Universität Wien
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100242 PS Diversity or confusion of terms? (2020W)

non-binary, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive in the field of tension of a hetero-masculine gender language

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 10 - Deutsche Philologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 35 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

MODE 3: mix (blended learning):
Division into 2 groups: Group A sits in the room, group B works asynchronously at home
Irregular online meetings are also held with both groups

  • Wednesday 07.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Seminarraum 2 Hauptgebäude, Tiefparterre Stiege 9 Hof 3
  • Wednesday 14.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Seminarraum 2 Hauptgebäude, Tiefparterre Stiege 9 Hof 3
  • Tuesday 20.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Seminarraum 2 Hauptgebäude, Tiefparterre Stiege 9 Hof 3
  • Wednesday 21.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Seminarraum 2 Hauptgebäude, Tiefparterre Stiege 9 Hof 3
  • Wednesday 28.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Seminarraum 2 Hauptgebäude, Tiefparterre Stiege 9 Hof 3
  • Wednesday 04.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 11.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 18.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 25.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 02.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 09.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 16.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 13.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 20.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
  • Wednesday 27.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Everything is possible and everyone is depicted. Is that so? To what extent have the new concepts and their reference designations made it into everyday language and thus into the "middle of society"? Today it is common practice to write represented in order to override the system of gender in a gender-inclusive and non-binary way.
This is true when it comes to writing scientific or official texts and is quite feasible. The personal designations cover a clearly delimited field such as job titles, function titles and academic titles, almost all of which are feminized due to the gender-symmetrical alignment in the 80s/90s. Within this field, an established visualization only of the ciswoman as a cisman is available at that time. The expansion of her scope of action from the private to the public sphere was a major concern of feminism; conversely, making the cisman visible in the private sphere to undermine their over-representation in the public sphere was not really an issue.
The masculine gender, which is used generically in German and other languages of gender, was probably the stumbling block of feminist-linguistic criticism last century. However, quantitatively speaking, the focus was on language use, but not on grammatical and morpho-semantic matters such as syntax rules (predicate) or word fields. Conceptually, the generic masculine and thus the indissoluble connection between masculinity and humanity has contributed to a gender hierarchy with the hetero-masculine at the top. All other genders, including the hetero-female, as well as all gender identities and sexual orientations are subordinated to this masculinity. This can still be seen in the semantic relations of vocabulary under hetero-masculine hegemony in dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Based on this area of tension, the goals of this proseminar are as follows: The gender-critical analysis and deconstruction of the hetero-masculine human within all sexes, genders and gender expressions – whether heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transgender or intergender – on a conceptual level (categories, hierarchies including hetero-masculine hegemony, such as animate : inanimate, human : animal, male : female). In practice, it is the analysis of pre-feministic personal references, also considering pluricentric language (nouns, pronouns and adjectives), which are based on binary hetero-masculine thinking.
This can/should result in deconstructions of these references as well as in complementary additions through the self-designation of the unnamed, or concrete suggestions or new definitions of the investigated hetero-androcentric lemmas. All this from the point of view of an inclusive concept of humans.
Furthermore, syntactic problems should be analyzed such as the preference of the masculine in the gender-sexual congruence, the morpho-semantic accordance of the noun agentis with the masculine person reference, the drift of the grammatical with the natural gender and depersonalization / reification by neutral gender, semantically determined only for non-hetero-masculine people.

Assessment and permitted materials

- regular attendance (max. 1 unexcused absence due to group division)
- active contribution to discussions
- presentation (PowerPoint Presentation and/or handout)
- pro seminar paper (size: 15 pages continuous text)
- Date of submission: 28.02.2021

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grade derives from both frequent attendance as well as written and oral efforts, where a presentation must be held and the seminar paper must be positive.

Examination topics

- Feminist/Masculinist/Gender Theory, Diversity und Queer Studies
- Feminist/Gender linguistic
- Lexicology/-graphy, semantic/word formation
- Pluricentrism
- Linguistic argumentation based on the above-mentioned theories and movements

Reading list

will be announced in the lecture

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:15