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On December 6, 2016, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna received a Diversitas Award for the project “Nonbinary Universities” from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.

The stated objective of the project was the development of strategies that would help to acknowledge the diversity of people at universities and beyond. Analytically disrupting gender binarism, “Nonbinary Universities” is not opposed to the advancement of women, but is, quite on the contrary, aimed at an improved reflection of the social reality of gender and the sexes and at initiating a reduction of potential discrimination in this regard.

The development of measures was primarily based on the idea to take as many different Austrian university “cultures” as possible into account. The instruments devised in the context of the project are to provide a basis for further development that can be adapted depending on the site—and should be adapted in the communication process with researchers, artists, teachers, and administrative officials. The instruments are to be seen as suggestions for the reduction of structural forms of discrimination and bureaucratic obstacles for all universities and colleges in the sense of knowledge to be transferred.

Project period: January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018

The project reveals forms of potential discrimination that intersex, transgender and nonbinary persons (students, employees, visitors, applicants) are or find themselves confronted with in their everyday study or work lives.

Such forms of potential discrimination may, for example, be found

  • in existing facilities and their furnishment (toilets),
  • in admission procedures for students (student records) and employees (employment contracts),
  • in contents of research, development, and the presentation of arts and teaching (gender-reflective research and teaching),
  • in everyday communication (language).

Concrete measures were developed for these fields of action. The results are published in two brochures (in german).

  • Vademekum zur Erreichung einer geschlechtergerechteren Hochschule
  • trans. inter*. nicht-binär.  Lehr- und Lernräume an Hochschulen gestalten.

The project “Nonbinary Universities” was carried out by a core team in collaboration with artistic-scholarly colleagues, employee representatives, members of the general university staff, the equal treatment study-group, student representatives, and ÖH as well as NaGeH representatives in several intense working team meetings.

An interuniversity academic advisory board accompanied the project, ensuring that different university “cultures” and strategies as well as expert knowledge would be considered.

Core Team (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna):

  • Anna Lena Janowiak (Chair of the Equal Opportunities Team)
  • Julia Wieger (Member oft he Equal Opportunities Team)
  • Doris Guth (until November 5, 2017, Member oft he Equal Opportunities Team)
  • Marion Thuswald (since November 6, 2017, Member oft he Equal Opportunities Team)
  • Jakob Lena Knebl (Works Council for the Artistic-Scientific Staff)
  • Dunja Reithner (Works Council for the Administrative Staff)
  • Evelyn Malek (until January 1, 2018, Human Resource Department)
  • Annina Müller Strassnig (Art | Research | Support)
  • Denise Beer (Coordination Office for Advancement of Women | Gender Studies | Diversity, Project Management)
  • Barbara Wildling (until march, 2017, Austrian Student Unit)
  • Elis Eder (since march 2017, as member of the Queer_Feminist Office at the Austrian Student Unit, since january 24, 2018, as member of NaGeH)
  • Leander Gussmann since April 3, 2017, Austrian Student Unit)
  • Noah Rieser (since November 6, 2017, Austrian Student Unit)

Interuniversity Academic Advisory Board

  • Sylwia Bukowska (University of Vienna, Head of the Gender Equality and Diversity unit, Member of the Gender Platform)
  • Renate Dworczak (Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Gender Equality, University of Graz, Chair of the Gender Task Force |uniko)
  • Eva Fels (TransX)
  • Edith Gössnitzer (University of Graz, Chair of the ARGE GLUNA)
  • Josef Leidenfrost (Austrian Student Ombudsman)
  • Eva Matt (Plattform Intersex)
  • Gerda Müller (Vice Rectorate for Organizational Development, Gender & Diversity, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna,)
  • Gin Müller (QueerBase/ Rosa Lila Villa; Academy of Fine Arts)
  • Tinou Ponzer (VIMÖ – Austrian National Association of Intersex People)
  • Denise Beer (Coordination Office for Advancement of Women | Gender Studies | Diversity, Academy of Fine Arts, Project Management)
  • Andrea B. Braidt (Vice-Rector for Art | Research, Academy of Fine Arts until October 2019) - Leadership