Intersections

Intersections is a network dedicated to examining various forms of intersectional discrimination. Aiming at organizing workshops and talks, Intersections wants to address the current state and future challenges LGBTQIA* people face. The network closely collaborates with Saarland University’s Forum Geschlechterforschung (Forum Gender Studies) and the student group AK Queer UdS. The inaugural workshop on the topic of Queer/Migration/Legality took place in Saarbrücken on June 17-18, 2017.

Intersections takes its name from the concept of intersectionality. This concept helps us understand the complexities of inequality in society. Kimberley Crenshaw, who gets credit for coining the term “intersectionality”, asks us to conceptualize discrimination in analogy to traffic:
Discrimination, like traffic through an intersection, may flow in one direction, and it may flow in another. If an accident happens in an intersection, it can be caused by cars traveling from any number of directions and, sometimes, from all of them. Similarly, if a Black woman is harmed because she is in the intersection, her injury could result from sex discrimination or race discrimination (Crenshaw 1989: 149).

Intersectionality research has a much longer lineage than the mere term which has been studied extensively in recent times and which has spread over different academic disciplines. Crenshaw herself explicitly bases her ideas on thinkers like Anna Julia Cooper (1892) who authored one of the earliest analyses of the unique situation of Black women in the United States, offering insights about racialized sexism and sexualized racism, and other black and PoC, and later also Chican@ and Native/First Nations thinkers.

Since its creation, the term has been used to analyze the experiences of different social categories (most prominently within gender studies). Intersectionality, especially intersectional discrimination, is not a topic which is limited to academic research; it pervades our every day life. People face discrimination, oppression, and struggle with violence because of several attributed social categories, be it gender, sexuality, class, race/ethnicity, place of origin/migration status, legal status, religion, health, age, abledness, and so on. Every day, people experience physical and psychological harm and are targeted because of assigned social categories.

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Contact

contact[at]intersections-sb.de