Course Schedule

Veranstaltungen von Ben Trott


Queer Digital Cultures (FSL) (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

14-täglich | Mittwoch | 12:15 - 15:45 | 10.04.2024 - 03.07.2024 | C 12.001 Seminarraum

Inhalt: Digital media, digital technologies and digital infrastructures shape contemporary culture in many and far-reaching ways. This seminar examines their impact on 'queer' culture in particular – understood here as both LGBT (i.e. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) cultures as well as, more broadly, cultures that contest or subvert dominant norms around gender and sexuality. Students will explore recent efforts to theorise the relationship between transformations in information, digital and other technologies, and transformations in the fields of gender and sexuality. They will examine recent empirical as well as theoretically-informed work on the ways that digital media and technologies are shaping queer life and culture. And they will address the extent to which the study of digital cultures can be productively approached from a queer perspective. Issues that will be explored include the following: • The role of digital media in transgender self-representation • How social media hashtags (like #lesbian) can facilitate both the production of community and the (de-)stabilisation of identity categories • How LGBT and queer intimacies are being transformed through dating and ‘hook-up’ apps (such as Tinder and Grindr) • Digital labour and online pornography • The possibilities and limits of digital queer activism • Histories of the transgender internet

Queer Studies (Advanced Introduction) (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 16:15 - 17:45 | 02.04.2024 - 05.07.2024 | C 7.013 Seminarraum

Inhalt: This advanced introduction does not assume any prior familiarity with Queer Studies, but it is aimed at Cultural Studies students who already have some acquaintance with the critical theories on which Queer Studies draws, including post-structuralist, materialist and feminist approaches. Over the course of the semester, students will encounter Queer Studies as a field that addresses the ways in which contested gender and sexual norms play an important role in shaping society as a whole. The seminar will also explore the ways in which key figures within Queer Studies have refused to study gender or sexuality in isolation from other axes and hierarchies of difference or from contemporary forms of capital accumulation and nationalism. The course will explore some of the works by Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick that are seen as having helped found the field of Queer Studies as well as some more recent contributions by Kadji Amin on new queer, trans and asexual ‘taxonomies’. Students will also participate in an excursion to the Schwules Museum to an exhibit exploring the relationship between sex work and queer cultures and to public lectures by international scholars working on questions of gender and sexuality.

Feminist Political Economy and Social Reproduction (FSL) (Modul 4 OekonPlus) (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 18:15 - 19:45 | 02.04.2024 - 05.07.2024 | C 7.013 Seminarraum
Einzeltermin | Sa, 25.05.2024, 00:00 - Sa, 25.05.2024, 00:00 | extern | Excursion: Schwules Museum Berlin

Inhalt: Feminist economists and feminist approaches to political economy have often argued that many heterodox as well as neo-classical contributions to economic thought and political economy neglect the realm of ‘social reproduction’. This is the term that has been used primarily by feminist economists, sociologists, political theorists and others to describe the material, intellectual and emotional labour involved in meeting basic needs and desires, producing and reproducing particular social relations and subjectivities, and ensuring the (re-)production of future generations. The study of social reproduction entails inquiry into waged and unwaged forms of labour (and the relation between the two), including but not limited to care work and domestic labour. It approaches the economic field and political economy from the perspective of labour, and it asks: which kinds of labour are entailed in the production of wealth, and what social relations and subjectivities are required to reproduce existing ways of producing? What accounts for the inattention to some forms of work relative to others, including within the fields of economics and political economy? How have some forms of labour come to be de-valued economically, but also socially, politically and culturally? With which consequences? And how has all this been contested?

Master Forum (english) (Kolloquium)

Dozent/in: Timon Beyes, Ben Trott

Einzeltermin | Di, 09.04.2024, 10:15 - Di, 09.04.2024, 13:45 | C 40.152 Seminarraum
Einzeltermin | Di, 04.06.2024, 10:00 - Di, 04.06.2024, 18:00 | C 40.152 Seminarraum
Einzeltermin | Di, 18.06.2024, 10:00 - Di, 18.06.2024, 18:00 | C 40.152 Seminarraum

Inhalt: This Master Forum, which will be held entirely in English, provides first and foremost an opportunity for students embarking on their MA theses to present an outline of their projects, with the goal of receiving productive critical feedback – both from instructors and from student peers. In addition, it also aims to facilitate critical reflection on a set of what may initially appear to be quite practical or even technical issues – around how scholarly research is carried out and presented – and yet often ultimately prove to be caught up with questions of content, argument and approach. In the first meeting of the Master Forum, Timon Beyes and Ben Trott will introduce some of the common issues confronted by those carrying out scholarly research or writing in Cultural Studies, the Humanities and the Social Sciences. This will include general questions, including: how to arrive at and formulate a research question and a suitable framework for your project; how to begin thinking about method and methodology, and starting to conducting research; and ways of referencing and of acknowledging the use of sources. Students are invited to sign up to present an outline of their MA thesis in the subsequent three meetings of the Master Forum, with presentations set to take place in English. While this will ultimately depend on the number of students participating, students should expect to have around 30 minutes in total for the presentation and discussion of their projects, and presentations themselves should last between 10 and 15 minutes, allowing plenty of time for discussion. Students are required upload a two-page summary of their project to myStudy one week before they are due to present. This should include: • a working title for your thesis as well as your research question; • the approach, method or methodology that you plan on using, and the theoretical framework or points of reference for your project; • what you anticipate discovering or arguing in your thesis; • and a list of up to five key works that you will use, along with any additional information about sources you plan on using – such as archives, exhibitions or interview partners. Students are asked to attend all sessions of the Master Forum, not the simply the session in which they will present, and to have read the two-page summaries ahead of time. Please be ready to provide your fellow students with productive critical feedback on their projects! The Master Forum is examined (pass/fail) as a combined scholarly work [Kombinierte wissenschaftliche Arbeit] made up of (a) your two-page summary and (b) your presentation.

Can Words Be Violent? Philosophy of Language and Performativity (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 02.04.2024 - 05.07.2024 | C 12.107 Seminarraum

Inhalt: This seminar explores one of the sites in which ‘analytic’ or ‘Anglo-American’ and ‘continental’ traditions of philosophy have intersected, namely, in debates around the ‘performativity’ of speech. Within the philosophy of language, ‘Speech Act Theory’ and theories of performativity have asked how *saying something* can itself be to *do something* or to *have certain effects*. Some (but not all) theories of performativity have argued that one of the things speech can do is direct harm. This seminar will ask how and under what conditions words can be violent – in the sense of doing harm or causing pain. Students will engage with both primary texts and secondary literature in order to explore some of the key contributions to theories of performativity and Speech Act Theory emerging from both analytic and continental traditions. In a second part of the semester, students will look at some of the ways in which these arguments have been taken up and applied to debates around feminism and pornography as well as around homo- and transphobic speech. We will also look at some feminist, queer and other approaches that have questioned the degree to which speech can cause harm in immediate and automatic ways and that have explored how ‘linguistic vulnerability’ can ultimately serve as a basis for solidarity and non-violent political action.