Annual theme “Human after Man“

Interdisciplinary Lecture Series (2018/19)


20 November 2018, 7:00 pm

Beyond Heteronormativity

Maja Gunn, Zairong Xiang


Maja Gunn is an experimental fashion designer and researcher based in Sweden, who explores in her theoretical and artistic work how queer design practice can be performed. She holds a PhD in design with a specialization in fashion design from The Swedish School of Textiles at the University of Boras. In her doctoral thesis Body Acts Queer: Clothing as a performative challenge to heteronormativity (2016) she brings queer feminist perspectives to fashion and clothing, and investigates how their performative and ideological functions might be appropriated to challenge heteronormative structures. Gunn is Professor of Crafts at the Academy of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg, where she currently initiates a new artistic research project aimed at critically examining craft with regard to its normative implications. Previously, she explored the potential of design to challenge prevailing norms in the exhibition Norm Form which she co-curated at ArkDes, Sweden’s National Centre for Architecture and Design (2017). Gunn’s designs were exhibited internationally, most recently in her solo show Play (Swedish Textile Museum, Borås, 2018) and in the exhibition A Queen Within Adorned Archetypes (New Orleans Museum of Art, USA, 2018).


Zairong Xiang is postdoctoral research fellow at Potsdam University with the DFG Research Training Group Minor Cosmopolitanisms. He has a cotutelle PhD in Comparative Literature (summa cum laude) from Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Université de Perpignan Via Domitia with the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones. From 2014–2016, he was Research Fellow at the ICI-Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. His research intersects feminisms and queer theories, literary and visual studies, philosophical and religious inquiries in their decolonial variants in Spanish, English, Chinese, French, and Nahuatl. His publications have appeared in scholarly, artistic and journalistic milieus on topics such as camp, feminist theology, the darkroom, (de)coloniality, translation, Nahuatl, photography, Pedro Almodóvar, masculinity, and the toilet. His first monography Queer Ancient Way: A Decolonial Exploration is forthcoming with punctum books. He co-edited the special issues ‘Hyperimage’ for 新美术 New Arts: Journal of National Academy of Art (February 2018) and ‘Translation as Concept’ for Siyi Journal (Autumn 2018), and currently prepares ‘The Ontology of the Couple’ for GLQ – A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (forthcoming 2019).