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Nora Koller


I was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1980. I studied Media and English with Gender Studies at theUniversity of Szeged, and at the University of Central England in Birmingham. My MA Thesis for Media is currently under completion; it focuses on a subjective monograph of the sputnik. My English MA Thesis relied on queer theory and questioned the construction of masculinity in The Matrix. The essay was awarded first place at the Young Academics’ 27th Bi-Annual Competition and was published in the journal Anachronist (2005). In 2005/2006, I studied at the University of  Hull with a Marie Curie Post-Graduate Research Scholarship. It was also in Hull that I became interested in a philosophy of transgender and space. My job as an on-site translator for a construction company added a practical dimension to the idea of spatiality. While living in England, I also contributed to the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association’s newsletter on “Sexual Violence and the City” (2008) and “Final Cuts? Trans-Feminist Bouts” (2009).


PhD Project
Trans-Feminist Encounters and the Construction of the World

This project focuses on the surprising trans-spaces of feminist 'everyday life.’ The concept of the everyday has been a site of contestation in trans studies: The recent evocations of the realities of, and the right to, the everyday have served to counteract the textualization of transsexual and transgender worlds in critical theory. In recent years, discourse has been transgendered in various ways in academia. The tendency to pathologize transidentities as products of the medical institution has from the 1990s co-existed with diverse manifestations of the argument that anchors social change in sex change. Accordingly, transsexuality has been seen as a redemptive or catastrophic metaphor, identified with postmodern indeterminacy and millennial anxieties about the body. At the same time, trans has also come to epitomize gender transcendence and as such, has stood for an always-already subversive, voluntary, and progressive technology of making the self. I argue that such approaches have the objective of making sense of transsexuality. However, a project that tries to “make sense” of the other fails the self. This failure is the result of misplacing difference, of ignoring that difference emerges in, and is the product of, perception. Bodies cannot be fully known, nor do they fully lend themselves to discursivity. Exhaustive definitions of transsexuality serve to match certain bodies with specific - social, medical, geo-political, but also gendered and sexualized, LGBTIQQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and questioning] - places. What is needed, then, is a generous perspective of difference that allows for unpredictablity and gives space to surprise. By doing so, a generous perspective opens bodies up to the world. Drawing on the phenomenological account of the self as worldly, and the body as a mode of spatial engagement, as well as the notion of body-space as developed in feminist geographies of the everyday, this project will attempt to perform such an opening.


Email: nora.koller [at] univie.ac.at
Phone: + 43 (0) 1 4277 - 49461


Univ. Prof. Dr. Birgit Sauer

Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Universitätsstr. 7
A-1010 Wien

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