SAGS-Conference 2021, University of Zurich, 26-27 Nov 2021

"Wom*n's Suffrage and Democracy: Critique, Memory, Visions"

The Swiss Association for Gender Studies (SAGS) Conference is supported by the Center for Social Research.


The occasion and backdrop of the conference in 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Swiss wom*n’s right to vote, introduced in 1971. The conference tackles the theme of «wom*n’s suffrage and democracy» from a democracy and gender theoretical, intersectional and postcolonial perspective with a focus on both Switzerland and the situation in other countries and contexts.


With keynotes by Professors Hoda Elsadda (Cairo University) and Andrea Maihofer (University of Basel).


When: 26. - 27. November 2021

Where: University of Zurich


Expert Interview, Radio SRF 3, Swiss Radio and Television, 22 Apr 2021

"Emotionen und Gender"

Within the framework of 'Nid glich - Eine Aktion für Gleichstellung', historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about emotions and gender, and why angry women are perceived differently than angry men.



Exchange, Kaserne Basel, 8 Mar 2021

"Geschlechterverhältnisse im Kulturbereich - zwischen Vision und Realität"

The gender backlash triggered by the Corona crisis makes it clearer than ever: there is a disproportion between the sexes. We ask artists, organisers, cultural politicians and academics: What is the state of culture? The aim of the discussion is to show why it is necessary and worthwhile to put diversity and equality into practice in cultural institutions. The discussion will call for a targeted commitment to inclusive structures, especially in the fields of music, theatre and dance, and strengthen self-activation in order to break down the existing disproportions. The panel will focus attention on a currently highly explosive topic. We will discuss resistance and challenges as well as concrete steps for action to achieve better cooperation and significant structural changes.


With Andrea Zimmermann, Ariane Andereggen, Dominique Rovini, Lucrezia Perrig and others.


When: 8 Mar 2021, 7pm

Where: Reithalle. The event will also be streamed live to the YouTube-Channel of Kaserne Basel.


Expert Interview, Radio SRF 3, Swiss Radio and Television, 2 Feb 2021

"Die Genderfalle"

Within the framework of 'Nid glich - Eine Aktion für Gleichstellung', historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard thematises gender trap, role models and their effects on lifestyle and lifequality of parents as well on clothing choice for children.



Expert Interview, 20min, 23 Nov 2020

"Kritik an Migros Preisen: 'Das Ü-Ei ist exemplarisch für die Ungleichheit der Geschlechter'"

Gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about pink taxing on products for children as well as adults. Read the full article here.


Expert Interview, Swiss Radio and Television, 16 Nov 2020

"Miss-Schweiz in Konkurs - Die Schweizerin von heute soll 'hot' sein, nicht hübsch"

Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about social shift of gender images from sexist object to self-sexualizing subject. Read the full article here.


Expert Interview, Einstein, Swiss Radio and Television, 5 Nov 2020

"Die Macht der Geschlechterrollen"

Why are girls and boys divided into pink and blue at an early age? Why are most studies in research focused on men and what does this mean for women? "Einstein" reviews common gender roles and shows their serious consequences. Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about gender marketing and its effects on children.



Roundtable, Swiss Association for Gender Studies, Online Event, 5 Nov 2020

"Shared memories of equality movements - an intergenerational dialogue"

In view of the 50 year anniversary of wom*n's suffrage in Switzerland in 2021 and the 2nd wom*n's strike in 2019, this roundtable convenes different generations of wom*n who were and are involved in the (queer) feminist equality movement and other emancipatory projects. We will ask the discussants about the significance of the different emancipatory movements in Switzerland, their commonalities and differences: What were the panelists’ central experiences, problems and goals? What do they believe has been achieved and what are the next urgent issues? And finally, what do we learn from each other? How could a broader, intergenerational, collective or shared memory of the history of movements and experiences be gained?


With roundtable guests Serena Dankwa, Ella Hautier, Elisabeth Joris, Patricia Schulz and moderator Dominique Grisard (SAGS board member, historian and gender scholar).


This roundtable will be hold following the general assembly of Swiss Association for Gender Studies (SAGS).


When: 5. Nov 2020

Where: Online. The roundtable can be viewed here: Video


Expert Interview, 10vor10, Swiss Radio and Television, 13 Oct 2020

"Die Misswahl - Der Beginn einer Revolution" im Kino

On November 20, 1970, historical events took place at the "Miss World" election in London. Now a film humorously traces the feminists' revolt against sexism and chauvinism at the time. Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard recently appeared on "10vor10" to discuss about miss-elections in Switzerland during the 60s. 


Discussion, Kaserne Basel, 2 Oct 2020


This Event is part of "What Is Human? - ein Abend über und mit Familie*"


Family* is a way of life in motion. Our conversation will focus on the currently rapidly changing, increasingly translocal arrangements of patchwork, rainbow, care, refugee and migrant family networks. At the same time, the boundaries and resistances that these new family practices encounter will be discussed: In the everyday life of an Afghan young man and his Lucerne foster family or a theatermaker with children in the Swiss theater business. Family* is also characterized by ambivalences. We talk about the family as a space of experience of security, intimacy as well as mutual care and attention for one another, but also as a place of violence, abuse, neglect and reproduction of inequality. The goal is to critically assess the significance of current processes around family from scientific and practical perspective.


With moderator Dominique Grisard (The Art of Intervention & Gender Studies University of Basel)


When: Friday, 2. Oct 2020, 6pm

Where: Kaserne Basel, Rossstall II


Round table, Kaserne Basel, 9 Sept 2020

"Anti-Schwarzer Rassismus: Kontrollierte Körper, überwachte Mobilität und die Kunst der Intervention"

A cooperation of Kaserne Basel, Graduate School of Social Sciences (G3S) at the University of Basel, Center for Gender Studies, The Art of Intervention and Center for Social Research.


Whose bodies move seamlessly across borders and whose bodies are systematically stopped, controlled and surveilled? To whom is subject status granted, and who is methodically compared with tradable goods in terms of the social and economic value? This exchange within the framework of a round table aims to dissect the body and movement policies in their relationship to colonial history, racialized capitalism and commodity racism.
In accordance with the international decade for people of African descent, we will focus on manifestations of institutional racism - from economic discrimination and educational differences to racist (police) controls and various forms of othering and S/exoticization that particularly affect the everyday lives of black people. We will question how experiences of everyday anti-black racism are part of the politics of the body and mobility and how they are influenced by gender, sexuality, class, nationality and skin color, both historically and in today's increasingly visual culture. Finally, we will look at the possibilities and limitations of art as an intervention in structural racism in Switzerland and beyond.


Round table with Vanessa Thompson, Claudia Wilopo, Mohomodou Houssouba, moderated by Serena Dankwa


When: Wednesday, 9. September 2020, 8.00 pm

Where: Kaserne Basel


Expert Interview, watson, 28 Jul 2020

"Körperbehaarung bei Frauen: Warum ist es immer noch ein Tabu?"

Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about female body hair, social norms and maintenance of the image of femininity. Read the full article here.


Event Series "Circular Flow", Online Lecture, 25 May 2020

"Aesthetics, Raciality, and Dispossession"

A cooperation of Kunstmuseum Basel, Center for Gender Studies and Graduate School of Social Sciences (G3S) at the University of Basel, and Center for Social Research.


Online lecture followed by Q&A with Rizvana Bradley (History of Art and African-American Studies, Yale) and moderator Dominique Grisard (The Art of Intervention, Gender Studies, Basel).


This talk is part of the event series "Circular Flow - On the Economy of Inequality" and addresses racialized embodiment and embodied life in relation to the interlocking questions of violence, surplus, and representation that subtend globalized flows of capital. If, as Paula Chakravartty and Denise Ferreira da Silva suggest, the logic of global financial capital hinges upon an irreducible raciality, how might we think about the minor aesthetic practices generated by "aberrant economic subjects" who at once bear the conditions of possibility for, intransigent threats to, and deviant enactments of dispossessive accumulation?


When: Monday, 25. May 2020, 6.15 pm

Information on how to access the lecture and Q&A here


Expert Interview, Program "Hotspot", Swiss Radio and Television, 28 Jan 2020

"The Gender Trap, Episode 4: Advertisement Beyond Blue and Pink"

Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard recently appeared on "Hotspot" to discuss about gender trap in advertisment.


Pink razors for women or blue ballpoint pens for men - gender marketing determines our everyday life and affects more industries than we might think. Certain companies make a lot of profit with "gendered" products. However, most of these companies are also affected by the gender trap.


Every one of us has already been caught in this trap: The exact same product, once in pink for women, once in blue for men. Gender-separated toys, clothes and food are everyday life for us. But this colour specific advertising has only existed in this form since the 1990's explains historian Dominique Grisard.


Gender marketing goes much deeper than the difference of colours: from insurance companies to furniture stores, companies rely on man-woman products. Some use this tactic extensively for their business: Gilette, Coca Cola, Disney and Co. make good profit with their gender specific products. But other companies would do better if they would change their strategies, marketing experts clarify. The male-female categorization is very often chosen to design and promote a product. Although this categorization is rarely really suitable, it does have a huge influence on our society.



Expert Interview, "Sonntagszeitung", 19 Jan 2020

"Die Rosa-Horror-Show"

Gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about stereotyping in childrens clothing and the parental effects on enableing the stereotype. Read the full article here.


Preliminary Study, Oct 2019 - 2021

"Preliminary Study on Gender Relations in the Swiss Cultural Sector"

This October we launched a preliminary study on gender relations in the Swiss cultural sector to be conducted at the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Basel under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Zimmermann. In cooperation with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Center for Social Research, a comprehensive, nationwide study on the subject of equal opportunities is being prepared, as it has been demanded for some time now by various actors from the fields of culture and cultural policy. As part of the preliminary study, existing data will be compiled and supplemented by qualitative interviews. In close cooperation with experts from the fields of culture and science from all over Switzerland, central indicators for a more detailed analysis can thus be developed. The project also aims to communicate initial findings on individual sectors and regional charakteristics to an interested public. The study will be completed by the beginning of 2021.


Panel Discussion, Kaserne Basel, 5 Dec 2019

"Der Theaterbetrieb - Spielräume für die Geschlechter?"

A cooperation of Kaserne Basel, Center for Gender Studies at University of Basel, The Art of Intervention and Center for Social Research.


"What role do gender relations play in Swiss cultural life?" Since October, a team of scientists at the Center for Gender Studies at the University of Basel, in cooperation with Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Center for Social Research, have been investigating this important question within the framework of the "Preliminary study on Gender Relations in the Swiss Cultural Sector". As a first step, the study focuses on theatre businesses. The panel discussion will address to what extent gender continues to play a central role: in salary negotiations, training, the design of theater schedules, questions of staffing, questions of the compatibility of family and career and filling management positions.

With CSR director Dominique Grisard.


When: Thursday, 5. Dec 2019, 6pm

Where: Kaserne Basel, Rossstall II


Event Series, Theater Basel, Oct - Dec 2019


A cooperation of Theater Basel, Center for Gender Studies at University of Basel and Center for Social Research.


The interdisciplinary series “grrrls grrrls grrrls” aims to pose the question using the most diverse artistic formats and in close exchange with the current scientific discourse: How equal are we really today? On this occasion, the now legendary Monkey Bar opens its doors to everyone, including you and your perspective.


All activities at a glance:


23 October, 8 pm: Antigone, Desdemona and Hedda

Representation of femininity on stage. A discussion with Dr. Andrea Zimmermann and Darja Stocker. 


25 October, 9 pm: Project Schooriiil – Climate Change

By and with Anne Haug, Melanie Schmidli and Kai Wido Meyer (Video).


14 November, 8 pm: Masculinity at the End of its Performance?

Discussion with Matthias Luterbach, Matthias Köhler and Jonas Gillmann (Moderation Andrea Zimmermann). 


22 November, 10 pm: Masculinity Fragility

Text version and staging by Matthias Köhler.


12 December: „The most beautiful love is the unfulfilled one“

Discussion with Anna Gien and Fleur Weibel (Moderation Dominique Grisard).


Where: Monkey Bar, Klosterberg 6, 4051 Basel



Expedition, Sep 2019 - Mar 2020

"Ich Mann. Du Frau. Feste Rollen seit Urzeiten?"

In the interdisciplinary exhibition "Ich Mann. Du Frau.", the question arises whether there were female hunters and collectors beside male ones, whether women painted cave walls, and whether queens ruled in the older Iron Age. And today? Why do girls like Rosa so much? Why does Migros offer gender-specific soups for children? Why is the women's strike a necessity?


The exhibition "Ich Mann. Du Frau." answers these apparently trivial questions by questioning our idea of the past and moving away from a male-centric view. In the light of archaeological facts, we see a great variety of role and social models that must have existed in the millennia of prehistory, and are invited to reflect more about our society today.

With their video and sculptural installations, the artists present their views on the construction of the historical narrative and the definition of gender.


When: 21 Sept 2019 - 29 March 2020

Where: NMB Neues Museum Biel, Seevorstadt 52, 2501 Biel



Expert Interview, "Bieler Tagblatt", 21 Sep 2019

"Color Pink"

Gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses how pink became such a feminine colour and explains why the "pink-izing" is worrying. Read the full article here.


Conference of Swiss Association for Gender Studies, 12 - 13 Sep 2019

"Violent Times, Rising Protests. Structures, Experiences, and Feelings"

A cooperation of the Swiss Association for Gender Studies (SAGS) with Center for Social Research.


Violence is a persistent element of modern history. This notwithstanding, a growing number of people experience today‘s world as particularly violent. The media‘s incessant coverage of continuous warfare, the rise of hate in social media, the growing number of angry citizens or «Wutbürger», the increasingly open racist, sexist, and homophobic discrimination against all «others» and «strangers», and last but not least the persistence of sexual assault, are just a few examples of violence‘s omnipresent, global dimension.


Are these expressions of violence connected to each other and if so, in which way? How can violence be analyzed in its historic distinctiveness? How to grasp the way it makes people feel? The diverse conference contributions analyze violence from a transdisciplinary gender perspective. 


When: 12 - 13 Sept 2019

Where: University of Berne, Uni Muesmatt, Muesmattstrasse 29, 3012 Bern


Article, undKinder Nr. 103, Kinder und Kleider, Jul 2019

"Die 'weiche Macht' von Farbe. Rosa Geschlechtersozialisation"

About thirty years ago, color became an omnipresent, highly visible technology of gender socialization, insofar as it visually, affectively and symbolically declares its belonging to a gender, but increasingly also addresses gender creativity. Dominique Grisard examines in this article in the magazine undKinder Nr. 103 the question of how color unfolds a soft power in children's lives.


The Center for Social Research supported the publication of

"Racial Profiling - Struktureller Rassismus und antirassistischer Widerstand"

Racist police controls are part of everyday life in Europe. They drastically reveal who is not considered a fellow citizen. While a large part of the dominant society perceives this racist practice as normal, more and more affected people are no longer willing to accept it without resistance


This volume brings together scientific, artistic and activist contributions on the social backgrounds and effects of racial profiling and the possibilities of intersectional anti-racist resistance. The focus is on Switzerland, supplemented by perspectives from authors who are familiar with the German context.


Open Access: Racial Profiling


Expert Interview, Health Program "Puls", Swiss Radio and Television, 24 Jun 2019

"The Meaning of Body Hair"

Historian and gender expert Dominique Grisard recently appeared on "Puls" to discuss about the meaning of the body hair in context of history, gender and sexualization.



Expert Interview, "Der Bund", 11 Jun 2019

"Children's fashion"

Gender expert Dominique Grisard discusses about gender marketing, its effects on role patterns and the trend towards gender-neutral clothing. Read the full article here.


Performance and Public Discussion, 27 May 2019

"Wildwuchs Festival 2019: We Bodies"

Public discussion moderated by Dominique Grisard following the performance of "We Bodies".


We Bodies deals with the figure of the monster. Because the monster can override ideas of normality and thus resembles the miracle. Even a miracle, by its appearance, questions our natural order. A monster is a mixed being: Neither man nor woman, neither animal nor human, neither natural nor artificial.


In their performance, Teresa Vittucci, Michael Turinsky and Claire Vivianne Sobottke create a new language of movement based on their own limitations and attributions. The supposed failure becomes a possibility and the encounter of the three becomes a political-social field of research.


When: Monday, 27 May 2019

Where: Kaserne Basel, Rossstall 1


Art and Politics, Children's Books Table, 15 May 2019

"Bunt & vielfältig. Kinderbücher heute"

The event "Bunt & vielfältig. Kinderbücher Heute" takes place on the occasion of IDAHOT, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, and the theme week BUNT! Basel divers.


The modern life reality of children looks colorful. But what makes this diversity so special? And how can it be possible to talk with children about attributions, ideals and identifications in a prejudice-conscious and gender-sensitive manner, as well as to thematise diverse lifestyles and family models - without emphasising them? The Art of Intervention presents selected books for children of pre-school age, which contain the complexity of role models for children and of life and family plans.


When: Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Where: Alte Markthalle Basel


Performances and Theoretical Reflection, 16 - 20 Mar 2019

"Das Spiel der Mimesis - Einführende Überlegungen zu einer Kritik der Geschlechterordnung"

A cooperation of the Center for Social Research with Kaserne Basel and Zentrum Gender Studies University of Basel.


We imitate to absorb others. Mimesia started with this idea in Cairo in 2017. While working there, Miriam Coretta Schulte got to know a network of solidary women - and was fascinated. The admiration of admiration became the reason to assemble artistic accomplices. And to remember who shaped us. When do we admire some people so much that we want to resemble them? Can we as adults use our capacity for imitation and imitation to emancipate and solidarize ourselves?


On the occasion of the performance Mimesia by Miriam Coretta Schulte, researchers from the Center for Gender Studies will be inviting to an introduction to feminist aspects of the performance, the title-giving concept of mimesis and the role of role models, and to examine them in the light of their own research.


When: 16 - 20  March 2019

Where: Kaserne Basel


Expert Interview, Special Solothurn Film Festival, Swiss Television, 31 Jan 2019

"La Petite Mort"

a documentary on the female orgasm, 2018, dir. Annie Gisler

Few women know their own bodies and how to experience sexual pleasure. Even fewer share their concerns, ideas and fantasies with intimate partners. It seems easier to fake an orgasm than to take seriously, give voice and negotiate sexual preferences, desires and practices. And this in hyper-sexualized times. What happened since the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s? How relevant is women's sexuality to gender equality? Watch!


Expert Interview, Gendermarketing, Nau.ch, 19 Dec 2018

"Lindt in der Kritik wegen sexistischem Goldbären"

Lindt's popular gold bear now also exists as a "girl" version. With heavily made-up eyes and a pink coat. Gender expert Dominique Grisard unpacks the sexist logic of gender marketing.



Theoretical reflection, 21 Oct 2018

"Staging Gender, Staging Queerness: Einführende Überlegungen zu einer Kritik der Geschlechterordnung"

A cooperation of the Center for Social Research with Kaserne Basel and Zentrum Gender Studies University of Basel.


As part of the performances between 18 and 22 October 2018, researchers from the Centre for Gender Studies will be offering a thematic lecture on the subject matter Desiring Contradiction, which will focus on the aspects of various performances and illuminate them against the background of their own research projects.


When: Sunday, 21 Oct 2018

Where: Kaserne Basel


Focus "Gender Fluidity, 18 - 22 Oct 2018

"Desiring Contradiction"

A cooperation of the Center for Social Research with Kaserne Basel and Zentrum Gender Studies University of Basel.


Desiring Contradiction combines various perspectives and aesthetic languages from Bangalore, Basel, Cape Town, New York City and Tehuantepec. The artists question and present opinions on issues such as transgender, gender fluidity and queering. The thematic focus provides an opportunity for discussion and reflection on the structure of identities and promotes a fluid image of gender.


The subject matter Desiring Contradiction marks the start of a long-term cooperation with the Center for Gender Studies and the Swiss Center for Social Research, whose common goal is to foster a dialogue between theory, theater and performance practice: students and researchers gain insight into production processes and in return are given the opportunity to contribute with their analysis to the program of Kaserne Basel.


When: 18 - 22 Oct 2018

Where: Kaserne Basel


Event series, May - Dec 2018

"The Art of Intervention"

The Center for Social Research is co-organizing the event series "The Art of Intervention" with Kunstmuseum Basel Gegenwart and the University of Basel Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften. The event series thematizes critical and visionary perspectives in art and culture on current debates about the multiple crises of capitalism, reignited nationalisms, gender and migration politics.


We invite you to visit our blog and to check out our flyer.


When: Tuesdays, 6pm

Where: Kunstmuseum Basel Gegenwart, St. Alban-Rheinweg 60


Event Series, "The Art of Intervention", 16 Oct 2018

Jack Halberstam "Unbuilding Gender"

Jack Halberstam, Professor at Columbia University, will be giving a talk about "Unbuilding Gender: Trans* Anarchitectures In and Beyond the Work of Gordon Matta-Clark".


This talk is part of the lecture series "The Art of Intervention" by the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Basel in cooperation with Kunstmuseum Basel Gegenwart and Swiss Center for Social Research.


When: Tuesday, 16 Oct 2018, 6pm

Where: Kunstmuseum Basel Gegenwart


Expert Interview, Swiss Radio and Television, 16 Mar 2018

"Aldo Moro, Terror and the Swiss"

The kidnapping of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, the Italian Terror and connections to the German Red Army Faction: trails in and through Switzerland. One could say that Switzerland served as a liaison between the terror organisations of the Italien Red Brigades and the German RAF - a transit country. 


Central to this feat was that the Swiss thought of Terror as something foreign and deeply un-Swiss, says historian Dominique Grisard in this interview.



Expert Interview, Kontext, Swiss Radio and Television, 29 Mar 2017

"Terror 1977: Seduced Women"

Historian Dominique Grisard discusses the role of women in 1970s left wing terrorist phenomena. Listen to her interview here.


"The Politics of Beauty" Special Issue Forthcoming

The Center for Social Research co-organized an international conference and summer school on the theme of "The Politics of Beauty" at the University of Cambridge (30 Aug - 3 Sep 2016). We are currently working on a special issue of a journal on "The Politics of Beauty".



Conference Programme

Call for Papers 



Expert Interview, Science Program "Einstein", Swiss Radio and Television, 17 Sep 2015

"Youth and Sexuality"

Today everything is sexy and hot. Anal and oral are the new normal. Our youth lives in a digital world. All it takes is a few clicks: what we see are macho-like pimps and women portrayed as willing "arm candy". How do adolescents deal with the hyper-sexualization of the everyday. Are worries about a "generation porn" justified?

Gender expert Dominique Grisard contextualizes today's debates about sexualization and the gendered body.


Round table, "Der Club", Swiss Radio and Television, 17 Feb 2015


CSR director Dominique Grisard recently appeared on Swiss National TV round table "Der Club" to discuss the global popularity of the "Fifty Shades of Gray" books and film and what the phenomenon can tell us about women's reading and viewing pleasures in the 21st century.