Green borders, individual dance spaces and ‘yes-sayer’ – on the complexity of intersectional border walks

Holzzaun vor einem Wald Holzzaun vor einem Wald Holzzaun vor einem Wald © Annie Spratt by Unsplash, 2023

Update: Now online!

07. December 2023 | 16:30 - 18:30

‘It’ll only take a minute.’
‘Just one additional class.’
‘This conference is really important for your career.’
‘If you want to be successful in academia you have to learn to put your individual needs aside.’
‘Success demands sacrifices.’

Does that sound familiar? These or similar requests, well intended advices or actual demands are often everyday occurrences within the context of a PhD or Post-doc working life. They’ve reached a state of normalcy leading to a constant neglect of one’s actual needs.

How are you handling situations like this? Do you feel comfortable saying ‘no’ or are you worried about potential consequences of that ‘no’? Do you find yourself at times torn between requests of others and your own desire or needs? Are you perhaps someone who acts in a kind of anticipating obedience with regards to assumed expectations?

Ignoring my own physical, as well as mental or emotional boundaries in a world that is continuously accelerating seems inevitably connected to a successful career. Unfortunately, more often than not this disregard of my boundaries or limitations leads to actual health problems, as well as my ability to meet high expectations – whether those of others, my own or both. Saying ‘no’ and refusing to adhere to the demands of others – particularly those of superiors – seems unimaginable or at least irresponsible and ill-advised. And within this context my gender, skin colour, age, class, physical, neurological or mental ability as well as sexual orientation, religion and political views are significant aspects that will most certainly play an important part in my decision to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and in their subsequent consequences. Thus, a seemingly very simple ‘no’ becomes a rather complex issue.

This interactive talk will attempt to shed some light on the complexity of boundaries. The necessity to identify, articulate and maintain one’s own boundaries will thereby stay opposite fears and worries such as e.g.: jeopardising my career, hurting somebody’s feelings, seemingly losing interest, being rebellious or even egotistical. The intention is to explore some ways of finding a healthy balance between self-confidently stating my boundaries, articulating my needs and taking a stance against exploitative demands on the one hand, whilst on the other, not losing interest, remaining resonant and staying connected to those around me.  

Prerequisite for those participating: an interested, open and curious attitude with regards to the subject matter.

Date & Location:

07. December 2023
16:30 - 18:30 


Target Group:
Everybody who is interested, but especially PhD-students and Postdocs

Dr. Kerstin Büschges, Gender, Diversity, Coaching & Mediation

Please contact us for registration or further questions: