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Research project

GLOBINTERSECT - Global perspectives on intersectional histories

The EUI Widening Europe Programme initiative, backed by contributions from the European Union and EUI Contracting States, is designed to strengthen internationalisation, competitiveness, and quality in research in the so-called Widening countries, and thus foster a more cohesive European Higher Education and Research area.

Anti-immigrant sentiments are often spurred in Europe today by sweeping depictions of Muslim refugees as homophobic and young men from the MENA region as sexist. At the same time struggles against racism and against socio-economic injustices are pitted against one another (woke vs left). These tensions decisively contribute to the polarisation of European societies.

The point of departure for the project is the recent publication of several studies that look at gender, queerness, disability, residence status and other markers of difference from a global or transnational history perspective. Instead of singling out one aspect of diversity, GLOBINTERSECT will follow an intersectional approach: How were different logics of discrimination interconnected? With this question in mind, the project will look at transregional and transcontinental connections and disconnections since the early 19th century. Thereby it can pick up on a number of pioneering works that have addressed the interplay between race, class, gender and sexuality in colonial settings.

In doing so, the primary question is not how globalising dynamics increased or decreased diversity and intersectional complexity. Rather, the project will trace how configurations of diversity and modes of intersectionality shifted with global connections and disconnections. Were people who had to cope with intersectional discriminations more or less likely than others to engage in transnational communication and traverse national borders? What difficultires were anticipated, and encountered, by people who moved between places where they were discriminated against due to a certain characteristic and places where they were not? Did education play a decisive role in this?

With these questions in mind the project will look at race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, disability, displacement and other markers of difference. It will employ quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the interstices between global and local settings, generalisable and particular aspects, integrating and diversifying dynamics. It directs attention to processes of diversification and to modes of dealing with it from a bottom-up as well as from a top-down perspective, thus charting a new field of historical research.

The team

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