First Audre Lorde Guest Professorship: Prof. Dr. Maisha M. Auma
Summer Semester 2021 and Winter Semester 2021/2022
As an educational scientist and gender researcher, Maisha M. Auma bundles and updates research approaches that deal with unevenly distributed social power, privilege structures, and barriers to inclusion. “Gender studies have already made a huge difference in Berlin as a research hub,” says Maisha M. Auma. But there is still a need for action: Only when existing patterns of exclusion are identified can those who have been discriminated against not only participate, but also become involved on a permanent basis – and help steer the fate of research institutions.
“So far, Berlin research has not yet reflected the hyperdiverse, post-migrant reality of Berlin society,” says Maisha M. Auma. Multiperspectivity in research and teaching is the task of current and viable diversity policies and research. “The aim is to transform homogeneous social spaces so that the diversity of society can be institutionalized scientifically.” As a black woman, Maisha M. Auma has experience of belonging to the academic world that is not a matter of course: “I have worked on sharpened this knowledge within the framework of German-language educational science, gender studies, and childhood studies in a power-critical and reflexive manner.” The researcher analyzes social reality intersectionally, from the perspective of those groups that have little social power. She works consistently transnationally, both on topics of diversity pedagogical research and intersectional-racism-critical theory and practice.
In the winter semester 2021/2022, Maisha M. Auma critically examined issues around diversity in research institutions, inclusion, and intersectionality and from transnational perspectives in the framework of the lecture series “Intersectional Diversity Studies. Critical Diversity and Gender Studies in the 21st Century”. In addition, she offered a LabMeeting/Colloquium in a block format.
“New and important social issues, debates, and research objectives in the Berlin area are, for example, diversity-oriented restitution research,” emphasized Maisha M. Auma. “The fact that Berlin, as a former colonial metropolis, is now assuming political responsibility to address colonial injustices such as the genocide against the Namaqua and Herero or the return of stolen objects gives rise to hope that racially marginalized groups and post-migrant realities in Berlin, including academia, will become institutionally visible in Berlin. The Berlin University Alliance takes on a central role in establishing these contemporary issues.”
The DiGENet guest professorship in the cross-cutting theme Diversity and Gender Equality of the BUA structured partial aspects of these debates and the research questions generated from them in the form of public lecture series, seminars, and colloquia. It started with “Yallah Diversity” in the summer semester of 2021. In this public series of seminars, Maisha M. Auma discussed theoretical terms such as “post-migrant”, “decolonial”, and “racism-critical” with stakeholders from the Berlin academic landscape.