The Turquoise Elephant

Event Details

Eine Familie, viele verschiedene Ansichten: Kapitalismus trifft „Armchair-Aktivismus“ trifft Weltuntergangsvoyeurismus. Und dann mischen auch noch Klimaaktivist*innen mit – während die Welt tatsächlich ihrem Untergang entgegen torkelt. Das schwarzhumorige, erschreckend aktuelle, preisgekrönte Stück des australischen Autors Stephen Carleton ist die erste Arbeit der neu gegründeten „Drama Group of the English Department of the University of Klagenfurt – S.O.S.“. Regie führt Sabine Kristof-Kranzelbinder.


Ort: Ort: Kammerlichtspiele, Adlergasse 1, 9020 Klagenfurt
Datum: 29., 30. Juni, jeweils 20 Uhr
Eintritt: freiwillige Spende

Coffee- Talk zum Tag der Geschlechterforschung mit Eva-Maria Graf

I shouldn’t have to try hard to fit in: A discursive analysis of women’s accounts of their performance in gendered organizations.

Eva-Maria Graf, Melanie Fleischhacker, Joanna Pawelczyk, Agata Janicka

Gendered organizations typically “create a climate” where women (as minority members or tokens) are not assumed to “quite fit” and are thus expected to be not as competent as men (the dominants) (Ridgeway et al. 2022: 645). This creates increased pressure on women not only to perform according to the prescribed policies and regulations, i.e., to do their job flawlessly, but very often to work beyond what is expected of them, i.e., to over-perform (Yoder 1991). The question remains whether such (over-)performance suffices for these women to develop a sense of felt inclusion and to be recognized as legitimate members of the organization.

Drawing on Discourse Analysis and Conversation Analysis, we qualitatively unpack the complexity of how women’s performance is perceived and received in highly gendered masculine organizations. Our data sets are in-depth, semi-structured interviews with U.S. military women and dyadic coaching interactions between a coach and female leaders working in (technology and reinsurance) business. Assuming that gender-based inequality regimes produce “markedly different experiences” (Flores & Bañuelos 2021:111), we examine these women report on their experiences regarding ‘doing their job’, i.e., performing their organizational duties. Our analysis reveals a problematic (self-)perception and reception of women’s (over-)performance that may have real-life consequences for their career(s). Women’s accounts allow us to both demonstrate how the organizational climate of ‘having to fit in’ is constructed as well as identify various practices of how these women orient to that climate. The accounts also reveal women’s immense labor of coping involved in that process (Ridgeway et al. 2022) and that the practices of (over-)performance do not secure women’s sense of acceptance and inclusion in highly gendered organizations.

On a more general note, our talk is part of a larger research project on “Discourses of (not-)belonging: Exploring women’s experiences of functioning in highly masculinized socio-cultural contexts using discourse analysis.” The overall focus is on how language and discourse(s) are used to express, (co-)construct and enact gendered propositions and gendered identities across various linguistic, socio-cultural, and professional contexts. Concretely, the project focuses on ‘executive coaching’, ‘football’ and ‘military’ and analyzes women’s lived experiences and coping strategies there. The goals of our project are to make women’s experiences and their coping strategies in these contexts visible by linguistically analyzing how these are framed and accomplished during real-time talk-based interaction and as reported by them during interviews. Second, to compare such lived experiences and strategies to carve out similarities and differences across these diverse communities-of-practice. Third, to critically relate these more specific socio-cultural experiences to more macro-discursive (Western) norms and ideologies in the context of gender hierarchies and essentialized gender orders with the aim to help counterbalance such negative experiences by giving an ear to those (still) discriminated against in institutionalized and professional settings.

Eva-Maria Graf is Assoc. Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Klagenfurt. Her research interests are helping formats with a special focus on coaching and psychotherapy, sports and linguistics as well as gender and sexuality and their (de-)construction across language and discourses. She applies conversation analytic, discourse analytic andmultimodal analyticmethods.


Date: 5.12.2023

Time: 14:00 Uhr

Place: Oman- Saal



Fulbright Prize in American Studies for Dr. Marijana Mikic

This year’s Fulbright Prize in American Studies has been awarded to Dr. Marijana Mikić for her dissertation, entitled “Race, Space, and Emotion in Twenty-First-Century African American Literature,” which she completed in the English Department at the University of Klagenfurt in 2022. The dissertation combines insights from cognitive affective research, narrative theory, African American studies, and Black geographies to examine how African American storyworlds interrogate emotions as varied as fear, hope, shame, guilt, anger, and grief as bound up with racial ideologies and the geographic enforcement of these ideologies. Congratulations Marijana!

Marijana was honored for her achievement on 20 October 2023 at the annual conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS), “Versions of America” at the University of Klagenfurt. You can watch the interview below to learn more about Marijana’s dissertation.

2023 Fulbright Prize in American Studies: Interview with Marijana Mikić – YouTube

Marijana developed her dissertation during her time as PhD Researcher on the research project “Narrative Encounters with Ethnic American Literatures” (2018-2022), which was directed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alexa Weik von Mossner and hosted by the English Department.

The Narrative Encounters project was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

The Fulbright Prize in American Studies is based on an annual competition managed by the AAAS. It is a means of acknowledging the enduring importance of American studies and the role of innovative research by young academics in Austria in contributing to the fulfillment of the Fulbright Program’s mandate to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Austria and the United States of America. The purpose of this award is to recognize superior academic achievement in the field of American studies (Amerikanistik) in the broadest sense of the word and hence includes all relevant ancillary disciplines and departments at Austrian universities.

50th AAAS Conference 2023 Versions of America: Speculative Pasts, Presents, Futures

Oct. 20-22, 2023
University of Klagenfurt

The United States has always been one and many, as its national motto E pluribus unum highlights. Although the phrase originally reflected the determination to form a political unity from a collection of single states, it has much deeper cultural meanings in a nation of immigrants where people with many different backgrounds and beliefs have engaged in perceiving, telling, and living a multiplicity of versions of America. Recent years suggest a new urgency to address this multiplicity and plural imaginations of the nation, especially in a (post-pandemic) America that lays open deep societal divides and that is marked by an unprecedented sense of uncertainty and instability.

The 50th conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies sets out to explore America through its versions, understood as cultural practices of imagination and speculation that shape our perceived realities and that can manifest, for example, through single works and their variants, across media, and in various discourses, ideologies, or disciplines. As the notion of a version always implies a potential for plurality and interlinkages, we ask how past, present, and future versions of America function and interact: Which versions of America have emerged historically, when, where, and why? How do some of these create or celebrate awareness of their status as versions, while others obscure their versionality, aiming to naturalize themselves as a-versional in order to maintain the hegemony, e.g. of heteronormativity, patriarchy or white supremacy? How do versions of America emerge through one another, creating the U.S. as a multi-layered phenomenon? How are they told through different media, genres, modes and forms of storytelling? How is America perceived as multi-versional in the U.S. and abroad? What are the political potentials of thinking through versions and how may such thinking engender new forms of resistance and resilience?

Seeking to explore versions of America in their aesthetic, epistemological, and political potentials, we invite contributions that consider the conference theme across all kinds of historical, cultural, and artistic discourses.


For more information and the conference program, please visit the conference website.