Antke Engel (director)
Antke Engel is an independent scholar, cultural producer, and consultant in the fields of queer, feminist and poststructuralist theory, political philosophy, visual cultural studies and queer art. They received their Ph.D. in Philosophy at Potsdam University in 2001 with a thesis on queer politics of representation and the strategy of undisambiguation, published under the title Wider die Eindeutigkeit (2002). In 2006 Engel founded the Institute for Queer Theory and since then functions as its director.
Engel held/holds visiting professorships at Hamburg University (2003/2005), Vienna University (2011), Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (2016), TU Darmstadt (2018/19), FernUniversity Hagen 2019-22. Currently, they are working on a new book The Sexual Political, as a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics 2017 and as a Asa Briggs Fellow at the University of Sussex, Brighton 2018/19. 2007-2009 they held a research fellowship at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI Berlin). The research on connections between neoliberal economy and the diversification of genders and sexualities lead to the book publication Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie (2009), comprised in English in the essay The Surplus of Paradoxes (2013), furthermore the edited volume Hegemony and Heteronormativity (2011, together with Maria do Mar Castro Varela and Nikita Dhawan), and the international conference Desiring Just Economies / Just Economies of Desire (co-organized with Nikita Dhawan, Christoph Holzhey, and Volker Woltersdorff). At the ICI Berlin Engel also co-organized the discussion The Power of Tolerance (between Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst) and facilitated the lecture series The Subtle Racializations of Sexuality: Queer Theory, the Aftermath of Colonial History, and the Late-Modern State (featuring Jasbir Puar, Sara Ahmed, Fatima El-Tayeb, Antonia Chao, Drucilla Cornell, and Cathy Cohen) as well as Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity.
Antke Engel is particularly interested in experimenting on exceptional formats of events: With three international workshops (2003-2005) she explored possibilities of participatory and de-hierarachizing modes of communication, in order to foster queer theoretical and political exchange within Europe, and Eastern Europe in particular. The format of the Queer Salon (2009/10) provided a space of encounter for multiplicities and open futures. 2012-2017 Jess Dorrance and Antke Engel curated a series of events (initially at the NGbK Berlin) called Bossing Images. The Power of Images, Queer Art, and Politics.
Apart from extensive teaching, lecturing, and publishing Antke Engel is engaged in cultural politics and activism, and since 2010 also works as a consultant promoting the concept of queerversity. Their work combines social sciences, cultural studies, and philosophical abstraction. With a focus on social and global justice they make use of theories of hegemony in order to propose connections between deconstruction, artistic pratices, and the critique of relations of power and domination. Caring for Conflict, a project of cultural education (2017-19) in cooperation with District, explored potentials of queer cultural politics, particularly visual representations in media, film, and art.
Former team members
Ferdiansyah Thajib received his Phd on queer modes of endurance at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, in 2019. His life work is situated in the intersections of theory and praxis, with specific research interests on queer modes of endurance and forms of affective entanglement in everyday life. Ferdi is also a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta Indonesia. KUNCI is a research collective which focuses on critical knowledge production and sharing through cross-disciplinary encounter, action-research and vernacular education with and across community spaces.
Ferdiansyah Thajib has been part of the iQt team from 2017-2020. Among others he co-initiated “Caring for Conflict“, a cooperation project with District, and conceptualized and co-organized the series „When does it become violence?“ (2017-2019).
Francis Seeck received their PhD in 2021 at Humboldt University Berlin. They held a guest professorship at Hochschule Neubrandenburg (2020/21) and is now a postdoc in the DFG project “Normal#Mad. History of an eroding difference “. They are author, anti-discrimination trainer and activist, writing, researching and giving talks and workshops on the topics of Queer and Trans Studies, Classism, Queerfeminist Anthropology, Care, Queer Death Studies and Anti-discrimination.
Francis studied Cultural Studies and European Ethnology/Cultural Anthropology in Frankfurt/Oder, Washington D.C. and Berlin and received their PhD at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University Berlin. In their ethnographic PhD they focus on collective care practices within trans* and non-binary spaces under precarious conditions. In 2018 Francis Seeck was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Gender Studies at Basel University. 2017 Francis Seeck’s book „Recht auf Trauer. Bestattungen aus machtkritischer Perspektive“ (The right to grief. Funeral practices from a intersectional perspective) has been published at edition assemblage.
Francis Seeck took part in the network GenderKompetenzZentrum in 2017; from 2018-2020 they were part of the team of the Institute for Queer Theory, organising, among other, an evening with Joris Gregor in the series “When does it become violence?” and contributing to “Caring for Conflict”.
Jule Jakob Govrin
Jule Jakob Govrin is based as a philosopher, queer theorist and literary scholar in Berlin. Their main research interests are theories of desire, philosophies of the body, poststructuralist theories of language and power, feminist philosophies, and literary theory. Govrin has studied philosophy and comparative literature at Freie Universität Berlin and Paris VIII, and in 2019 completed their PhD on the entanglements of desire and economy.
They have beeen involved with the Institute for Queer Theory from 2010 – 2016. In 2010 Govrin helped organizing the Desiring Just Economies / Just Economies of Desire conference. From 2013-2016 they contributed regularly to the running of the institute. They co-organized the lecture series Desire’s Multiplicity and Serendipity (2014–15), and in 2016 co-edited Pleasures in Complexity and Confusion. 10 years Institute for Queer Theory
Jess Dorrance is a writer, curator, activist, and and doctoral student in Performance Studies at University of California, Berkeley. She writes about the intersections between art, performance, and queer, feminist, and anti-racist politics. She holds an MA in Art History (2014) from McGill University (thesis on queer visibility, representation, and trauma), and has been working with the Institute for Queer Theory since 2008.
While living in Berlin (2008-2012) Jess has been actively envolved in all areas of running the Institute for Queer Theory: Among others, she co-organize the event “Geocultures & Panic: Perverted” (2008), the conference “Queer Futurities – today” (2009) and the workshop “The Sexual Politics of Utopia” (2009), and curated short film programs for activist and academic events, including “Oh Economy, Up Yours!” (Berlin, 2010) and “Time-Queering Against the Grain: Utopic Visions That Can’t Be Stopped” (Berlin, 2009). Since 2011 she organizes, with Dr. Antke Engel and the Institute for Queer Theory Berlin, an ongoing series of events on the power of images, queer art, and politics called Bossing Images, and co-edited the book Bossing Images (NGBK, 2012).