Public Lecture

Homophobia - no idea what that is

Essen – 10 November 2014

With his now classic analysis of fascism "Männerphantasien" (1977/1978), the Freiburg cultural theorist Klaus Theweleit took new paths in the fascism and gender studies. A lot media attention received also 2004 his book „Tor zur Welt: Fußball als Realitätsmodell“. In the opening event of the lecture series "Homophobia in the global context" Theweleit was facing the issue of homophobia in football. Under the title "Homophobia - no idea what that is" he explained, inter alia with the example of the male bastion football, which thought patterns and mechanisms homophobic behavior are based on.

The lecture was part of the lecture series "Homophobia in the global context", that is organised together with the Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and Andreas Langenohl (University of Gießen).
The lecture series considers homophobia as a phenomenon that becomes increasingly visible in its global dimensions and implications. We live in a contradictory situation: on the one hand, homophobia is today denounced and fought in many democracies as a violation of human rights, on the other hand, we observe an increase in homophobic attitudes and actions in other parts of the world as well as in cultural, religious and ideological movements and institutions. The questions of the lecture series are: How is the rise of the issue of homophobia (and transphobia, etc.) to explain? What makes this emotion different from other forms of group-related misanthropy? What are the causes and conditions for trends and counter-trends in this field? What are national and cultural differences, how can they be explained and at which points do they interact with global trends? How is homophobia linked with religion, migration and racism in the current debates about Inter- and transculturality?

Klaus Theweleit, born 1942 in Ebenrode – today's Nesterow, Russland – is freelance author and has lectureships in Germany, the US, Switzerland and Austria. He taught at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Freiburg and at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. Between 1998 and 2008 he has been Professor of Art and Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Theweleit is a member of PEN Center Germany.

Claus Leggewie, Co-Director of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research and Director of the KWI.

Date: 10 November 2014, 19 h
Venue: Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Gartensaal, Goethestr. 31, 45128 Essen