre e.V. 

Location: Online, Brotfabrik Bühne Beuel 

Date: Nov 19-21


The public awareness of the terms “queer” and “gender” has broadened in the last couple of years. More and more people openly live their queerness and call into question the general assumption that someone is straight unless stated otherwise; gender is no longer just a grammatical category but a space in which we explore and name aspects of our identity. One could argue that questions of identity are deeply private issues that each person has to work through themselves. However, the private is political, and the individual is not separated from society. Rather, society is a heterogenous group of individuals closely connected to one another. One person’s actions have an effect on this network, which is why gender and queerness are issues of political and social relevance, just like class, ethnicity, age, economical background etc. 

In order to educate responsibly and interdisciplinary, issues of gender and queerness have to be included in the curriculum of the 21st century student. 

In Germany, Gender and Queer Studies tend to be approached from a sociology perspective. This symposium will address the issue from a different viewpoint: literary and cultural studies. Novels, theatre, film and television, poetry, paintings, clothing and other cultural objects are powerful storytellers of humanity past and present. Observing these objects means observing the cultural consciousness of the people that shaped them and were in turn shaped.


In order to meet the participants and their different backgrounds equally, the first day of the symposium will be a workshop held by Eva Fürst (ibugi) to introduce vocabulary, discuss foundational ideas of the disciplines and present the most important theorists of Gender and Queer Studies. 

Day 1: Workshop

  • What does „queer“ mean?
  • What does „gender“ mean?
  • Why do we study this?
  • Interdisciplinary nature of the subject (Moral philosophy, sociology, cultural and literary studies, linguistics, economics, anthropology etc.)

On the second day of the symposium, the three best papers from Dr. Meyer’s and Mr. Lowman’s summer term classes at the English department (University of Bonn) will be presented by the students. Prior to the symposium, a call for papers will invite scholars to give presentations on their field of expertise in Gender and Queer studies. These presentations will be held throughout the day. 

Day 2: Symposium

  • IAAK: students’ presentation of the 3 best papers from summer term 2020
  • Call for Papers presentation
  • AStA-Time Slot

Since the research objects of this symposium are of a literary and cultural nature, it is only fitting to close with a play dealing with the matter of queerness and friendship. Theresa Junkermann and Lisa Pohlers from Circe Theatre e.V. will stage an evening of queer performances at the Brotfabrik Bühne in Beuel.

Evening programme: Circe Theatre’s production of A Queer Evening (Mandatory for Alanus Students who want 2CP)

In order to integrate the newly acquired knowledge into their lives and studies, the participants will have the chance to reflect on the symposium on the third day. Using the format of the world café, awareness exercises and other reflective practices, we will not only discuss the information we were given, but also pay attention to what this information means to us, maybe even shift our perspective. There will also be a post-performance talk with the director Theresa Junkermann and the producer Lisa Pohlers. The third day will be hosted by Eva Fürst (ibugi) and associates.

Day 3: Reflection

  • What did you learn?
  • What surprised you?
  • How can you incorporate what you’ve learned into your life/studies?
  • Reflection paper (For Alanus students who want to earn Credit)