Christina Grübler is an interdisciplinary scholar currently graduating in Gender & Queer Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their work bridges epistemological and methodological traditions from cultural studies, sociology, media studies and queer theory to explore the nexus of gender, sexuality and desire, particularly in the arena of digital games and online cultures. Focusing on queer play and storytelling in digital games, Christina looks at the phenomenon of “glitch”; queer interactions with interactive media; gendered representations of violence in popular culture; and the contestation of heterosexual identities and affects.
During a recent research stay at the University of British Columbia’s Social Justice Institute, Christina expanded work on their MA thesis, which analyzes hate speech, anti-feminist conspiracy ideology and alt-right discourse in online communities. They focus on heterosexist backlash directed at high-profile game titles, specifically The Last of Us Part II. Christina inquires into why people desire particular gendered experiences of play; as well as how and why people violently express their opposition to queer, diverse character representation and narratives in games.
A fierce educator and speaker with a background in queer pedagogy, Christina is committed to creating compassionate spaces for knowledge sharing and critical epistemologies. They are a scientific assistant in the project “Gender as Practical Competence and Transdisciplinary Analytical Perspective – Social Innovation in Teaching and Research” at the Institute for Gender Studies at TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, and a research assistant in the department “Organization, Technology and Gender” for feminist technoscience studies at the University of Cologne.