GRADE Initiative "Love, Emotions and Intimacies"

Thematic Focus of the Initiative

“Please fasten your seatbelts: we are about to encounter contradictions. The subject is love, and things may get bumpy” (Kipnis 2003: 3).

In our research initiative, we engage with the growing interdisciplinary field of “Love Studies” and in particular with the feminist critical analysis of love, emotions and intimacies. We want to create an interdisciplinary space to discuss about relationships, love, sexuality, passion, affect and emotion, emotion work, gendered sexual fields, experiences and representations of “love” in the context of transnational social spaces, migration regimes, exploitation, commodification and aggressive nationalism.  We aim at exploring how “[t]he larger inequities find intimate expressions” (Hochschild 1983; 169) and look closer at the links between emotions/affects and gendered, sexualized, racialized and classed relations of power and hierarches in capitalist societies, but also at potentials for solidarity and equality. Moreover, we want to engage with methodological questions concerning emotions and affects in the qualitative research process and explore the emotional aspects and “feeling rules” of research that are rarely talked about.


We meet on a monthly basis and a) discuss the participants´ ongoing dissertations and/or post-doctoral research projects and empirical data (provision of peer supervision in every research phase); b) set up a reading circle and exchange research literature; c) network and cooperate with international doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.

Everyone who is interested is welcome to contact us! New members are welcome at any time.


If you are interested in our work or think about joining the group, please write an e-mail to Ina Schaum and she will get back to you as soon as possible.


Friederike Alm FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Title of Dissertation: The Politics of „Us“ and “Them” – A Comparative Study of Immigration, Integration, and Citizenship  Policies in Canada, France, and Germany
Flaminia Bartolini FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Title of Dissertation: ‚Doing intimacy‘ in illegality: experiences and strategies of undocumented migrant women (Working Title)
Dr. Kai Dröge Universität Lausanne und Institut für Sozialforschung
Dr.‘in Sabine Flick FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Annette Hilscher  Institut für Sozialforschung
Title of Dissertation: Ethnisch-rassistische Diskriminierung schwarzer Menschen und Antidiskriminierungspolitik in Deutschland, Frankreich und Kanada im Blickwinkel der Anerkennungstheorie 
Dr’in Minna-Kristiina Ruokonen-Engler    FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften und Institut für Sozialforschung 
Ina Schaum  FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Title of Dissertation: Jüdischsein, Deutschsein, Verliebtsein. Liebesbeziehungen von jungen jüdischen Erwachsenen in Deutschland (Arbeitstitel) | Doing ‚being Jewish‘, ‚being German‘, and ‚being in love‘. Love relationships of young Jewish adults in Germany (working title)
Dolores del Carmen Theurer   Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences und FB03 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Title of Dissertation: Migration Biographies of Latinamerican Sex Workers in a City in Germany (working title)