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Speaker: Johan Andersson

Abstract: In this post-sabbatical talk, Johan will give an overview of the research he conducted last year before focusing specifically on one topic: Berlin’s techno club Berghain. A genuinely ‘mixed’ club where people of different sexual orientations and identities come to together in a type of sex-positive space usually reserved for gay men, Berghain has been described by music journalist Alexis Waltz as a ‘special social constellation in which all party-goers come together under the hegemony of Berlin’s gay community’. Arguably, the club has realised Foucault’s pre-AIDS ideal of a gay culture ‘that invents ways of relating… that are, at certain points, transferable to heterosexuals’.

Yet beyond this transference of ‘ways of relating’ from one group to another, the sexual coexistence in Berghain puts the group categories themselves under scrutiny. Should encounters that take place here – and which are not always reducibly to a simple straight/gay binary – be understood as fleeting transgressive moments or as revealing something about the limits of sexual categorisation?

By emphasising the role of tactile sounds, libido-enhancing drugs, and labyrinthine space, this talk contributes to recent attempts to rethink sexuality as affect not easily reducible to stable identity categories.

Accessing this event

Johan has recorded his seminar in two sections, accessible using the following links:

Overview of Johan’s sabbatical (15 minutes):

Research talk (30 minutes):

You can listen at any point between now and 17:00 tomorrow (Wednesday 22nd April), when we will convene in this Microsoft Teams meeting channel for a Q&A.

All are welcome. Please join the meeting with your camera and microphones off in the first instance to conserve bandwidth.



About the speaker

Johan Andersson has an interdisciplinary background in the humanities and social sciences, with a BA in Comparative Literature and Art History from Stockholm University (2000) and a PhD in Urban Studies from University College London (2008).

After completing his PhD, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Center, City University New York. In 2013, he joined the Department of Geography at King’s.

At this event

Dr Johan Andersson

Reader in Urban Cultural Geography

Event details