Course Schedule

Veranstaltungen von Ben Trott


Production and Reproduction: Capitalism, Colonialism, Globalisation (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Dienstag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 12.013
Einzeltermin | Di, 22.11.2022, 16:15 - Di, 22.11.2022, 17:45 | C 12.102
Einzeltermin | Di, 29.11.2022, 18:00 - Di, 29.11.2022, 20:00 | C 12.102

Inhalt: If capitalism is characterised in part by the accumulation and expansion of capital, how and where does this take place? In other words, how is capital produced, and how are the social relations that facilitate this production re-produced? What is the relation between production and reproduction, historically and today? How have anti-colonial and feminist thinkers -- from Frantz Fanon to Silvia Federici -- contributed to a re-thinking of the role of places and practices long thought peripheral to capitalist production? What role has historically been played by those actors presumed to be peripheral to the productive process in the shaping of capitalism, as well as in processes of globalisation and de-colonisation? And how are contemporary social movements contesting exploitation, alienation, inequality, appropriation, and injustices from within the nexus of production and re-production today?

Political Philosophy (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 16:15 - 17:45 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 12.101

Inhalt: This seminar introduces students to key concepts and debates within political philosophy, beginning first of all with a critical engagement with the notion of ‘the political’ itself (as well as its constitutive exclusions). How, in other words, has the sphere of politics been understood as distinguishable from ‘the social’, ‘the economic’, ‘the cultural’, and so on? Throughout the course of the semester, we will return to this question of the political, also asking how its definition has often rendered ‘private’ or ‘personal’, ‘pre-’ or ‘post-political’, certain spaces, social relations, and subjects. Students will engage with canonical works of political philosophy, as well as with contemporary critical contributions to rethinking notions of the social contract, justice, order, liberty, self-government, colonialism, power and resistance, human nature, revolution, civil society, legitimacy, utopia. The seminar will critically engage with key contributions to political philosophy, including in the works of Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Frantz Fanon, Carole Pateman, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Wendy Brown.

Introduction to Queer Studies (Vorlesung)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Mittwoch | 12:15 - 13:45 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 12.013

Inhalt: This lecture-based class introduces MA students to the interdisciplinary field of Queer Studies, a dynamic and heterogeneous area of scholarly inquiry that has consolidated over the last three decades. It explores, first, the ways in which Queer Studies has insisted on the centrality of the critical study of both heterosexual culture and the binary organisation of gender to any understanding of contemporary culture and society. Second, it examines Queer Studies’ interrogation of queer and trans sub-cultures, counter-publics and life-worlds. The genealogies of Queer Studies are explored, including its roots in Gay and Lesbian, Women’s and Gender Studies, in women of colour feminist traditions, and in social movement and artistic responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Students gain a critical familiarity with some of the key theoretical contributions to the field by some of its best-known authors, including work on “performativity”, “hetero-” and “homo-normativity”, “queer of colour critique”, and “disidentification” as well as queer contributions to the thinking of temporality, intersectionality and historical materialism. Finally, the class explores the complex and changing relationship between Queer Studies and Trans Studies. Throughout the course of the semester, students will critically engage with the works of: Judith Butler, Andrea Long Chu, Emmet Harsin Drager, Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, Petrus Liu, José Esteban Muñoz, Adrienne Rich, Eve Kosofsky Sedwick, Susan Stryker, and Michael Warner.

Master Forum (English language) (Kolloquium)

Dozent/in: Timon Beyes, Ben Trott

Einzeltermin | Do, 01.12.2022, 12:15 - Do, 01.12.2022, 15:45 | C 40.530 Multifunktionsraum | .
Einzeltermin | Fr, 02.12.2022, 10:15 - Fr, 02.12.2022, 17:45 | C 14.027 | .
14-täglich | Donnerstag | 12:15 - 15:45 | 05.01.2023 - 19.01.2023 | C 12.102
Einzeltermin | Do, 19.01.2023, 16:00 - Do, 19.01.2023, 17:30 | C 12.015
Einzeltermin | Fr, 20.01.2023, 10:15 - Fr, 20.01.2023, 17:45 | C 40.530 Multifunktionsraum | .

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 two meetings 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. We will also explore a number of specific issues commonly confronted by those carrying out research: how to use inclusive language, and whether or not to do so when writing about institutions or milieu marked by exclusion; whether or not to quote passages of text which use racist language, and why; how to deal with the terminology which is widely used in historic texts but is no longer in use or has a different meaning today; and what to consider when drawing on translations of primary texts, and when translating passages oneself. Rather than attempting to provide definitive answers or solutions to these issues, the instructors will give some examples of how they and others have approached these problems in their own work – and some of the difficulties involved in doing so. Plenty of space will be provided for critical reflection on these and other issues. Students are invited to sign up to present an outline of their MA thesis in subsequent meetings of the Master Forum, with presentations set to take place in English. Several dates are available to choose from, distributed throughout the semester. 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.

Social Reproduction: Feminist Debates of the 1970s and Today (Profile OekonPlus Module 4) (FSL) (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 12.105

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? Crises of social reproduction – or crises in the capacity to meet key needs and desires, and in the ability to sustain certain social relations and subjectivities – often occur in the context of broader economic/political economic crises. This seminar explores interdisciplinary scholarly work on (the crises of) social reproduction that has been carried out in the years following the global political economic crisis of 2007/8. It pays particular attention to the ways in which this recent scholarship has critically engaged with work on social reproduction carried out in the 1970s, the previous era of such sustained political economic turmoil. In doing so, it addresses two (only partly) overlapping social reproduction debates of the 1970s: first, that carried out among feminist scholars of economics, sociology and political theory; and second, debates conducted in the context of social movements, such as the Wages for Housework campaign.

Queer History in Germany (FSL) (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Ben Trott

wöchentlich | Montag | 18:15 - 19:45 | 17.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 12.013
Einzeltermin | Di, 20.12.2022, 16:15 - Di, 20.12.2022, 18:00 | C 40.601 | C 40.601

Inhalt: This seminar provides students with an introduction to queer history in Germany. It begins with an exploration of the theories of sexuality (including but not limited to homo- and bi-sexuality), developed by sexologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and activists in German-speaking countries, including Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Sigmund Freud and Magnus Hirschfeld. Attention is paid to the ways in which their understandings of sexuality were often caught up with theories of gender, and how these ideas and arguments have been variously embraced, critiqued, modified or rejected in recent Queer and Transgender Studies scholarship. The seminar explores the relationship between theories of male and female (homo-)sexuality, and between gay male and lesbian sexual cultures around the beginning of the twentieth century. Attention is also paid to the German colonial context that shaped the theories of gender and sexuality and the forms of activism circulating in this period. Students will study the criminalisation of (male) homosexuality through Paragraph 175 of the criminal code, and the resistance to the various forms that this criminalisation took in the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the National Socialist period, in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (including via Paragraph 151 of its own criminal code) and in the Federal Republic of Germany both before and after reunification. While Paragraph 175 officially targeted male homosexuality, students will also explore the persecution of lesbian and other women throughout this period, as well as ongoing struggles to incorporate this history within efforts to commemorate and memorialize lesbian, bisexual and queer women. Finally, the seminar examines the emergence and development of LGBT+, gay liberation, lesbian feminist, queer and trans movements from the 1970s onwards, in both the GDR and the Federal Republic. This entails exploring: the relationship between these movements and other political currents, and particularly those of the New Left.