Summer School 2019
Politics of In/Visibility
26-30 August 2019, Utrecht University, The Netherlands 

  • How can we (feminist, queer, antiracist scholars and activists) identify, analyse and challenge in what ways power relations constitute and define who and what is visible or remains invisible in the public, political and social sphere?
  • What are the (different) implications of being invisible or becoming (hyper) visible in terms of identities, subjectivities, memories and communities?
  • How can we envision possible feminist strategies to make visible and knowable subaltern voices, struggles and experiences, while being wary of Foucault’s reminder that “visibility is a trap”?
  • How can we account for the affective and political dimensions of our academic, activist and artistic positioning when engaging in the politics of in/visibility?

Various theorists have compellingly elaborated upon the interconnections between visibility, knowledge and power. What is made visible and what is left invisible, in processes of knowledge production as well as in the public arena, is entangled with, if not determined by, normative ideas and political forces, frequently reproducing homophobic, ethnocentric and racist discourses, as well as gender inequalities. As feminist scholars have pointed out for decades, this unequal distribution of representation, wealth, privilege, and social and political agency and recognition takes place along intersectional power dynamics structured by, for example, gender, race, class, mental and physical dis/ability, sexuality.

This year’s NOISE summer School examines the politics of in/visibility: what do we see, what is left unseen, what do we no longer see, what do we choose not to see and what is left to be seen? We will question what is made visible and what is left invisible in a contemporary social and cultural environment, informed more than ever by the emergence of new strategies of visibility and technologies of visualization, as well as by political debates and repressive practices that dictate who is allowed to occupy certain spaces or be represented in the public arena. By approaching this matter in an interdisciplinary manner, at the intersection of gender studies, feminist theory, postcolonial theory and media and cultural studies, we seek to address how certain bodies, collectivities, identities or perspectives are marked, either because they remain invisible or become hyper visible. We will discuss how scholarly, activist and artistic practices of giving space, voice or visibility to underrepresented communities, histories, or subjectivities can challenge (or reproduce) contemporary dynamics of inclusions and exclusions.

This NOISE Summer School will introduce students to cutting edge scholarship around questions such as (but not limited to): why are trans* and queer subjectivities more visible than ever in popular culture while they at the same time struggle to be recognized in the public space/discourse? How does the hyper-visibility of those who identify, or are read, as religious become a source of generalization, misrepresentation and violent backlash? How can activists and artists make visible certain practices of resistance and alternative communities and subjectivities without in turn subsuming them in consumerist dynamics that depoliticize their radical potential? And what are the implications of remaining invisible in a context where new and more pervasive technologies of surveillance enforce visibility as a mean of control?

Summer School participants will:

  • Be introduced to diverse feminist intersectional theories, with a focus on visibility, representation and power
  • Learn to develop and apply critical and affirmative analytical tools in order to address differences and to challenge dynamics of exclusion
  • Mobilize critical theories and reflexive practices to investigate contemporary operations of power and develop transformative interventions

Target audience
This advanced training course offers a diverse yet coherent program of study from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Summer School is meant for PhD and MA students. Separate seminars for these two groups will be provided in the afternoons.


  • Lectures in the morning
  • Separate PhD and MA-seminars in the afternoon
  • Round table discussions
  • Social program
  • Students prepare before NOISE by reading and collecting material for assignments (approximately 40 hours of work). After the school has ended, participants who fulfilled all requirements (preparation of assignments and reading, active participation, and final essay) receive a NOISE Certificate of 5 EC.
  • All students are expected to participate in the entire program for the duration of five days.
  • Please check the website for more information, registration and regular updates: –> Education –> NOISE 2019

The NOISE Summer School 2019 will be hosted by Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Tuition Fees
The tuition fee is €450,-. This includes digital reading materials but excludes accommodation and subsistence costs (i.e., food, meals, drinks, etc.).

Teachers in the course
The NOISE Summer School is organized by the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG, Utrecht University). The 2019 edition is coordinated by dr. Eva Midden and dr. Domitilla Olivieri. Several renowned international scholars of gender, postcolonial, queer, religion and visual studies will be teaching at the Summer School: Nirmal Puwar, Mijke van der Drift, Alexis Lothian, Vick Virtu, Christine Quinan, Rizvana Bradley, Marta Trzebiatowska, Sian Hawthorne and Mounir Samuel.

Registration and Deadline:
Deadline: April 30, 2019. The Summer School is fully booked!

For more information: