Interface Gender I: Identity and Gender on the Internet
An Introduction to Feminist Network Theory and Network Practice

Nichts weniger als ein neutraler Raum, in dem traditionelle Machtstrukturen und -politiken keine Gültigkeit mehr besitzen würden, ist das Netz vielmehr eine 'contested zone' (Kay Schaffer) - kein Niemandsland also, sondern ein umkämpftes Gebiet, das denselben hegemonialen Interessen unterliegt wie andere gesellschaftliche Bereiche auch. Insbesondere das World Wide Web hat sich als dabei als ein Bereich entwickelt, in dem Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien und Repräsentationspolitiken auf spezifische Weise ineinandergreifen. Als besonders brisant erweist sich diese Mischung dort, wo es um Fragen von Identität und Geschlecht geht. Während auf der einen Seite im Gefolge des 'Mythos Internet' Utopien und Visionen eines experimentellen und grenzüberschreitenden Umgangs mit (Geschlechts-)identitäten kursieren, bleibt angesichts der Netzrealität des World Wide Web zu fragen, ob und wie es in einer solchen 'Arena der Repräsentation' gelingen kann, jenseits und vollkommen unabhängig von jenen individuellen Bedingtheiten und gesellschaftlichen Normierungen zu agieren, die unser Leben im Diesseits unserer körperlichen und sozialen Existenz bestimmen. Schliesslich sitzen vor den Bildschirmen und an den Tastaturen nach wie vor "Körper von Gewicht".

At the center of this is the overarching question of what significance the gender category has on the Internet and its different services, and what specific 'technologies of gender' operate here at the gender interface. The seminar will first of all be about gaining an insight into the tension between identity and gender in the net. Concrete examples from the current network practice should serve as the basis for further questions and discussions.

In several block meetings (n. V.), different practices of the construction and representation of identity and gender in electronic networks will be presented and discussed against the background of current feminist media or network theory.
In a first meeting for a preliminary discussion on Wednesday, the 01. 11. 2000 at 13.30 clock (room see notice) we will plan our itineraries through the cyberspace and arrange basic reading for the seminar discussion.
A bibliography will be posted during the lecture-free period, an accompanying seminar apparatus will be available in the library.

Suggestions and wishes of the participants are gladly considered and can be arranged in advance with the seminar leader.

First meeting and preliminary discussion: Wednesday, 01. 11. 2000, 13.30, room see notice.
Several block dates by appointment with the participants.

Course materials online:
special online worksheet: gender identity media art

Interface Gender I: Identity and Gender on the Internet
An Introduction to Feminist Network Theory and Network Practice

Nothing less than a neutral space in which traditional power structures and policies would no longer be valid, rather the net is a 'contested zone' (Kay Schaffer) - not a no-man's-land, but a contested territory that shares the same hegemonic interests as others social areas too. In particular, the World Wide Web has emerged as an area in which information and communication technologies and representation policies interact in a specific way. This mixture proves particularly explosive where questions of identity and gender are concerned. While on the one hand in the wake of the 'Internet myth' utopias and visions of an experimental and cross-border dealing with (gender) identities are circulating, In view of the web reality of the World Wide Web, ask whether and how such an 'arena of representation' succeeds in acting beyond and completely independent of those individual conditions and social norms that affect our lives in this world of our physical and social existence determine. Finally, sitting in front of the screens and on the keyboards still "body of weight".

At the center of this is the overarching question of what significance the gender category has on the Internet and its different services, and what specific 'technologies of gender' operate here at the gender interface. The seminar will first of all be about gaining an insight into the tension between identity and gender in the net. Concrete examples from the current network practice should serve as the basis for further questions and discussions.

In a block session (Friday, 12. 05. and Saturday 13. 05. 2000, Room 2c / 105) different practices of the construction and representation of identity and gender in electronic networks are presented and discussed against the background of current feminist media or network theory become.
In an initial meeting for discussion on Wednesday, April 26, 2000 at 12:30 pm (Room 2c / 105), we will plan our itineraries through cyberspace and agree on basic reading for the seminar discussion.

A bibliography will be posted during the lecture-free period, an accompanying seminar apparatus will be available in the library.

Suggestions and wishes of the participants are gladly considered and can be arranged in advance with the seminar leader.

First meeting - preliminary discussion & introduction: Wednesday, 26. 04. 2000, 12.30 pm, room 2c / 105
Blocking: Friday, 12. 05. and Saturday, 13. 05. 2000, room 2c / 105
Attention: The seminar will be postponed and takes place in extended form in WS 2000/2001 !