The connection, intersections and interrelations between theory and practice have been an important feature of maiz's political work since the beginning.
maiz has published academic teorico-theoretical articles in the course of its activities and understood these as a space for knowledge production/knowledge exchange/knowledge transfer. In 2003, maiz established a dedicated research department, marking a significant milestone in the organization’s journey. Since then, maiz has participated as a partner organization, together with universities and research institutes, or as a sponsor in specific research projects as well as action research projects. Thus, maiz carries out fundamental research work which is relevant for the analyses of the working and living conditions of migrant women in Austria.
The migrant perspective - as a political and ethical category - represents the central perspective of maiz research work. Starting from the concrete location as migrant women's* self-organization, intellectual migrant women* (Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez 2000) develop their political research work within the framework of protest movements, especially within the anti-racist, feminist and queer movements. In this context, migrant women* are presented as central subjects of scientific work against the background of their social marginalization, instrumentalization and invisibilization - with conscious partiality (see an interview in which it is explained why it is important for maiz to conduct its own research work).
We think it is of great importance the scientific examination of existing educational concepts for migrant women in order to further develop our own educational practice in maiz and to give an impulse for the development of new approaches and concepts that take into account postcolonial and feminist aspects.
In addition to our funded projects, maiz dedicates considerable effort to generating unpaid knowledge. With the founding of our „Universität der Ignorant_innen“ project on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of maiz in 2014, this area was given an important development. This concept is rooted in the realization that ignorance prevails as long as marginalized knowledge and traditions are overlooked, and when knowledge production proceeds without critical consideration of its power dynamics.
The core objective of the „Universität der Ignorant_innen“” is to scrutinize the implications of producing knowledge rooted in ignorance, challenge its hegemonic foundations, and craft strategies for a critical approach. Our focus extends beyond what is discussed; it also encompasses who speaks for whom and what is deemed legitimate knowledge, when, and why. We aim to blur boundaries, encourage the emancipation of voices, and resist the exoticization of “the other”. Within this utopian space known as the “University of Ignoramuses”, we foster the production and exchange of counter-hegemonic knowledge.
The research work of maiz is aiming to strengthen the social, cultural and political work of maiz as well as reach out to attain new dialog and alliance partners in the academic field.
We won the conferral of the state award 2010 (Käthe-Leichter-Staatspreises für Frauenforschung, Geschlechterforschung und Gleichstellung in der Arbeitswelt) on Dr.in Luzenir Caixeta as a positive resonance for this relatively new area of work of ours.
Dr.in Luzenir Caixeta, is one of the founding members of maiz and the co-ordinator of maiz research. In an interview (ad. in German only) she explains why it is important for maiz to have a specific area of work for research. As a political and ethical category the migrant perspective is the central point of view of maiz' research work. Based on their concrete lived experiences and them being personally affected as well as the fact that they are marginalized, instrumentalized and made invisible, migrant women are the central subject of the academic work.
participation at expert round tables for relevant fields of topics
contributions to study and research work (e.g. interviews)
the giving of lectures, the conduct of discussions and workshops (for students, at congresses etc.)
the writing and publishing of articles
participation in academic studies (as project partners or as executing organization)