Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

Dr. Yv Nay

Dr. Yv Nay

Dr. Yv Nay

ZHAW School of Social Work
Institute of Management and Social Policy
Pfingstweidstrasse 96
8005 Zürich

+41 (0) 58 934 85 12

Work at ZHAW

Position at the ZHAW

Dr. YV E. Nay is Senior Lecturer and Associate Researcher at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, School of Social Work

Education and Continuing education

Expertise and research interests

Dr. Nay is a sociologist, education science and gender, queer and trans studies scholar, whose interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to research and teaching is positioned in three areas of expertise: childhood education and sociology of the family, intersectional gender & sexuality studies, and affect theory, social movements and social justice organisations, with a special focus on analysing the intersecting dimensions of gender, sexuality, race, and class.

The first main field of expertise is childhood education and sociology of the family. YV Nay was the main investigator in a childhood education science project at the University of Zurich (UZH), resulting in a book publication, of which they were the first author. This study initiated a shift in conceptualising childhood care and education in nursery schools, for which Nay’s experience as a nursery school teacher was a prerequisite. As a doctoral candidate in the research group of the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF funded project Fertility and Family at UZH, where Nay also led the subproject on queer kinship, they combined childhood education science with family studies. The resulting thesis, submitted for a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Basel (summa cum laude), is an ethnography of new kinship formations that expands both the sociology of family and research on the best interests of the child by deploying gender & queer theory. Nay’s experience as a consultant to governmental bodies and political organisations provided valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges non-heterosexual families encounter, which deepened the analysis for their award-winning 1st monograph based on their doctoral research. This book entitled Feeling Family (Zaglossus 2017) is a study of the affective politics of queer families, which interweaves feminist, queer, affect theory and queer of color critique. It discusses the fundamental changes and political processes connected to the formation of family with reference to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender/trans* and non-binary persons (LGBT*Q) in Switzerland. Their study shows how the figure of the ‘rainbow family’ serves both as a crystallisation point for the dilution of expectations of normality of family and, at the same time, reinforces racist, culturalising and nationalist norms. This includes an examination of the demands for legal recognition, the ideal of the happy family, and of the construct of Switzerland as a ‘democratic’ and ‘progressive’ nation. The analyses result in a reformulation of the analytic concept ‘heteronormativity’ from an affect theory stance as longing for ‘normality.’ In addition, the case is made for a conception of queerfeminst politics that places affective paradoxes at its centre.

A second main strand of Dr. Nay’s work is in intersectional gender & sexuality studies. Beyond the focus on families of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and non-binary parents in my doctoral research, Nay was principle investigator in a study on the history of female homosexuality in rural Switzerland. The results of this project are an essential contribution to the scarce research on this topic and were published in a unique book series on the history of women in Switzerland. Nay’s postdoctoral research project on trans* politics and its intersections with regimes of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and class is part of the rapidly emerging field of transgender studies. Nay is one of the few scholars to introduce transgender theory to gender studies, social sciences and political theory in German-speaking European academia. They co-edited a special issue on European perspectives on transgender studies for TSQ (Duke UP 2021), the leading international transgender studies journal. Nay is co-founder of the Network Trans*Europa for Critical Trans Studies Scholars, Artists and Activists.

A third main area of expertise is affect theory, social movements and social justice organisations. As co-editor of the collection Affect and Gender (2014), the co-editors and Dr. Nay introduced affect theory from a feminist, queer and postcolonial perspective while bringing together the most prominent voices in affect studies in German-speaking academia. With their postdoctoral research, Nay reinforces this expertise while sounding out the affective structure of social justice movements and organisations. This project focuses on the affective atmosphere of activism within transgender communities. They examine the recent extensive transnational political activism of transgender/trans* people. Trans* persons are increasingly visible, with unprecedented media coverage of transitioning celebrities; gender-non-conforming characters and performers in mainstream culture; and rising social movements to end violence against gender-variant people. Nay’s project explores such trans* activism, which swiftly expanded from predominantly local dimensions to increasingly global social movements with transnational impact. They scrutinise how the movement’s inherent ideals and goals produce both a sense of belonging of some trans* activists to their communities and fissures in the affective community forged by exclusions. The project takes on the critique of the term ‘transgender’ commonly used as a progressive transnationalised and globalised concept of the Global North/West and further elaborates the foundational preconditions of the raced, classed, Euro- and Anglo-centric notion ‘transgender’ for non-conforming gender representations in activism. These issues are key to a general account of the force of affect and emotions in building activist communities and political organisations, and to a particular account of social movements involving trans* people.


Professional milestones

2017 – 2021 Principle investigator in postdoctoral project Affective Activism – The Feeling of Belonging in Transgender Communities, SNSF, London School of Economics and Political Science LSE; University of Arizona; University of Vienna; University of Geneva
2016 – 2017 Principle investigator in project The Errantry of Affective Activism: Temporal and Affective Paradoxes of Trans* Politics, Institute for Cultural Inquiry ICI Berlin
2009 – 2016 Doctoral researcher in dissertation project Feeling Family. Queer relationalities and temporalities, SNSF & Research Fund for Junior Researchers Univ. of Basel, Centre for Gender Studies, Univ. of Basel; Department of Social & Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Zurich
2004 – 2008 Principle investigator in project Women Loving Women and Lesbians in the Grisons. An oral history project, Archive for Women’s Culture in the Grisons, Switzerland
2005 – 2006 Principle investigator in project Concepts of Care of Babies and Toddlers in Nursery Schools: Expert report for innovations, Foundation for Childcare in the Zurich University Area (kihz), Institute of Education, University of Zurich

Educational background

Dr. YV E. Nay is Senior Lecturer and Associate Researcher at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW. They hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Basel. Prior to joining the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Nay was Visiting Professor for Political Science at the University of Vienna, Postdoc Fellow at the Department of Gender Studies at the University of Geneva, Postdoc Fellow at the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies and the Transgender Studies Research Cluster of the University of Arizona, Lecturer and Postdoc Researcher at the Department of Gender Studies of London School of Economics and Political Science LSE, Postdoc Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry ICI Berlin, SNSF Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University, and Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Zurich and the University of Basel.

Membership of networks

2021- Co-Begründer*in Network Trans*Europa for Critical Trans Studies Scholars, Artists and Activists
2020– Co-Begründer*in und Mitglied LGBTIQ+ Research Network Switzerland
2018– Peer reviewer für Open Gender Journal
2017– Social Science and History Association SSHA
2017– U.S. National Women’s Studies Association NWSA, Trans/Gender-Variant Caucus
2016– European Consortium for Political Research ECPR
2016– Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Sektion Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung
2014– Sexuality & Social Work Special Interest Group
2011– Co-Begründer*in und Mitglied Schweiz. Gesellschaft für Geschlechterforschung Gruppe Affect, Feelings, Emotions
2011– Peer reviewer für Swiss Journal of Sociology
2011– Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Soziologie
2010– Fachgesellschaft Geschlechterstudien
2010– Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Geschlechterforschung SGGF
2009– Co-Begründer*in und Mitglied Inter* and Trans* Studies Network (ITW)
2008– Verein Feministische Wissenschaft FemWiss
2016– Transgender Europe TGEU
2016– Bundesverband Trans BVT*
2016– TransInterQueer TrIQ e.V. Berlin
2010– Transgender Network Switzerland TGNS



Articles in scientific journal, peer-reviewed
Books and monographs, peer-reviewed
  • Nay, Yv E.; Steinbock, Eliza, eds.,


    The Europa issue.

    Duke University Press.

    Transgender Studies Quarterly ; Volume 8, Number 2.

    ISBN 978-1-4780-2108-7.

Book parts, peer-reviewed
Other publications

Publications before appointment at the ZHAW

10. Nay, Yv E., Steinbock, Eliza (2021). Critical Trans Studies in and beyond Europe: Histories, Methods, and Institu-tions. In: The Europa Issue. Special issue edition of TSQ Transgender Studies Quarterly, 8 (2), 145-157.
9. Nay, Yv E. (2019a). Homonormative und nationalistische Politiken des Fortschritts in Debatten um nicht-hegemoniale Familien und Verwandtschaft. In: Gender. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society, 11 (2), 41-55.
8. Nay, Yv E. (2019b). The Atmosphere of Global Trans* Activism. In: TSQ Transgender Studies Quarterly, 6 (1), 64-79.
7. Nay, Yv E. (2018). Das ‘Kindeswohl’ im Rahmen von ‘Regenbogenfamilien-Politiken’. In: Zeitschrift psychosozial, 41 (151), 79-88.
6. Nay, Yv E. (2015a). Queerfeministische Politiken affektiv strukturierter Paradoxien. In: Femina Politica. Journal of Feminist Political Science, 24 (1), 52-64.
5. Nay, Yv E. (2015b). ‘Happy as in Queer’ – The Affective Paradoxes of Queer Families. In: Sociologus. Journal for Social Anthropology, 65 (1), 35-54.
4. Bühler, Nolwenn, de Jong, Willemijn, Nay, Yv E., Zehnder, Kathrin (2015). ‚Ontological Choreography’ as an Eth-nographic Tool: Understanding the Making of Families by Reproductive Technologies in Switzerland. In: Tsantsa. Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Society, 20, 34-46.
3. Nay, Yv E. (2014a). Queer-feministisch informierte affektive Widerstandspraxen jenseits von Institutionen. In: Femina Politica. Journal of Feminist Political Science, 23 (1), 147-148.
2. Nay, Yv E. (2013). Qu(e)er zum Recht? Normalisierungsprozesse gleich- und trans*geschlechtlicher Elternschaft durch Recht. In: Fampra. Die Praxis des Familienrechts, 14 (2), 366-394.
1. Nay, Yv E. (2012). Family goes queer? Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle und Trans* mit Kindern im Kampf um rechtli-che Anerkennung. In: Quer – denken, lesen, schreiben. Alice-Salomon-Fachhochschule Berlin, 18 (12), 34-39.

4. Nay, Yv E., Steinbock, Eliza (eds.) (2021). The Europa Issue. Special issue edition of TSQ Transgender Studies Quarterly, 8 (2).
3. Nay, Yv E. (2017). Feeling Family. Affektive Paradoxien der Normalisierung von ‘Regenbogenfamilien’. Wien: Zaglossus.
2. Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (Hg*innen) (2014). Affekt und Geschlecht. Eine einführende Anthologie. Wien: Zaglossus. (zusammen mit A. Baier, C. Binswanger, J. Hä-berlein, A. Zimmermann).
1. Nay, Yv E., Grubenmann, Bettina, Larcher, Sabina (2008). Kleinstkindbetreuung in Kindertagesstätten. Expertise für innovative Konzeptionen. Bern, Stuttgart, Wien: Haupt.

9. Nay, Yv E. (2021). Wissensproduktion und Demokratie in pädagogischen Institutionen. Eine Zeitdiagnose aus der Perspektive intersektionaler queer-trans*feministischer Familienforschung. In: Chamakalayil, Lalitha Ivanova-Chessex, Oxana Leutwyler, Bruno, Scharathow, Wiebke (Hg*innen). Eltern und pädagogische Institutionen: Macht- und ungleichheitskritische Perspektiven. Weinheim: Beltz Verlag. 237-255.
8. Nay, Yv E. (2019c). Queer Family’s Longing for Belonging – Heteronormativity Beyond Antinormativity. In: Seh-likoglu, Sertaç, Karioris, Frank (eds.). The Everyday Makings of Heteronormativity. Cross-Cultural Explorations of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. London: Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield. 171-184.
7. Nay, Yv E. (2017b). Affektiver Trans* Aktivismus – Community als Atmosphäre des Unbehagens. In: Hoenes, Jo-sch, Koch, Michael_a (Hg*innen). Transfer und Interaktion. Wissenschaft und Aktivismus an der Grenze hetero-normativer Zweigeschlechtlichkeit. Oldenburg: BIS Verlag. 207-227.
6. Nay, Yv E. (2014b). ´Not Gay as in Happy, but Happy as in Family´ – Affektive Politiken nationaler Sentimen-talität. In: Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (Hg*innen). Affekt und Geschlecht – Eine einführende Anthologie. Wien: Zaglossus. 137-158.
5. Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (2014). Affekt und Ge-schlecht: Eine Einleitung in Affekt-Theorien aus einer feministischen, queeren und post/kolonialen Perspektive. In: Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (Hg*innen). Affekt und Geschlecht – Eine einführende Anthologie. Wien: Zaglossus. 11-54.
4. Nay, Yv E. (2013). Feeling Differently – Affektive Politiken der Gleichheit in Differenz. In: Grisard, Dominique, Jäger, Ulle, König, Tomke (Hg*innen). Verschieden sein. Nachdenken über Geschlecht und Differenz. Sulzbach, Taunus: Ulrike Helmer. 281-294.
3. Mesquita, Sushila, Nay, Yv E. (2013). ´We are Family?!´ Eine queerfeministische Analyse affektiver und diskursi-ver Praxen in der Familienpolitik. In: Bannwart, Bettina, Cottier, Michelle, Durrer, Cheyenne, Kühler, Annina, Küng, Zita (Hg*innen). Keine Zeit für Utopien? Perspektiven der Lebensformenpolitik im Recht. Zürich, St. Gal-len: Dike. 193-218.
2. Nay, Yv E. (2011). Phobie in Swiss Homoland – Zur Frage von Homonationalismus. In: Thal, Andrea (Hg*in). Chewing the Scenery. Zurich: Edition fink. 149-151.
1. Nay, Yv E., Caprez, Christina (2008). Frauenfreundschaften und lesbische Beziehungen: zur Geschichte frauenlie-bender Frauen in Graubünden. In: Redolfi, Silke, Hofmann, Silvia, Jecklin, Ursula (Hg*innen). fremdeFrau. Bei-träge zur Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte Graubuendens im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Band 4. Zürich: Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 229 - 316.

Other publications