Aurora Perego is a graduate from the Gender Studies (Research) programme
After my Bachelor’s programme in Political Science, I wanted to specialise in issues concerning power, resistance, and society from a feminist perspective. My goal was to integrate my past experiences as an activist with academic knowledge, so that I could conduct socially aimed research. With this aim in mind, I applied to the Gender Studies Research Master’s programme.
In line with my expectations, the programme offered me a strong theoretical and empirical background to be able to look at society and its dynamics from a critical perspective. The programme, its professors, and my fellow students helped me develop the tools and skills to look beyond phenomena that might appear clear or determined, to eventually deal with their complexity on a more profound level. I also learned to combine academy with activism. The Master’s programme made me discover that it is possible to gain knowledge in an interdisciplinary, self-aware, and cooperative way.
After the Master’s I was awarded a PhD position in Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento (Italy). Even though my PhD is mainly focused on methodology and methods, the Gender Studies Master’s programme gave me the theoretical background to look at disciplinary perspectives and to bring them into generative dialogue. If you want to learn to look beyond the surface, this this Master’s is for you!
Tjalling Valdes Olmos is a PhD-researcher and teacher in Amsterdam
Already during my first Master’s degree in ‘History of International Relations’ at the London School of Economics, I developed a strong interest in studies of colonialism and imperialism. After doing policy work on inclusivity for a few years, I wanted to explore and deepen my understanding of colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism. The Gender Studies Master’s programme specifically spoke to me, because it focuses on tackling questions surrounding gender, race, and sexuality from an interdisciplinary and self-reflective feminist framework.
I gained loads of new insights and contacts through the programme’s extensive national and international network. For example, the Doing Gender lecture-series gave me the opportunity to get familiarized with cutting-edge feminist studies, arts, and activism.
I am currently working as a PhD-researcher at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis on a project called ‘Rural Imaginations’. I also teach in the Media and Literary Studies Department at the University of Amsterdam. The Gender Studies Master’s programme shaped me into the feminist scholar I am today, because it gave me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of feminist, queer, critical race, and decolonial theory. I am particularly grateful to the community of students, teachers, and peers I got to know and interact with during the Master’s programme. This community of critical thinkers, artists, and activists emphasizes that the material in the Gender Studies programme is not merely theoretical; it is lived, experienced, and often personal, and thus all the more urgent and political.
Evelien Geerts is a PhD student at the University Of California
"During my Master's Philosophy in Antwerp, I developed a clear interest in feminist philosophy. Since Prof. Rosi Braidotti – one of my favorite philosophers – was teaching in the Gender Studies department at Utrecht University, I applied to their two-year programme.
The programme offered me the opportunity to explore fields and topics as cultural analysis, and critical and postcolonial theory. I think this interdisciplinary approach is one of this programme’s strongest points.
After graduation, I decided to gain professional experience and save money for a future academic career in the States. I started working as a research intern at a consultancy agency and applied to several American universities. It took me a full year to obtain a PhD position in the States. After starting up the application process, I first contacted my network at Utrecht University. Luckily, Prof. Rosemarie Buikema and Dr Iris van der Tuin wrote the necessary reference letters.
From September, I will be a PhD student at the University of California, in Santa Cruz, where I will be working on the crossroads of feminist theory and philosophy. Although I was of course picked because of my research capacities and project, I am convinced that my outstanding education at Utrecht’s gender studies department also played an important role. There I was transformed into an interdisciplinary thinker and became even more aware about certain societal and political injustices around the world. Therefore, as a potential professor-to-be, I hope to inspire students in the humanities and social sciences to make a difference in the world."
Katharina Karcher is Schröder Research Associate at the University of Cambridge
“I chose this Master programme, because I wanted to study gender theory and feminist methodologies at a leading research institute in Europe. The research profiles of teachers in theprogramme and the interdisciplinary curriculum appealed to me. My goal was to deepen my knowledge in gender theory and in qualitative research methods.
After completing my Master’s (cum laude), I applied for and was awarded a postgraduate research scholarship at the University of Warwick, which allowed me to pursue a PhD in my field of expertise. Thanks to useful feedback from professors and discussions with fellow students in Utrecht, I could develop a PhD project that was original, methodologically sound and doable. Since October 2014, I am Schröder Research Associate in the Department of German and Dutch at the University of Cambridge and a College Postdoctoral Research Associate at Jesus College, Cambridge.
This programme provides you with an overview of a range of theoretical and methodological frameworks that are important for gender research. This is a great advantage. The interdisciplinary scope of the programme allows students to develop research projects that cut across the disciplines and to apply for PhD positions in a range of fields. If you are interested in an academic career, talk to PhD students and academic staff in the country/discipline/institutions where you would like to work after the first year of your Master, to find out what you need to do to work there.”