At first glance, gender seems to be an unchangeable, biological category. However, a closer look into its history shows the exact opposite: what we mean by "man" or "woman" is an ongoing process of negotiation. Gender is thus historically variable. Our understanding of gender shapes human bodies and structures our society. Simultaneously, as especially Black Feminists and their scholarly work has demonstrated, gender is only one among several, closely intertwined categories along which social hierarchies and political power structures are shaped. The International History at Trier University investigates such an intersectional gender history in various research contexts. In addition to the International Research Training Group "Diversity" (led by Ursula Lehmkuhl), these include individual research projects such as Eva Bischoff's study on the role of colonial discourses in the construction of German masculinities around 1900 and Thomas Schira's dissertation project on the construction of alterity and identity in adaptations of John Jewitt's "captivity narrative".
Gender history also plays an important role in teaching: We regularly contribute to the curricula of the interdisciplinary certificate in "Interdisciplinary Gender Studies" as well as the master’s minor in "Intercultural Gender Studies". Since December 2012, Eva Bischoff is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Center for Postcolonial und Gender Studies (CePoG) at Trier University.