At the Crossroads: Theory, Method and Applications of Intersectionality (Crashkurs)

This workshop introduces students to the theory of intersectionality – a concept coined by African American legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1991 in order to highlight the multi-layered discriminations Black women had to confront. Crenshaw sought to develop a method that made it possible to analyse several interlocking systems of oppression, among them racism and sexism, but also those based on class, sexuality, an ability. Newer applications of intersectionality also highlight how these categories are entangled with and mutually constitutive of each other. The concept proved to be widely successful and productive in its application to various disciplines.

In this two-days workshop, we want to address Crenshaw’s concept by reading parts of the original text as well as primary sources that address multidimensional oppression as endured by, for instance, enslaved women. In addition, we are going to discuss some recent trends in theories of intersectionality and how they relate to contemporary movements such as Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name.

Silke Hackenesch is an Assistant professor at the Department of British and North American History at Kassel University. She specializes in Childhood and Adoption Studies, African American History, Critical Race and Gender Studies, and Black Diaspora Studies.

Ceylan Yildirim is a student of English and History at Kassel University. She has been working as a tutor and student assistant at the Department of Medieval History and British and North American History since 2015.