Event series „Diversity, Racism and the Broken Promise of Inclusion in German Higher Education“

Diversity, Racism and the Broken Promise of Inclusion in German Higher Education

What does diversity actually mean? And what does an intersectional understanding of diversity mean for German Higher Education?

The Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies, the Master Gender, Intersektionalität und Politik and the  Toolbox Gender und Diversity in der Lehre  invite all members of Freie Universität as well as all other interested persons to the event series Diversity, Racism and the Broken Promise of Inclusion in German Higher Education.

The individual events will focus on diversity policies in higher education. Within the recent years cosmopolitan and liberal-minded spaces that embrace diversity has become central in the diversity politics in German Higher Education. Diversity is publicly heralded as a strategic resource for innovation and academic achievement.

Nevertheless or even therefore we have to ask ourselves about present particularities that shape diversity strategies and politics. Among these we find for example difficulties in gathering and analyzing data intersectionally with a focus on unveiling exclusion mechanisms and tensions in the implementation of diversity policies based on a non-inclusive view of excellence. Furthermore, even though the adaption of diversity policies inherently contains the promise for inclusion, this promise is continuously broken as issues of (intersecting) discrimination not only prevail but are ignored and covered with happy diversity policies that do not aim to fundamentally transform the exclusionary structures and processes of the institutions. This includes the approach of dimensions of difference in an isolated manner with the result that some are made silent, as is the case with race. In the German context, as in Europe in general, racist discrimination is prevalent and yet neither thematized or integrated in diversity policies and measures directed at creating a more just university.

This series of events aims at contributing to the debates around racism and diversity in German Higher Education from a variety of perspectives that include the possibilities and limits of intersectional data collection for making exclusion mechanisms visible; the relationship between the non-inclusive vision of excellence and diversity; the saliency of selected elements of internationalization in relation to diversity and the possibilities that the classroom might be a learning space as well as a safe space and a space of resistance.


November 4, 2021, 4-6 pm (CET)

Keynote: Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths, University of London): Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place (ENG)

December 15, 2021, 4-6 pm (CET)

“Ene, mene, muh und raus bist Du”?: Rassismus statistisch und juristisch erfassen (DE)

January 13, 2022, 4-6 pm (CET)

Internationalization and  Excellence: The Selectivity of Inclusion (ENG/DE)

February 10, 2022, 4-6 pm (CET)

Roundtable: “Decolonizing the Classroom: A Space of Resistance?” (ENG/DE)

The presentations will take place in Webex events. You can join the discussion via a moderated chat. Please register for the respective event via the registration form. You will then receive the Webex link a few days before the lecture.