lettering unizeit

Gender research as a card game

The first and so far only card game on Gender and Queer Studies has been published at Kiel University.

Two persons playing cards
© Claudia Eulitz, Uni Kiel

As with the game Taboo, players must guess the authors of various quotes without giving away the key term referring to the individual named on the card.

Further information on the standard works in Gender and Queer Research on the 39 fact cards: now available to teaching staff, beginner and advanced students of the subject in the form of a newly published card game. The cards themselves contain key words referring to corresponding specialist texts including works e.g. by Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler. Interested parties will find further information in the accompanying booklet, which explains the authors' roles in Gender and Queer Research and the further reception of the works including recommended reading. 

The card game is published by Uta Klein, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Department of Gender & Diversity Studies at Kiel University, and Eddi Steinfeldt-Mehrtens, Diversity Officer at the CAU since 1 December. "We were motivated by wanting to develop a different didactic form of acquiring and transferring knowledge," say Klein and Steinfeld-Mehrtens. The cards cannot only be used at lectures on related topics, but are also ideal for self-study after the seminar. The card game is based on the game Taboo, and is designed in colours that allow it also be used exclusively in Gender but also in Queer Studies.

So as not to bypass the students' requirement, an interdisciplinary study group of students was set up with financial support from the equal opportunity commissioners at the Faculty of Arts and Human­ities at the CAU. The group discussed and summa­rised all the texts, a task that took two years. First, the texts had to be listed and then criteria produced to decide which ones were to be selected.

"We're talking about works that are significant in the development of gender research by explaining, influ­:encing and promoting topics, perspectives and the self-perception of gender research," explains Eddi Stein­feldt-Mehrtens. "Our selection criteria were origin­ality, relevance, advances in the field, scientific and/or political effectiveness and influence," adds Uta Klein.

One particular feature of the game is the cards and short descriptions of what are called "lost treasures". "These are works that are hardly ever used, if at all, in teaching, but are trail-blazing with regard to fundamental issues," say the publishers. They include a 1622 text by Marie le Jars de Gournay and also the "Erklärung der Rechte der Frau und Bürgerin [Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen]" by Olympe de Gouges of 1791. Klein and Steinfeldt-Mehrtens point out that overall, although there is a focus on sociological works as most of them are already the theoretical basis for the humanities and cultural sciences, they have also included works from the worlds of philosophy, the literary sciences, law and biology.

Now it's time to play: who talks about "double socialisation", "gender as a discursive effect", and "hegemonic masculinity"? Where was the "gender gap" first mentioned? Who considers gender from an intersectional perspective? "We are convinced that the concept of a game will be an entirely new way to access Gender and Queer Studies," emphasise the publishers.

Author: Claudia Eulitz


Wegbereiter_innen der Gender und Queer Studies. Card game with booklet. Verlag Barbara Budrich 2018. 170 pages plus 39 cards. ISBN 978-3-8474-2200-6