Genealogies and Conceptual Belonging : Zones of Interference between Gender and Diversity book cover
1st Edition

Genealogies and Conceptual Belonging
Zones of Interference between Gender and Diversity

ISBN 9780367409005
Published July 31, 2019 by Routledge
228 Pages

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Book Description

Taking recent German debates of diversity terminology as a case example for scrutinizing enactments of genealogy that assume a linear image of progressive generation, this book engages with performative effects of genealogical stories in academic texts that negotiate conceptual belonging.

While supporters of the developing Diversity Studies in Germany cherish diversity’s potential for multi-category investigations, Gender and Women’s Studies critics reject the term for its neoliberal, managerial rationale, allegedly holding profit above social justice. Genealogies and Conceptual Belonging intervenes in this oppositional debate by turning one’s attention to narrations of the origins of "gender" and "diversity" that suggest their proper place in the present.

Presenting a story about dis/continuous genealogies and highlighting complicated interferences between gender and diversity, Marten forges novel future connections between questions of gender, sexual difference, and diversity. This pioneering volume will be of particular interest to undergraduates, postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in the fields of genealogy, Gender Studies, feminist theory, feminist science studies and critical race / diversity / intersectionality studies.

Table of Contents

Contents (Final)



Introduction 1

Part I Stories at Work

Methodological Interlude I 53

Diversity Stories 64

A (Feminist) Counter-Narrative: The Figure of Appropriation as a Story-Teller 118

Summary: Commonalities 159

Part II An/other Story: Telling Dis/continuous Genealogies

Methodological Interlude II 165

Judith Butler: The Question of Gender and Sexual Difference 183

Audre Lorde: Towards Relating across Differences 235

Futures and Fusions – Seeking beyond History 277

Conclusion 297

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Eike Marten is a postdoctoral researcher within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany.


Interrupting the feminist consensus that "diversity" is the brand name
for institutional complicities, Eike Marten offers a compelling
re-engagement with the term in the context of German Gender Studies.
Hers is not a defense of any of the ways that "diversity" is bound to
the management of difference but a creative and serious encounter with
the problems it sets forth, the histories it occludes, and the futures
crafted in and against its name. GENEALOGIES AND CONCEPTUAL BELONGING
adds enormously to ongoing deliberations on the university,
neoliberalism, and the possibilities and limits of academic critique.

Robyn Wiegman, Literature and Women's Studies, Duke University

Diversity has become a key term in many institutional settings and occupies a central place in a variety of political discourses. Yet what we mean when we use the language of diversity is as diverse as the stories we tell each other about the nature of diversity and the origins of diversity politics. Eike Marten’s study intends to shed light on what we are doing when we use the language of diversity and how this shapes our political strategies in the present as much as it shapes the horizon of our future. A timely intervention in an era of increased hostility. 

Sabine Hark, Director of The Center for Interdisciplinary Women's and Gender's Studies at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany


Marten insightfully captures the increasing popularity of diversity terminology in Germany, confronting us to challenge depoliticization of difference and economization of the other. However, rather than taking sides in the diversity versus gender debate, Genealogies and Conceptual Belonging explores new ways to relate across differences. Highly recommended for everyone committed to antiracist, feminist ethics and politics.

Nikita Dhawan, Professor of Political Theory and Gender Studies, University of Innsbruck