Do not waste your time looking for an obstacle – maybe there is none.” (Franz Kafka)
The mdw is an educational institution where people live, work, and study. The diverse personalities here stand out for their differing motivations, needs, and abilities. And it’s precisely such differences that make our institution so strong.
In 2014, the University Senate set up a working group called Betriebliche Herausforderung: Sexuelle Identitäten [Operative Challenge: Sexual Identities], and its regular meetings saw an enthusiastic collection of students, administrators, and instructors develop a concept for the group’s work. It soon became clear that, above and beyond substantive themes, it would be essential to have an effect outside the mdw as well as network within the institution. So the decision was made to adopt a simpler, more broadly focussed name: queer_mdw. Thus renamed, the group began discussing a comprehensible logo and a common positioning:
“queer_mdw makes visible and supports the broad diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, and forms of living, thus questioning prevailing norms. (…) In this interest, queer_mdw works to raise consciousness and open up realms of agency throughout the mdw and beyond.”
Specifically, queer_mdw seeks to
- lend visibility and support to the range of sexual orientations, gender identities, and forms of living;
- promote an open and esteeming organisational culture;
- draw attention to cases of discrimination and develop counter-measures;
- and open up space for discussion.
queer_mdw makes an effort to bundle the various relevant interests and make possible diverse offerings that range from scholarly projects (e.g. the symposium Performing Sexual Identities), group visits to various events (e.g. the queer tour at the Wien Museum), and dance courses (queer_dancing) to the exploration of films (queer_movie) and scholarly texts (queer_reading).
This senate working group is open to everyone attached to the mdw and lives from the ideas and impulses of its members. It is present at major mdw events and informs the university community about past and future activities and meetings at the URL www.mdw.ac.at/queer_mdw.