GOTH aims to:
Gender and Otherness in the Humanities (GOTH) was relaunched in 2019 from its previous incarnation Gender in the Humanities (GiTH). This OU research group for the study of Gender in the Humanities was founded in the 1980s by Prof Gill Perry (Art History) and Prof Anne Laurence (History), joined as co-chairs in the group’s final years by Prof Helen King (Classics). During the 1990s GiTH organized many research meetings and published a well-received collaborative volume of essays. After 2000, there were several guest seminars and workshops, including a joint GiTH/Ferguson Centre workshop on representations of prostitution (23 April 2009), and a GiTH ‘Knitting and Stitching’ workshop (17 October 2012) which included presentations by then GiTH Advisory Board Members (and current GOTH Committee members) Dr M A Katritzky and Dr Clare Taylor. Despite the great interest raised by its workshops and activities, GiTH’s meetings ceased in 2013.
The formation of GOTH was directly inspired by GiTH. Our members recognize and celebrate the importance of GiTH’s ground-breaking contribution, in providing a strong and supportive focus for gender studies at the OU over several decades. Now, GOTH is pleased to be able to expand its area of study to incorporate more widely the different types of otherness with which gender intersects. Gender is only one of many categories habitually used to prejudge individuals, and to limit their ability to reach their personal goals and contribute fully to global society. Arguably, these categories also include mental and physical ability, disabilities and differences; age; social class; education; sexuality; skin colour; ethnicity; religion; and more. Numerous academic institutions support research groups for the study of gender. GOTH recognises that effective research into gender in the Humanities critically depends on sensitive and informed understanding of all significant categories of human ‘otherness’. Diversity studies provides a rich array of material for academic study, from which some of the most important theoretical approaches to the Humanities have been produced. Inspired by recognition of its importance in enriching our understanding not only of the historical events and documents of the past, but also of the cultures we create and live in now, OU researchers at every career level are collectively developing substantial expertise across a wide range of fields, by addressing what gender and otherness mean for the Humanities.