SKY Advanced Research Seminars 2014-2021

Bikes in front of Topelia.
Bulletin 30.11.2020

Spring 2021

30.3., Professor Kyla Schuller (Rutgers University): When Affect Becomes Difference

Abstract:

Affect, or the capacity to affect and be affected by external forces, is frequently portrayed as an autonomic, preindividual intensity circulating throughout the social field. Yet affect is also key to the notion of the self-possessed individual. Since Locke and Hume, liberal humanism has portrayed the body and mind to develop through its reception and mediation of impressions, rendering the capacity of affect of tremendous importance to the self-constitution of the subject. This talk argues that affect underwrites the possibility of development and for this reason, scientists, writers, and reformers scripted affect into underpinning the basic concepts of race and gender difference. This talk turns to the overlooked role of affect in constructing the nineteenth-century discourse of biological race, via the concept of impressibility, and the twentieth-century notion of gender, via the concept of imprinting. Tracing commonalities across these distinct periods, it exposes a widespread sensory-energetic regime that refuses the universality of the capacity to be affected over time and insists instead that affect forms the grounds of race and sex. To understand the intersecting, interlocking dynamic of the notions of race and sex difference, it suggests, requires interrogating political and scientific uses of affect to delimit the basic capacities of life.   

Bio

Kyla Schuller is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is the author of The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Duke University Press, 2018) and The Trouble with White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism (Bold Type Books, 2021). With Jules Gill-Peterson, she co-edited a special issue of Social Text and with Greta LaFleur, co-edited the American Quarterly volume Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas, which was named Best Special Issue 2020 by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Schuller’s work has been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and Stanford Humanities Center.

 

16.3. Professor Ken Stone (Chicago Theological Seminary): History and Theory in Queer Studies

Abstract:  

Although the phrase ‘queer theory’ may imply the priority of theory over history, early influences on queer studies such as Michel Foucault intentionally blended theoretical analysis with historical analysis. Foucault’s work had an impact not only on queer theorists from philosophical (Judith Butler) and modern literary (Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick) backgrounds, but also queer studies scholars trained in more traditionally historical disciplines, such as, in the United States, Classics scholar David Halperin and historian of Christianity Mark Jordan. These and other scholars (including Carolyn Dinshaw, John D’Emilio, George Chauncey, Heather Love, Heather White) have reshaped both queer studies and historical scholarship by bringing history and theory together in a range of ways. This paper engages the relationship between history and theory in queer studies by focusing on recent developments in queer biblical studies. Long before the rise of queer studies, the interplay among history, theory, and literary analysis was a topic for debate in biblical scholarship, producing multiple approaches to the study of a collection of ancient texts that continues to have contemporary influence. The emergence of queer biblical studies thus provides an opportunity to reexamine the relationship between history and theory in relation to a body of literature that appears relatively infrequently within queer studies. After reviewing several examples of queer biblical scholarship that relate history and theory to one another in diverse ways, I reflect on the implications of such research for the roles of history and theory in queer studies more broadly. Rather than prioritizing one normative model for the relationship between history and theory, I suggest that queer biblical studies generates a multiplicity of approaches that, taken together, may “queer” the line between history and theory as academic approaches to the study of ancient literature.

Bio

Prof. Ken Stone is Professor of Bible, Culture, and Hermeneutics at Chicago Theological Seminary, where he also served as Academic Dean for a decade.  He is the author of many articles as well as the books Reading the Hebrew Bible with Animal Studies (2017), Practicing Safer Texts: Food, Sex, and Bible in Queer Perspective (2005), and Sex, Honor, and Power in the Deuteronomistic History (1996); editor of Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible (2001); and co-editor with Teresa Hornsby of Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship (2011).  He was a founding member of the Society of Biblical Literature’s LGBTQ Hermeneutics Section, and currently serves on the steering committee for its Animal Studies and the Bible Consultation. 

 

Fall 2020

Topics:

  • 30.11. Associate Professor Elżbieta Korolczuk (Södertörn University & University of Warsaw)
    "Conceptualizing the relation between right-wing populism and (anti)gender: an opportunistic synergy"

Abstracts:

30.11. Associate Professor Elżbieta Korolczuk (Södertörn University & University of Warsaw):
"Conceptualizing the relation between right-wing populism and (anti)gender: an opportunistic synergy"

The lecture will offer a conceptualization of the relationship between populism and gender, based on the analysis of anti-gender campaigns in Europe, with specific focus on the Polish case. Rather than looking for specific gendered aspects of populism as an ideology, I will examine an opportunistic synergy between the right-wing parties and ultraconservative groups opposing “gender ideology.” Opportunistic synergy is a dynamic, which includes political alliances, ideological affinities and organizational ties, and plays out on two distinct levels: ideological/discursive and strategic/organizational (Graff and Korolczuk 2021). Since populism is not a robust ideological project, it readily feeds on ideas, affects and narrative structures promoted by the anti-gender movement, albeit often in an opportunistic and selective fashion. Simultaneously, the actors behind anti-gender campaigns use the organizational resources that right-wing parties offer, especially in contexts such as Poland where the latter are in power. What facilitates this collusion is the fact that the ultraconservative critiques of “gender” have indeed been framed in populist terms. The movement presents itself as a necessary and courageous defense of “the people” (often in their private roles as parents) against powerful and foreign “liberal elites,” with “gender ideology” emphatically identified as a modern version of western colonialism

Bio
Elżbieta Korolczuk is an Associate professor in sociology, who works at Södertörn University in Stockholm and American Studies Center, Warsaw University. Her research interests involve social movements, civil society and anti-gender mobilizations. She published numerous articles and book chapters, as well as books: Civil Society Revisited: Lessons from Poland (co-edited with Kerstin Jacobsson, Berghahn Books, 2017) and Rebellious Parents. Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia (co-edited with Katalin Fábián, Indiana University Press, 2017). Recently, she co-authored a book Bunt kobiet. Czarne Protesty i Strajki Kobiet [Women’s Rebellion. Black Protests and Women’s Strikes] with Beata Kowalska, Jennifer Ramme and Claudia Snochowska-Gonzalez, published by European Solidarity Centre in 2019, and a research monograph Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment with Agnieszka Graff (forthcoming in Routledge). She is also a commentator and a long-time women’s and human rights activist. 

Spring 2020

Topics:

  • 14.1. Professor Jenny Gunnarsson Payne (Södertörn University)
    ”Next of kin: What does 'missing relations' mean in the age of assisted reproduction?"
  • 11.2. Associate Professor Kris Clarke (University of Helsinki)
    "Black Feminist Trailblazers In Community Organizing: What Social Workers Can Learn From The Life Stories Of Maggie Lena Walker And Mattie B. Meyers"
  • 25.2. Didem Abaday (postdoctoral fellow, University of Helsinki, Religion, Conflict and Dialogue Research Center)
    “Muslim Feminists’ Borderland Positions in an Authoritarian Populist Regime: The Case of Turkey"
  • Thursday 5.3. Professor Susan Stryker (University of Arizona/Yale University)
    "On Groundlessness: Transphobic Feminism, Gender Ideology, Transfeminist Critique"

Ab­stracts:

14.1. Professor Jenny Gunnarsson Payne (Södertörn University):
Next of kin: What does “missing relations” mean in the age of assisted reproduction?

The presentation is based on the two first chapters of the book manuscript entitled Next of kin: Kinship in the age of assisted reproduction, which synthesizes and further develops Gunnarsson Payne’s previous empirical and theoretical work on issues such as the so-called fragmentation of motherhood and what is often referred to as the disconnection between sex and reproduction. This presentation will introduce the main contribution of this book, that is, its proposed theory of kinship grammars as a way to better understand the multifarious parallel and sometimes conflicting understandings of kinship, as well as the relationship between the discursive and the material aspects of kinship. It will also discuss how the theory of kinship grammars can be specifically applied to the commonly felt desire to know the “truth” about one’s reproductive origins (e.g. to know the identity of one’s sperm- or egg-donor) and how this desire often translates into political mobilization, debate and contestation (e.g. the right to know the donor). Broadly contextualized in the Euro-American context of assisted reproductive technologies, the presentation will specifically argue that reproductive “third parties” (donors and surrogates) under these circumstances constitutes an in-between category, neither kin nor non-kin but rather what can be better conceptualized in terms of “un-kin”. Finally, the presentation will discuss some of the main implications that this might have for theories and practices of queer kinship and reproductive justice.

Bio

Jenny Gunnarsson Payne is professor of Ethnology at the Department for Historical and Contemporary Studies at Södertörn University in Sweden. Her current research projects are Next of kin: Kinship in the age of assisted reproduction and Reproducing (In)Justice: Towards a relational approach to reproductive justice in Baltic, Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to her research on kinship, assisted reproduction and reproductive justice, she also works on issues related to contemporary feminist and anti-feminist political mobilization.

11.2. Associate Professor Kris Clarke (University of Helsinki):
Black Feminist Trailblazers In Community Organizing: What Social Workers Can Learn From The Life Stories Of Maggie Lena Walker And Mattie B. Meyers

Life story research centers how individual experiences interact with, relate to, challenge and resist broader social historical narratives. My talk explores the life stories of African American community leaders, Maggie Lena Walker and Mattie B. Meyers, as exemplars of Black feminist community social work. While the field of western social work generally traces its origin to the work of Mary Richmond and Jane Addams, there has been little recognition of the contributions of Black feminist intersectional community leadership to collective social justice and community organizing theory and practice. Maggie Lena Walker was an African American teacher and businesswoman who organized the Independent Order of St Luke, a mutual benefit society that focused on supporting financial independence during the Jim Crow era in Richmond, Virginia. Mattie B. Meyers was a teacher and NAACP organizer who fought to enhance racial equity in Fresno, California schools. In examining the context of their life stories, I trace how Walker and Meyers’s organizing approaches and techniques reflect Black feminist principles of relationality and intersectionality that provide an important conceptual and practical insight into structural social work.

Bio

Kris Clarke is an associate professor of social work in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Originally from Fresno, California, she has lived in Finland for over 20 years. Clarke’s research interests center on decolonization, critical social work, and the significance of place and social memory.

25.2. Didem Unal Abaday (posdoctoral fellow, University of Helsinki, Religion, Conflict and Dialogue Research Center): 
Muslim Feminists’ Borderland Positions in an Authoritarian Populist Regime: The Case of Turkey

Feminist scholarship on the recent rise of right-wing populism in Europe and all over the world point out that familialism, pronatalism and anti-feminism are central features of populist imaginaries. In contemporary Turkey, the proliferation of misogynist discourse on women’s bodies, sexualities and subjectivities, the replacement of the principle of gender equality with the Islamic model of gender complementarity, pronatalist and familialist policy and discourse and the marginalization of feminist subjects have been intrinsic to the foundation of a new political regime especially in the post-2013 period. In such a context where the authoritarian populist regime defines women’s agency as compliant and instrumental and the Islamic tradition becomes a main pillar in the reshuffling of the gender regime, critical pious agency gains prominence in challenging ‘docile’ femininity promoted through familial/pronatalist discourses and policies. Against this background, this article explores the complexities of Muslim feminist position with regard to recent controversial gender debates in Turkey and scrutinizes the flexibilities, temporalities, shifts and instabilities underlying it in the age of conservative gender backlash. Utilizing semi-structural, in-depth interviews as well as critical discourse analysis of blogs, press interviews and social media statements, it puts forward the wide spectrum of arguments, positions and discourses represented by Muslim feminists and reveals different paths of negotiating feminism, Islam and feminist self-identification. It concludes that Muslim feminist positions in contemporary Turkey fluctuate on an elusive ground, the contours of which is mapped out by the actors’ ‘in-between’ positions on women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive rights and the vulnerabilities they face in the antifeminist, authoritarian political regime that does not tolerate dissent and opposition.

Bio

Didem Unal Abaday is a postdoctoral researcher at the Religion, Conflict and Dialogue Research Center at the Faculty of Theology of University of Helsinki. Previously, she was a Junior Thyssen Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Central European University (CEU) and a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Gender Studies, Ethnology and History of Religions at Stockholm University. She was also a visiting research fellow at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of Rutgers University and at the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY). She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Bilkent University, Ankara in 2015. Her research interests focus on gender politics in contemporary Turkey, Muslim women and politics of veiling in Western diasporic contexts, Islamic feminism, everyday Islam and Islamic fashion. Her recent publications appeared in various academic journals such as Women’s Studies International Forum, Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, European Journal of Women’s Studies and Politics & Gender.

Thursday 5.3. Professor Susan Stryker (University of Arizona/Yale University):
On Groundlessness: Transphobic Feminism, Gender Ideology, Transfeminist Critique

Prof. Susan Stryker's talk in Helsinki can be viewed through Vimeo, click here.

This public lecture offers a transfeminist critique of the decades-long history of anti-trans feminism in the United States and its contemporary resurgence in the global context of  reactionary ethnonationalist social movements.

Bio

Prof. Susan Stryker is an award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s. Dr. Stryker earned her Ph.D. in United States History at the University of California-Berkeley in 1992, later held a Ford Foundation/Social Science Research Council post-doctoral fellowship in sexuality studies at Stanford University, and—before her one-year appointment at Yale (2019-2020)—has been a distinguished visiting faculty member at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California-Santa Cruz, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. She is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books and anthologies, including Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (Chronicle 1996), Queer Pulp: Perverse Passions in the Golden Age of the Paperback (Chronicle 2000), The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006), Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (Seal Press 2008, 2017), and The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (2013).

Her academic articles have appeared in such publications as GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Radical History Review, South Atlantic Quarterly, Parallax, Australian Feminist Studies, Social Semiotics, and Journal of Women’s History, while her public scholarship has appeared in Aperture, Wired, The Utne Reader, and Slate.com. She won an Emmy Award for her documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (ITVS 2005), and is also the recipient of a Lambda Literary Award (2006), the Ruth Benedict Book Prize (2013), the Monette-Horowitz Prize for LGBTQ activism (2008), the Transgender Law Center’s Community Vanguard Award (2003), two career achievement awards in LGBTQ Studies—the David Kessler Award in  from the City University of New York’s Center for LGBT Studies in 2008, and Yale University’s Brudner Memorial Prize in 2015—and the Local Genius Award from Tucson’s Museum of Contemporary Art in 2018. Dr. Stryker served for several years as Executive Director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco (1999-2003). At the University of Arizona, where she is currently on leave from her appointment as Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, she served for five years as Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies (2011-2016) and was founder of the university’s unprecedented Transgender Studies Initiative and faculty cluster hire. She will hold the Barbara Lee Professorship in Women’s Leadership at Mills College (Oakland, CA) 2020-2022. While continuing to serve as founding co-editor of the academic journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke), Dr. Stryker is currently developing several media projects, and has a book under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux, What Transpires Now, about the uses of transgender history for the present.

Fall 2019

Topics:

  • 24.9. Professor Stella Sandford (Kingston University):
    ”Male and Female without ‘Sex’? The Aristotelian Challenge”
  • 8.10. Postdoctoral Fellow Anna Shadrina (Birkbeck, University of London):
    “The Babushka as a Metaphor of Women’s Old Age in Russia and a Means to Resist Ageism”
  • 22.10. Associate Professor Ruth Lewis (Northumbria University):
    New Manifestations and Conceptualisations of Gender-Based Violence”  
  • 5.11. Lecturer Trude Sundberg (University of Kent):
    ” Water Security Across the Gender Continuum”
  • 3.12. Dr. Mónica Cano Abadía (Institute of Philosophy, Karl-Franzens University of Graz (Austria):
    "The fiction of invulnerability. Silence and otherness in Francoist Spain"

Ab­stracts:

24.9. Professor Stella Sandford (Kingston University):
Male and Female without ‘Sex’? The Aristotelian Challenge

In this lecture I will suggest that an investigation of the Aristotelian foundations of modern systems of classification in natural history raises interesting questions about the way in which we use ‘sex’ as a classificatory term today. Aristotle’s zoological works utilise his logical terms ‘genus’ (genos), ‘species’ (eidos) and ‘differentia’. Mutatis mutandis, these are the basis for all modern systems of biological classification, or the basis of biological systematics itself. As well as the categories of genus and species in Aristotle, and these and other taxonomical terms in modern biology, we also find, in both, ‘popular’ or pragmatic groupings – for example ‘reptile’ or ‘tree’ – which have no place in modern taxonomy (no such phylogenetic groups exist). Aristotle also groups animals according to locality, and he uses distinctions such as that between wild and tame, common and rare, and so on (although these form no part of biological systematics). In this lecture I will ask: when we group individuals or classes of individuals as ‘male’ or ‘female’, which, if any, natural classificatory category do we use? What is the nature of the groupings ‘male’ and ‘female’? Is it scientific, philosophical or popular? In this lecture I will suggest that the problem in answering this in Aristotle shows us the problem in answering it in contemporary classification and systemisation, and that it hinges on the classificatory status of the category of ‘sex’. This is not a criticism of Aristotle’s account; it is the identification of something of particular interest. It allows us to see that this problem endures, well beyond Aristotle’s texts, in contemporary zoology and philosophy, as we may still ask: what is the relation of the distinction between male and female to any possible system of natural classification, and how is this related to philosophical categorisation? Is the concept of ‘sex’ part of the answer to this problem or, rather, a way of avoiding it?

Bio

Stella Sandford is Professor in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London, UK. She is the author of Plato and Sex (Polity, 2010), How to Read Beauvoir (Granta/Norton, 2006) and The Metaphysics of Love: Gender and Transcendence in Levinas (Athlone/Continuum, 2000). She is co-editor (with Mandy Merck) of Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex: Critical Essays on Shulamith Firestone (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and (with Peter Osborne) Philosophies of Race and Ethnicity (Continuum, 2002) and edited, with an Introduction, Étienne Balibar's Identity and Difference: John Locke and the Invention of Consciousness, Verso 2013. Her recent work has been in critical philosophy of race, especially in relation to Kant, and in philosophical readings of psychoanalysis. She is currently holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, for a project on ‘Sex Difference in Natural History’.

8.10. Postdoctoral Fellow Anna Shadrina (Birkbeck, University of London):
The Babushka as a Metaphor of Women’s Old Age in Russia and a Means to Resist Ageism

In Russia and many other former Soviet republics, older women are commonly recognised as, and called, ‘babushkas.’ Although the word ‘babushka’ in Russian means ‘grandmother,’ in public imagination the concept of the ‘babushka’ goes beyond this family role. In a broader sense, the word babushka signifies a social position offered to women of pensionable age by society based on practices related to family care. This reflects the expectation that, once they have passed their reproductive period, women will end their professional careers to extensively assist their adult daughters with childcare and house work. 

At the centre of my most recent project are power dynamics between women of pensionable age and the institutions of the state, family and market. In my talk I will discuss former Soviet women’s lived-experiences of ageing in a period of social crisis and intensified structural inequalities in two different social contexts – in the new Russia and in the UK. I will demonstrate that the babushka as an epitome of the predestined downward social mobility for women, guides their life trajectories from birth to death. I argue that former Soviet women pensioners based in Russia and the UK negotiate the social process of ageing through rejecting or internalising the social position of the babushka. My findings suggest that even when pushed to retreat to the private sphere, older women use the babushka figure to present themselves against it as not entirely decrepit yet, still having something to offer to society.

Bio

Anna Shadrina is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London (UK). She is a sociologist with an interdisciplinary background in research on gender, sexuality, and social inequalities. Her PhD (2019) entitled ‘Babushkas: Subjugated Matriarchs. Former Soviet Women Pensioners Ageing in Russia and the UK’ explores the huge subjective and social adjustments, and the mounting stresses for older women, following the shift from the Soviet economy and welfare structures to the changes necessary to survive in neoliberal times. In her first book (published in Russian), ‘Single Women: Sex, Love and Family beyond Marriage’ (2014), by reading the history of Soviet and post-Soviet marriage through queer theory, Anna discusses the fragility and limitations of the heteronormative gender project. Her second book (also published in Russian), ‘Dear Children: the Decline in Fertility and the Increase of the ‘Price’ of Motherhood (2017), illuminates how the state in Russia establishes and re-establishes itself through the constitution of gender ideology and specifically through the role assigned to women.

22.10. Associate Professor Ruth Lewis (Northumbria University):
New Manifestations and Conceptualisations of Gender-Based Violence

Never before has there been such a loud, widespread, public conversation about gender-based violence (GBV). The #MeToo movement—whose foundations lie in feminist responses to the disclosure of Harvey Weinstein’s regime of abuse and, before that, numerous high profile cases of abusive men in sport, religion and entertainment—has propelled men’s sexually abusive behaviour into the public realm as never before. At the same time, we are seeing new manifestations of violence that are becoming evident in the 21st century—such as online misogyny, and digitally manipulated sexualised images—as well as  emerging conceptualisations of behaviours that have long been present but have only recently been recognised and named as violent expressions of gendered inequalities—such as sexual violence in universities and ‘coercive control’. Changes in the social, economic and cultural contexts have enabled new manifestations of GBV to emerge, while feminist mobilisations have resulted in a broadening of public and policy constructions of harm through new and broader conceptualisations of GBV. This talk will examine these developments, exploring what the new manifestations and conceptualisations tell us about the achievements of feminism and about contemporary gender regimes.

Bio

Ruth Lewis is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University. Her research focuses on gender-based violence and feminist activism and sits at the intersection of Sociology, Criminology and Gender Studies. Recent work examines gender-based violence in universities and activism about it (eg Gender-Based Violence in University Communities: policies, prevention and educational initiatives, (2018) edited with Sundari Anitha and a special issue of Violence Against Women, (2019) edited with Susan Marine). With Mike Rowe and Clare Wiper she conducted the first victimological survey of feminists who experience online abuse. Earlier research with Rebecca Dobash, Russell Dobash and Kate Cavanagh examined legal responses to domestic violence, including perpetrators’ programmes, and a sociological examination of homicide. She has been involved in feminist activism and networks of various kinds, in and beyond universities, including helping to run domestic violence organisations, to organise conferences for practitioners, scholars and activists, and to provide training about dealing with sexual violence.

5.11. Lecturer Trude Sundberg (University of Kent):
Water Security Across the Gender Continuum

Trude Sundberg (University of Kent), Subham Mukherjee (Freie University of Berlin), Debanuj DasGupta (University of Connecticut)

Water Security has been identified as one of the sustainable development goals. Access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, equitable availability is addressed by Goal 6.  When researching water security we take a holistic approach, aiming at combining bio-physical and social factors to understand who are water insecure, and what influences this. This paper seeks to address a key gap in literature about water security, water-justice and gender issues. Gender has been identified as an important element in relation to water security, however, most researchers have only focused on issues related binary understandings of water security, and in particular cis-women (Caretta and Borjenson, 2015; Crow and Sultana, 2002; Sultana, 2009 & 2011). However, the literature on gendering water security, management and justice is yet to address the issues faced by transgender, intersex and non-binary communities. The paper draws upon stories and deliberations discussed during two international workshops on water security across the gender continuum held at Canterbury and Kolkata funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund, as well as two focus groups held within transgender community members in Kolkata. The stories, and deliberations highlight how caste, class, religion, and gendered violence disallows urban transgender women and men access to clean water and toilets in metropolitans of South Asia. Our research focuses upon experiences from communities in Kathmandu, Kolkata, Dhaka, and Colombo. In conclusion, we highlight how the right to water needs to be understood through the intersections of caste, class, and gender identity.

3.12. Dr. Mónica Cano Abadía (Institute of Philosophy, Karl-Franzens University of Graz (Austria):
The fiction of invulnerability. Silence and otherness in Francoist Spain

Vulnerability is often associated with passivity, weakness, lack of mastery and agency. This consideration of vulnerability is embedded in the fiction of the invulnerability of the liberal subject. This fable creates a narrow understanding not only of vulnerability but also of the political subject – in this sense, it fosters ignorance. Furthermore, it operates within a binary framework that both presupposes and reinforces an asymmetric relationship with the other. This paper will explore how vulnerability, invulnerability, agency, and otherness are entwined. Moreover, this paper will argue that silence, in the context of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship, has operated as a channel through which the fiction of invulnerability has spread ignorance and otherness. Finally, this paper will argue how breaking the silence and daring to be vulnerable can make a difference to reshape political contexts.

Bio

Mónica Cano Abadía obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophical Studies from the University of Zaragoza in 2014. She has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (University of Rijeka) in 2017-2018, with the research project “Risky Vulnerability. The Rise of Neo-Fascist Discourses and the Possibilities of Political Transformation in Judith Butler”. She is also a member of the Research Group “Justice, Citizenship, and Vulnerability” (University of La Laguna, Spain). Since July 2018 Mónica Cano Abadía is an Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy (Institute of Philosophy, University of Graz), where she is teaching, among other courses, the proseminar "Vulnerability.

Spring 2019

Topics:

  • 15.1. Richard Twine (Senior lecturer, Co-director of the Human-Animal Studies, Edge Hill University, UK)
    “Anthropocene, Androcene, or ‘Anthropo’cene? From scientism to intersectionality”
  • 29.1. Rozita Dimova (Associate professor, University of Ghent)
    “Beautiful Bodies across the Border in the Balkans”
  • 4.2. Jack Halberstam in Think Corner (Please note that the event will be held in Think Korner) 
    “The future of gender, sexuality and inheritance” 
  • 12.2 Juliet Mitchell (prof. emerita, University of Cambridge)
    “A psychoanalyst looks at the Bisexual Subject and its Gender”
  • 26.2. Ben Griffin (University of Cambridge )
    Hegemonic Masculinity as a Historical Problem
  • 26.3. Davina Cooper (Research professor in Law, Kings College, London, UK)
    Making up a world: Prefiguration, play and the enactment of new facts
  • 9.4. Nina Lykke (Professor emerita, Linköping University, Tema Genus)
    Cripping mourning – queering death
  • 23.4. B Camminga (postdoctoral fellow, South African Centre for Migration & Society, Witts University)
    Gender refugees’ & the South African asylum regime: “there is no queue for gender change”
  • 7.5. Margrit Shildrick (HCAS/Stockholm University)
    Hauntological ethics and beyond: undoing the temporality and imaginaries of death

Ab­stracts:

15.1. Prof.  Richard Twine (Senior lecturer, Co-director of the Human-Animal Studies, Edge Hill University, UK)

Anthropocene, Androcene, or ‘Anthropo’cene? From scientism to intersectionality
This paper critically engages with the discourse of the Anthropocene (Crutzen 2002), which has now achieved a degree of cultural normalisation in the context of debates around climate change. I argue that the critique of the Anthropocene from a political economy and anti-capitalist perspective (e.g. Malm and Hornberg 2014), is a necessary, yet insufficient corrective.  With a focus on the gender and species dimensions of climate change I argue that climate change constitutes a multi-faceted crisis. All framings are crucial for how the emergences, responses to, and impacts of climate change are understood and represented. I argue that the sort of intersectional approach favoured by feminist (e.g. Kaijser and Kronsell 2014), ecofeminist and critical animal studies scholars potentially offers the most accurate account of the emergences and impacts of climate change and affords specific and radical proposals for responses. Finally, I argue that, whilst the discourse of the Anthropocene has become institutionalised, it’s scientism can be resisted, and an intersectional approach popularised, via the alternative writing of the epoch, as the ‘Anthropo’cene. References: Crutzen, P. (2002) ‘The geology of mankind’, Nature 415: 23;  Kaijser, A. and Kronsell, A. (2014) ‘Climate change through the lens of intersectionality’, Environmental Politics 23(3): 417-433; Malm, A. & Hornborg, A. (2014) ‘The geology of mankind? A critique of the narrative of the Anthropocene narrative’, The Anthropocene Review 1(1): 62-69.

Richard Twine is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAShttp://www.edgehill.ac.uk/cfhas/ ) at Edge Hill University, UK.

He previously worked at the Institute of Education, University of London; and for ten years at Lancaster University, where he was a researcher with the ESRC Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen). His research interests take place at the nexus of gender studies, human/animal relations, science studies and environmental Sociology. Much current research focuses upon the issue of sustainable food transitions in the context of climate change. 

Richard is the author of the book Animals as Biotechnology – Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies (Routledge, 2010), and co-editor, with Nik Taylor of Flinders University, Australia, of The Rise of Critical Animal Studies – From the Margins to the Centre (Routledge Advances in Sociology, 2014). He has published many articles and chapters on issues as diverse as veganism, antibiotics, ecofeminism, masculinities, intersectionality, posthumanism, bioethics and physiognomy. His own web-site can be found at http://www.richardtwine.com

29.1. Rozita Dimova (Associate professor, University of Ghent)

Beautiful Bodies across the Border in the Balkans
My talk is an ethnographic account of the border-crossing practices between Greece and Macedonia instigated by the financial crisis and accentuated by the political conflict surrounding the name Macedonia. I follow two women from Greece who cross the border on a regular basis to obtain services in the beauty parlors on the Macedonian side. The cheaper prices might be the immediate incentive but their encounters with the people on the other side of the border reveal more complex engagement with the Other, as well as with visions of beauty and beautiful bodies which evolve within the intertwining contexts of financial crisis, modernity, location and time. The beauty salon thus becomes the place of deconstructing and putting the body together by using the notions of freedom, choice and agency. The border becomes productive in engendering desire for women situated in the Balkan periphery of Europe where the financial crisis and the proximity of the border create and affect the notions of beauty and agency. 

Rozita Dimova is Associate Professor of Southeast European Studies in the Department of Languages and Cultures at Ghent University. She obtained her Ph.D in Anthropology at Stanford University in 2004. She is the author of Ethno-Baroque: Materiality, Aesthetics, and Conflict in Modern-Day Macedonia (2013, Berghahn Publishers) and a co-editor of the volume The Political Materialities of Borders: New theoretical directions (2018, Manchester University Press). Her forthcoming monograph Border Porosities: Movements of People, Goods and Services in the Southern Balkans (Manchester University Press) will be published in September 2019.

12.2. Juliet Mitchell (Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge)

A psychoanalyst looks at the Bisexual Subject and its Gender

My talk has two interdependent themes: that ‘ bisexuality’ is first and foremost a subject position and only secondarily the choice of partners of either sex and that ‘gender’ should be distinguished from what goes under the term of ‘sexual difference’. The union of these two themes is part of a wider argument that hopes to construct the psychosocial along a horizontal axis starting with the lateral relation of siblings. As well as gendered we are always bisexual subjects. The bisexual infant, the ‘toddler’ (so far the baby of the family) only acquires the subjective meaning of gender when a subsequent sibling is born or expected and it becomes a sister or a brother.

Although the clinical work of group, child and family psychoanalysts abounds in observations of siblings these are invariably made to fit into the dominant paradigm of individual analysis which is a vertical ‘family’ axis of parent and child. Instead we should see that we are born into a social world as well as a family and social relations are as much lateral as lineal.

From a gender perspective a horizontal axis is very different. ‘Sexual difference’ is instituted as the ineluctable distinction inaugurated by the castration complex under the law of the father. It relates to vertical reproduction and despite reproductive technologies it is a psychic (not biological) insistence that one sex cannot be the other. Gender, a wider category, should be kept for lateral relations and sexuality. Instead of parenting, under the provenance of women , it leads to marriage  (and sex trafficking) and, for men, to legal war and ‘terrorism’. The horizontal psychosocial is constructed through prohibitions and allowances which initially come from a law of the mother operating between her children.  

Juliet Mitchell was born in New Zealand in 1940. In 1944 she went to England by wartime convoy. She first lectured in English literature but following ‘Women: the Longest Revolution’ in 1966, curiosity about hostility to Freud led to a series of short interventions culminating in Psychoanalysis and Feminism (1974) followed by becoming a psychoanalyst. During the seventies, eighties and nineties she published and co-published (with Anne Oakley, Jacqueline Rose and Michael Parsons) on literature, feminism and psychoanalysis. Since 1998 she has been writing and lecturing about a horizontal axis of sociality starting with the lateral relations of siblings. She established and directed a Centre for Gender Studies in the University of Cambridge and a PhD programme in Theoretical Psychoanalysis at UCL. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Cambridge and Professorial Research Fellow at UCLondon. She is a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge and of the British Academy and the British and International Psychoanalytical Associations.

26.2. Ben Griffin (Lecturer, University of Cambridge )

Hegemonic Masculinity as a Historical Problem

This paper reaffirms the importance of gender history as a way of understanding the history of power, and specifically power relations between men and masculinities. The historical literature dealing with this theme has been profoundly shaped by R. W. Connell’s concept of ‘hegemonic masculinity’. Despite detailed criticism by historians, Connell’s work remains enormously influential on historical scholarship because no alternative model has delineated so clearly the significance of power relations between masculinities. This paper offers a critical reading of Connell’s work and develops a new analytical framework for understanding the history of masculinity. It argues that histories of normative models of masculinity need to be accompanied by a focus on the historically specific opportunities, mechanisms or techniques that enabled individuals to identify themselves with particular normative models. It argues that power can be apprehended as a four-fold operation: cultural contestation of normative ideals; individual attempts to identify with those cultural ideals; the processes by which those attempts were accorded recognition by others; and the processes by which individuals were positioned in relation to institutional practices, rewards and sanctions. This approach would offer new periodisations of the history of masculinity with the history of power at their core.

Ben Griffin is a Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Cambridge. His research is focused on the ways in which gender has shaped political processes in Britain since the late eighteenth century. I particularly studies the history of masculinity, and the ways in which changing ideas about masculinity have shaped the behaviour and expectations of political elites. His first book, The Politics of Gender in Victorian Britain, argued that changes to women’s rights were not simply the result of changing ideas about women but also changing beliefs about masculinity, religion and the nature of the constitution and, in doing so, it demonstrates how gender inequality can be created and reproduced by the state.  His current research project is a book called The Gender Order and the Judicial Imagination, which examines how changing ideas about masculinity interacted with new forms of legal knowledge to reshape the gender order in Britain between 1780 and 1940.

26.3. Davina Cooper (Research professor in Law, Kings College, London, UK)

Making up a world: Prefiguration, play and the enactment of new facts

Is there any point in acting as if law, state and gender could be otherwise? What can be achieved by treating institutions as if they mean something other than they are commonly understood to mean? This lecture focuses on experiments that seek to enact (or prefigure) sought-after futures and to role-play state institutions with revisions. These experiments may not accomplish their intended goals and effects; acting as if things were otherwise may not make them so. But this doesn’t make the rehearsing or performing of preferred worlds pointless. Whether it is prefiguring the questions on the law reform table, developing counter-institutions, from constitutions to currencies, or legislating new gendered facts, prefiguration does stuff. The question is to think about what it does.

Professor Davina Cooper joined King's College London, The Dickson Poon School of Law in January 2018 as Research Professor in Law. From 2004-17, Davina was Professor of Law and Political Theory at the University of Kent. Between 2004 and 2009, she directed the AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender & Sexuality. And before that she was Faculty Research Dean for the Social Science Faculty at Keele University. She has been a specialist advisor to the British Parliamentary Select Committee on Education focusing on their HE enquiry; and has sat on various academic grants boards and panels, including at the ESRC. She has been a trustee of the Law & Society Association (US), and member of a range of journal editorial boards and international advisory committees. She founded and co-edits the academic book series, Social Justice, with Sarah Lamble and Sarah Keenan, published by Routledge.She has also been a London magistrate, and between 1986 and 1990 was a locally elected councillor, and chair of several committees on Haringey Council, London. Her blog 'Social Politics and stuff' is available here: https://davinascooper.wordpress.com

9.4. Nina Lykke (Professor emerita, Linköping University, Tema Genus)

Cripping mourning – queering death

The lecture  will take a point of departure in my current research, which, based on autophenomenographic analysis  of my lesbian life partner’s  death some years ago and my process of mourning her, aims at a philosophical reontologizing, and  poetical reimagining of death and mourning. I shall, in particular, focus on my use of  cripping and queering methodologies. Unfolded within the framework of critical disability studies, “cripping” signifies a political reclaiming and resignifying of the stigmatizing term, “cripple”, analogous to the ways in which “queer” was reclaimed and resignified by queer movements and queer theory. Through examples from my poetic and narrative writings, I shall discuss what it means to rethink  mourning and death from cripping perspectives. I shall focus on  the mourning “I”s reclaiming of the position of a mourner who dwells in mourning (Cvetkovich 2012), rather than engages in  health-normative struggles to control and contain desires to mourn, required by neoliberal biopolitics. Moreover, I shall frame the analysis through a discussion of the ways in which I rethink death along the lines of queering and posthumanizing perspectives.

Bio:

Nina Lykke, Dr. Phil., Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden, has, for over four decades, contributed to the building of Feminist Studies in Europe, Denmark and Sweden in particular. Co-founder of Queer Death Studies Network, and Network for Ecocritical-Decolonial Research. Current research: queering of  cancer, death, and  mourning in queerfeminist materialist, posthuman, decolonial and eco-critical perspectives; autophenomenographic and poetic writing. Recent publications:  Academic Feminisms: Between Disidentification, Messy Everyday Utopianism, and Cruel Optimism. Feminist Encounters.  2017:1(1); When death cuts apart, in: Juvonen & Kohlemainen: Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships. Routledge, New York  2018; Rethinking socialist and Marxist legacies in feminist imaginaries of protest from postsocialist perspectives. Social Identities. Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture.  2018:24 (2).  Making Live and Letting Die: Cancerous Bodies between Anthropocene Necropolitics and Chthulucene Kinship. Environmental Humanities. 2019: 11 (1). Personal website: https://ninalykke.net

23.4. B Camminga (postdoctoral fellow, South African Centre for Migration & Society, Witts University)

Gender refugees’ & the South African asylum regime: “there is no queue for gender change”

South Africa is the only country on the African continent that not only recognizes but also constitutionally protects and offers asylum to transgender-identified individuals. On entering the country, an individual has fourteen days to report to a Refugee Reception Office and apply for asylum. To access a center, asylum seekers are required to queue. Faced with two separate lines, one for men and one for women—much like the issues surrounding transgender access to public bathrooms— gender refugees approaching the South African state for asylum are immediately forced to make a choice. This queue also creates the conditions for surveillance, particularly as different regions are serviced on different days, which brings together the same asylum seekers from similar regions on the continent. This can make life for those who access affirming healthcare in South Africa doubly exposing, as they possibly move between queues witnessed by local communities. Drawing on research carried out between 2012 and 2016 with transgender identified refugees and asylum seekers or ‘gender refugees’, living in South Africa, I question the necessity of an ever-ubiquitous system of sex/gender identification in the lives of asylum seekers. I also consider the current developments internationally, regionally, and locally in relation to the development of third- gender categories, “X” category passports, the suppression of gender markers, and wider debates about the removal and necessity of sex/gender identifiers on documents and their impact.

Bio

B Camminga (they/them) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of Wits, South Africa and the GIGA/UFS Young African Scholars Award Runner Up for 2018. Their work considers the interrelationship between the conceptual journeying of the term ‘transgender’ from the Global North and the physical embodied journeying of African transgender

asylum seekers globally. Their research interests include: transgender rights, migration, asylum and diasporas; bio/necropolitics, notions of privacy & the bureaucratisation of sex/gender; and the history of ‘trans phenomena’ in South Africa. Their book Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. Some of their most recent publications include:

Camminga, B. 2018. ‘Shifting Borderlands – (Trans) “Gender Refugees” Moving to and through an Imagined South Africa’. Dutch Journal of Gender Studies Special Issue: Trans*: Approaches, Methods and Concepts 21 (1) 359-378.

Camminga, B. 2018. ‘“Gender Refugees” in South Africa – The “Common Sense” Paradox’. Africa Spectrum 53 (1): 89–112.

7.5. Margrit Shildrick (HCAS/Stockholm University)

Hauntological ethics and beyond: undoing the temporality and imaginaries of death

What does it mean to respond to the dead, who return to haunt us not as remembered human beings but as remnants or remainders? The distinctions between past, present and future; between living and non-living; absence and presence; and self and other are all made indistinct when the chrononormativity of the life course is displaced by a non-linear temporality.  What differential is in play with respect to those who are grievable ( Butler) and the others who constitute bare life (Agamben)? I will focus on the uncared-for dead – with reference to the recent public revulsion in the face of disclosures about Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes – by looking at the issue of spectrality through the work of Derrida and others.The re/discovery of those lost to public discourse invokes a sense of civic obligation to recover their voices and stories, and then to rebury them so that they may rest in peace. I will suggest  that such a strategy simply re-enacts the original offence of putting women in their place and fails on the grounds of both responsibility and justice. But is an alternative hauntological ethics, as suggested by Derrida, the only way forward? Are there social imaginaries that allow us to live well with the dead not because we give them respect, but because death itself has been rethought? I will close with some speculations arising from Deleuzian vitalism and Braidotti’s optimistic claim that ‘death frees us into life’.

Bio:

Margrit Shildrick is Guest Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at Stockholm University, Adjunct Professor of Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto and Visiting Professor in Law at University of Technology, Sydney. Her research covers postmodern feminist and cultural theory, bioethics, critical disability studies and body theory. Books include Leaky Bodies and Boundaries: Feminism, (Bio)ethics and Postmodernism (1997), Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self (2002) and Dangerous Discourses of Disability, Sexuality and Subjectivity (2009), as well as several edited collections and many journal articles. 

Fall term 2018

Topics:

  • 9.10. Prof. Suvi Keskinen (University of Helsinki, Swedish School of Social Sciences, The Center for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN)
    ”'Crisis' of White hegemony, Neonationalist Femininities and Antiracist Feminism”
  • 23.10 Dr. Marietta Radomska  (University of  Linköping and visiting researcher in Art History at University of Helsinki )
    “On Bioart, the Non/Living and Promises of Monstrous Futures”
  • 6.11. Prof.  Swati Parashar (Senior lecturer, Institute of Global studies, University of Gothenburg Sweden) 
    “Postcolonial Anxiety and the Crisis of Masculinity: The Rise of Right Wing Hindutva Movement in India”
  • 4.12. Dr. Thomas Strong (Maynooth University, Ireland)
    “Errors in Kinship: Witches, Queers”

Abstracts:

9.10. Prof. Suvi Keskinen: ”'Crisis' of White hegemony, Neonationalist Femininities and Antiracist Feminism”

The rise of neonationalist politics and racist activism has characterised many European countries in recent years. Moreover, there is a growing public focus on gendered and sexualised intimacies. These two tendencies have increasingly intertwined and sexual violence has become a site for struggles over feminist and (anti)racist politics. The article examines what I call the ‘crisis’ of white hegemony arising in the aftermath of the arrival of a large number of refugees in 2015-2016 and the different strategies that women’s and feminist activism has developed. Within white nationalism, there is an upsurge of ‘white border guard femininities’: white women who mobilise on social media and in far-right groups. Simultaneously, antiracist feminist activism has strengthened. It seeks to confront racist discourses of foreign perpetrators and to redirect the discussion by addressing structural aspects of racial and gendered hierarchies and voicing experiences of harassment that are bypassed in the public discussions. 

Bio:
Suvi Keskinen is Academy Research Fellow and Professor in Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (on research leave until 31.8.2019) at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki. Her research interests include postcolonial feminism, critical race and whiteness studies, politics of belonging, nationalism, political activism and gendered violence. She is currently leading research projects on postethnic minority activism, intersectional border struggles and disobedient knowledge in activism, and ethnic/racial profiling by the police. Keskinen has studied right-wing populism and anti-immigration activism, media and political debates on migration and racism, gendered violence and youth in racialised residence areas. She has published several books and edited Special Issues, as well as journal articles in for example Social Politics, Women’s Studies International Forum, Ethnicities, Journal of Youth Studies, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Critical Social Policy, Social Identities and Journal of Intercultural Studies.

Dr. Marietta Radomska: “On Bioart, the Non/Living and Promises of Monstrous Futures”

In the Western cultural imaginaries the monstrous is defined – following Aristotelian categorisations – by its excess, deficiency or displacement of organic matter.

These characteristics come to the fore in the field of bioart: a current in contemporary art that involves the use of biological materials (various kinds of soma: cells, tissues, organisms), and scientific procedures, technologies, protocols, and tools. Bioartistic projects and objects not only challenge the conventional ideas of embodiment and bodily boundaries, but also explore the relation between the living and non-living, organic and inorganic, human and nonhuman, as well as various thresholds of the living.

By looking at select bioartworks, this paper argues that the analysed projects offer a different ontology of life. More specifically, they expose life as uncontainable, that is, as a power of differentiation that traverses the divide between the living and non-living, organic and inorganic, human and nonhuman, and, ultimately, life and death. In this way, they draw attention to excess, processuality and multiplicity at the very core of life itself. Thus understood, life always already surpasses preconceived material and conceptual limits.

Finally, while taking Deleuzian feminisms and new materialism as its theoretical ground, the paper suggests that such a revision of the ontology of life may mobilise future conceptualisations of ethics that evade the anthropocentric logic dominant in the humanities and social sciences.

Bio:
Marietta Radomska, PhD, is a Postdoc at the Department of Thematic Studies – unit: Gender Studies, Linköping University, SE, and a Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Cultures – unit: Art History, University of Helsinki, FI (2018-2020). She is the co-director of The Posthumanities Hub; founder of The Eco- and Bioart Research Network, co-founder ofInternational Network for ECOcritical and DECOlonial Studies and a founding member of Queer Death Studies Network. Her current research project focuses on ecologies of death in the context of contemporary art. She is the author of the monograph Uncontainable Life: A Biophilosophy of Bioart (2016), and has published in Australian Feminist Studies, Somatechnics, and Angelaki, among others. For more info see: https://mariettaradomska.com/

Prof.  Swati Parashar: “Postcolonial Anxiety and the Crisis of Masculinity: The Rise of Right Wing Hindutva Movement in India”

The 2014 electoral mandate that brought the BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) to power in India has been analyzed as part of the global transition towards the Right. It has been argued by India watchers and scholars, in public debates, that it was not only the most opportune time for the BJP to come back to power, given the inept Congress led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) rule for a decade but that the Right also had to reinvent itself to promise economic reforms and sabka saath, sabka vikas or inclusive development for all.  In this presentation, I argue that the BJP's victory in the 2014 federal elections and their subsequent take over of many state legislatures must be seen in continuity with the rise of the Hindutva Movement in India since the 1990s. The electoral victories of the BJP are only a small part of the story of the Hindutva shift which has engendered a much larger transformation at the social and cultural levels.These socio-cultural transformations in India coincide with shifts in global politics (end of the Cold War, rise of globalization and economic liberalization in the 90s) and much has been written about this. However, I am interested in the Hindutva Movement's links to postcolonial anxiety and the crisis of masculinity that India has witnessed since 1947. India's postcolonial anxiety is (re)produced by  popular history of colonialism and its legacy as discussed in public discourses and relived through everyday collective memories. The crisis of masculinity, on the other hand, is manifested in the rejection of the idea of the feminized/androgynous Indian state and polity of the Gandhi-Nehru era and the invocation of the great ancient Indian past (free of Islamic influence) where Hindu men were in control of their culture and destiny along with the patriarchal control over their women. I argue that Hindutva is both a product and response to the postcolonial anxiety, and its emphasis on 'making India great again' is a highly gendered political and socio-cultural project to reclaim masculinity in a wider historical context.

Bio:
Swati Parashar is Associate Professor in Peace and Development at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Visiting Faculty, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. In 2016, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. Her research engages with the intersections between feminism and postcolonialism, focused on conflict and development issues in South Asia. She is the author of Women and Militant Wars: The Politics of Injury (Routledge: London, 2014) and co-editor (with Ann Tickner and Jacqui True) of Revisiting Gendered States: Feminist Imaginings of the State in International Relations (OUP: London, New York 2018)

Spring term 2018

Topics:

  • 30.1. at 16-18 Prof. Ann Phoenix (University College London and Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies) and Marja Peltola (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies)
    “Masculinities in New Times: 11-14 year old in Helsinki schools
  • 13.2. at 16-18 Prof Tuija Pulkkinen (University of Helsinki)
    ”Judith Butler on Hannah Arendt - Appearing, Speaking, and the Bodily Aspects of Public Space” 
  • 27.2. at 16-18 Dr Katja Kahlina (Marie Curie Fellow, University of Helsinki)
    “Turning the tables? Shifting geopolitics of sexuality in the context of global anti-LGBTQ mobilisation” 
  • 13.3. at 16-18 Prof. Jami Weinstein (Associate Professor, Linköping University)
    "The Viral Politics and the Epigenetic Warfare of The New Wild West”
  • 27.3. at 16-18 Dr Julian Honkasalo (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Helsinki)
    “Transgender agency and polyphonic voices in Swedish psychiatric research from the 1950s-1960s”
  • 10.4. at 16-18 Dr. Hanna Ylöstalo (Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies)
    “U-turn of gender equality policy? Government gender equality action plans as a technique of governance”
  • 24.4. at 16-18 Prof. Vania Smith-Oka (Ass. Prof., Notre Dame University)
    “Women Can’t Be Trauma Doctors, and Other Gendered Stories of Medicine”
  • 15.5. at 16-18 Dennis Francis (Stellenbosch University, South Africa).
    “Troubling the Gender and Sexuality Diversity in South African Schools.”

Fall term 2017

Topics:

  • 12.9. Prof. Erzsebet Strausz (University of Warwick, UK)
    Creativity as strategy and subversion in the neoliberal university: experiments in critical pedagogy, narrative research, and public engagement
  • 19.9. Prof. Catherine Mills (University of Melbourne, Australia)
    Biopolitics and sexual difference
  • 26.9. Prof. Henriette Gunkel (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
    Thinking Queer Temporality
  • 24.10. Prof. María José Guerra-Palmero (University of La Laguna, Spain)
    Human Insecurity, Migration and Survival. Gender and Human Rights
  • 21.11.  Prof. Susanne Cusick (New York University)
    On Feminist Historiographies of Music
  • 28.11. Prof. Marta Segarra (University of Paris 8)
    ‘Show Me the Place’: New Forms of Kinship in a Posthuman World 
  • 5.12. Prof. emer. Christine Battersby (University of Warwick)
    Beauvoir’s Early Passion for Schopenhauer: Of Soap-Bubbles, Disappearance and After-Effects.

Spring term 2017

Topics:

  • 17.1. Heisook Kim (Professor, Ewha Womans University, South Korea)
    “Confucianism and Feminism in Korean Context: Confucian Care vs. Feminist Care”
  • 28.2.  Kadri Aavik (Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies Fellow / Tallinn University )
    “The Vulnerability of Gender Equality Mechanisms in the Post-Socialist Academia: "Doing Neoliberalism" in Estonian Universities”
  • 14.3.  Dusica Ristivojevic  (Visiting Researcher, University of Helsinki, Gender Studies)
    “Feminism co-opted: Chinese “Feminist Five” and their global representations”
  • 28.3. Pawel Leszkowicz (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies Fellow)
    “New Media and Intimate Democracy in Eastern Europe: The Video Art of Female Homoeroticism”
  • 25.4. Marjut Jyrkinen (Associate Professor in Work-life Equality and Gender Studies, University of Helsinki)
    "Women Managers in Gendered and Sexualised Workplaces: “MyManagement” coping strategies and reconstructuring of gender"
  • 30.5.  Jack Halberstam (Professor, University of Southern California)
    “TRANS*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance”

Fall term 2016

Topics:

  • 13 September, Josephine Hoegaerts (Research Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies): Articulating Masculinity – The Citizen's Voice in the Making in the Nineteenth Century
  • 27 September, Marie-Andrée Jacob (Professor, Keele Law School), Anna-Maria Tapaninen (Dr., Anthropology, University of Eastern Finland) and Antu Sorainen (Docent, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki)): Future of Kinship! – The Launch Discussion of the Contrasting and Re-Imagining Margins of Kinship Project (CoreKin)
  • 12 October (Wednesday), Hanne-Marlene Dahl (Professor, Roskilde University, Society and Globalization): Gendered Governance – What is it? And how can we study it?
  • 8 November, Joanna Mizielinska (Associate Professor, Sociology at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities): Families of Choice in Poland
  • 22 November, Sara Edenheim (University Lecturer, Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS) Umeå University): Lost and Never Found – The Queer Archive of Feelings and Its Historical Propriety

Spring term 2016

Topics:

  • 31.5. Professor Birte Siim (University of Aalborg)
    "Reframing Democracy – intersectional and transnational challenges"
  • 19.4. Professor Susanne Bost  (Professor, Loyola University, Chicago)
    "Memoir Beyond the Self: Animal, Vegetable, and Digital Ecologies in the Work of Aurora Levins Morales"
  • 12.4. Professor Rosie Harding (Birmingham Law School)
    "Shouldering and Sharing the Burdens of Care: Relationality, Vulnerability and Dementia"
  • 15.3. Tutkimusjohtaja Marjut Jyrkinen ja tutkijatohtori Tytti Steel
    Askelia kohti tasa-arvoisempaa työelämää
  • 1.3. Anna Elomäki (Postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, Gender Studies)
    "Economization of gender equality discourse and policy in the European Union"
  • 2.2. Annemie Halsema (Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Philosophy),
    "The Subject of Critique. Ricoeur in Dialogue with Feminist Philosophers"
  • 19.1. Jemima Repo (Newcaste University)
    ”The Biopolitical Origins of Gender Theory”

Fall term 2015

10.12. Professor Sue Scott (FAcSS), Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York (UK) and Visiting Professor University of HelsinkI
"Problematizing the Specialness of Sex"

This ‘Masterclass’ will focus on aspects of sexuality through feminist understandings of gender. Sexuality is commonly understood as a special, exotic or problematic area of social life and much feminist and sociological research has focused on problematizing violent and abusive, male heterosexual, behavior, and/or exploring the emergence sexual ‘identities’ and societal responses to these. Here I will take a slightly different approach by exploring both everyday and mundane sexual practices and the challenging issue of children/childhood and sexuality and the interconnections between them. I will argue for the further development of historically and culturally grounded research underpinned by the continued feminist theorisations of gender.

Professor Sue Scott is a sociologist and feminist with specialist interests in gender, sexuality and the body and Childhood. She has published widely on these topics including (with Stevi Jackson) Theorizing Sexuality, Open University Press 2010. Sue currently holds an Honorary Professorship at York, is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at Edinburgh and a Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki. Sue is Co Managing Editor of Discover Society http://discoversociety.org. In an academic career spanning 35 years Sue has held academic posts at a number of UK Universities including Cambridge and Manchester. She has been a Professor at the Universities of Stirling 197-99 and Durham 1999-2005. At the latter she was also Postgraduate Dean. More recently she has been Executive Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Keele University and from 2009-12 Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Chair of the European Sociological Association’s Council of National Associations.

3.11. Professor Eka Srimulayani (State Institute of Islamic Studies, Banda Aceh, Indonesia)
”Are women ‘peace agents’?  A reflection of women’s involvement of Aceh peace building in Indonesia”

2015 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding, peace agreement signed between the Aceh Independent Movement and Indonesian government, ending the armed conflict that started in 1976. This nearly three decades long armed conflict has affected the vulnerable groups of the society such as women and children. However, on the other hand, in a number of armed conflicts, women are perceived as peacemakers.

This presentation will try to answer the question whether women are agents of peace by reflecting the observations and interviews with the local women’s groups, peace maker activist as well as political and religious leaders, especially during the period of 1990s onward.  The presentation will draw light into the dynamics of women’s movement in Aceh, their networks, prospects and remaining challenges, especially in relation to the armed conflict and the peace building efforts.

Eka Srimulyani is a professor of sociology at The State Islamic University of Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh Indonesia, and a senior researcher at The International Centre for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies, Banda Aceh Indonesia. Among her publications is Women from Traditional Islamic Educational Institutions in Indonesia: Negotiating Public Spaces published by Amsterdam University Press, 2012, and ”Gender in contemporary Acehnese dayah: moving beyond docile agency?” in Bianca J. Smith and Marck Woodward (eds),   Gender and Power in Indonesian Islam: Leaders,  Feminist, Sufist, and Pesantren Selves, Asia Women Series, Routledge, 2014.

20.10.  Professor Melanie Hughes (University of  Pittsburgin, USA)
"Single-Axis Politics and the Political Dominance of Men from Majority Ethnic Groups"

Over time, politicians elected to national office have become increasingly diverse. Nevertheless, men from majority racial, ethnic, and religious groups continue to dominate national politics in most democratic countries. One of the ways the status quo of majority men’s political overrepresentation is maintained is through what I call single-axis politics. Political attention directed towards one axis of identity – e.g., ethnicity, gender – may deflect attention from other axes of inequality and help to stabilize majority men’s political dominance. In this presentation, I develop the concept of single-axis politics and its empirical applications. Looking over time, I show that the presence of long-standing ethnic representation policies reduces the likelihood that countries adopt national quotas for women in politics. Political attention to ethnicity may create substantial barriers to institutional change benefiting women, leaving majority men’s political dominance intact.

13.10 klo 16-18  FT Taru Leppänen (Turun yliopisto) ja FT Milla Tiainen (Helsingin yliopisto)
"Feministiset uusmaterialismit, paikallisuus ja musiikintutkimus"

Taru Leppänen on Turun yliopiston sukupuolentutkimuksen yliopistonlehtori, joka työskentelee tällä hetkellä Helsingin  yliopistossa tutkijana Suomen Akatemian rahoittamassa projektissa "Deleuzian Music Research.

Milla Tiainen toimii postdoc-tutkijana samassa projektissa. Hän myos opettaa tällä hetkellä Helsingin yliopiston FHKT-laitoksella musiikkitieteen oppiaineessa professori Pirkko Moisalan sijaisena.

29.9. Professor Annick Wibben (University of San Francisco, USA)
"Framing Feminist (Global) Politics – Shifting Foreign Policy, Security & War?"

In the last several years, feminist scholars of global politics have been challenging traditional frames of security, war and foreign policy suggesting that feminist alternatives would make for better policy options. After the success of Feminist Security Studies, more recently it has been Feminist Foreign Policy that has captured scholars' and practitioners' attention. This seminar considers the politics of these new feminist framings of security, war, foreign policy and asks whether they are really shifting the conversation on global politics. Maybe the work that speaks to policy in particular, because it tends to employ mostly liberal feminist frames and therefore an 'add women & stir' approach, does not constitute a fundamental challenge to global politics? If not, can there be a more principled or radical feminist response? And - what would such a challenge look like?

Annick T.R. Wibben is Associate Professor of Politics & International Studies and the chair of Peace and Justice Studies program at the University of San Francisco. Her research straddles (critical) security studies, international theory, and feminist international relations - she is probably best know for her work in the new field of Feminist Security Studies, but she also has a keen interest in issues of methodology, representation, and writing. Her monograph, Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach was published in 2011 and a new, edited book Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics & Politics is forthcoming in 2016. She is actively engaged on twitter (@ATRWibben) and currently blogs on the Duck of Minerva (http://duckofminerva.com/).

23.9. Professor Cinzia Arruzza (Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research, USA)
The Gender of Capital: Women's Oppression and Capital's Reproduction

In this paper I argue in favor of a ‘unitary theory’ of gender oppression and capitalism, that is, an understanding of they relation that denies that patriarchy is still an autonomous system and that sees gender oppression today as, in the last instance, a consequence of the dynamic and logic proper to capitalist accumulation and the reproduction of capitalist societies. The paper has three parts. In the first part I briefly summarize two alternative approaches to the issue at stake: dual or triples systems theory, on the one hand, and what I label as the ‘indifferent capitalism’ thesis, on the other. In the second part I address two issues that are key to understanding in what way the kind of unitary theory I want to argue for in this paper differs from the ‘indifferent capitalism’ thesis: these two key issues are the relationship between logical and historical possibilities and the difference between logical preconditions and necessary consequences. In the third and conclusive part, I finally articulate the main theoretical lines of my version of unitary theory, challenging an understanding of Marx’s critique of political economy as based on purely economic categories. The aim of this paper is to articulate a version of the ‘unitary theory’ able to avoid the pitfalls of economic reductionism, functionalism, and determinism denounced both by post-structuralist critiques of orthodox Marxism and by the more heterodox tendencies within Marxist literature. 

Cinzia Arruzza is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and subsequently studied at the universities of Fribourg, and Bonn, where she was the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship. She is the author of Les Mésaventures de la théodicée. Plotin, Origène et Grégoire de Nysse,  (Turnhout 2011), Dangerous Liaisons, Marriages and Divorces of Marxism and Feminism (London 2013), and Plotinus. Ennead II 5. On What is Potentially and What Actually. Translation with an Introduction and Commentary (Las Vegas 2015).

8.9. Professor Ellen Koskoff (Eastman School of Music, USA):
"What is a Feminist Ethnomusicology? Sharing the Common Theoretical Bedrock”

Ellen Koskoff is a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music and the director of ethnomusicology program there. Her writings about jewish music, gender and music, and music cognition are widely published. Her work includes "Women and music in cross-cultural perspective" (1987), "Music in Lubavitcher life" (2000) and "A Feminist ethnomusicology" (2014). She is a former President of the Society for ethnomusicology and is currently serving as the editor of the society's journal, Ethnomusicology.

Spring term 2015

Moya Lloyd, Professor of Political Theory, Loughborough University, UK
Title of presentation: Vulnerability, Grievability, and the Body

The body has always had a central place in the work of Judith Butler from her earliest writings onwards. Nevertheless, what she understands by the term has shifted and evolved over time. In this paper, I want to explore her recent reconceptualisation of the corpus as socially ecstatic and her ensuing attempts to articulate a so-called ‘new body politics’ divested of (problematic) ideas of individual autonomy. I am particularly interested, in this context, in how Butler treats the notion of vulnerability, especially given the place of this concept in feminist theory. Against those readings that suggest that she identifies vulnerability exclusively with injurability, and thence with a suspect form of humanism predicated on finitude, I will show that, for her, vulnerability refers not just to susceptibility to harm; it also, perhaps more importantly, signals openness to the other, an openness that functions as the condition of (im)possibility for politics (and ethics). To evaluate what it means to perform embodied gender politics in conditions of precarity, I will turn my attention to Butler’s understanding of ‘grievability’, its connection with the notion of the liveable life, and how both relate to normative idea(l)s of ‘the human’.

Moya Lloyd is Professor of Political Theory at Loughborough University, UK. She has written widely in the area of feminist political theory, particularly on the work of Judith Butler, as well as on questions of identity politics, sexuality, radical democracy, and the body. She is the author of Beyond Identity Politics: feminism, power, and politics (2005) and Judith Butler: from norms to politics (2007), and the editor of the forthcoming volume Butler and Ethics (2015). She is a former Deputy Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Women in Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast. She currently holds a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for a project entitled: ‘Who counts? The political problem of the “human”’.

Professor Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir (Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir), Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor. Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies.
Title of presentaton: Philosophy of the Body Beyond Politics of Difference

The body has been one of the grand discoveries of 20th century philosophy. Friedrich Nietzsche´s philosophy of the body and the embodied self has been a stepping stone for feminist philosophies, influencing different versions of feminisms such as the difference feminism of Luce Irigaray and the queer feminism of Judith Butler. 
Butler´s philosophy has been especially influential as a theory underlying politics of difference. The politics of difference have been important for human rights struggles, yet lack aspects of commonalities (material and embodied) that are crucial for present day global politics. I will discuss how a material based philosophy of embodiment offers theoretical means to extend a politics of difference to a politics of commonalities.

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir is a professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland and presently Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. She studied philosophy in Boston and Berlin. She has published books on the philosophies of Nietzsche and Arendt, feminist philosophy, philosophy of embodiment, Beauvoir, and women in the history of philosophy. She is member of the board of FISP (International Federation of Philosophical Societies) and chair of its gender committee, and she is one of the founders and first chair of board of the United Nations University GEST Programme, a transnational studies and training program in gender equality.

Linda McKie, Professor, Head of School, Applied Social Sciences, Durham University
Title of presentation: Researching Families, Violence and Social Change

Linda McKie is Professor of Sociology at the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, UK. She is also an Associate Director of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh. Linda has published over 120 peer reviewed articles, books and chapters and been a member of the editorial boards for a range of journals including Sociology, Sociology of Health and Illness, and Work, Employment and Society. Linda is passionate in her support for early career colleagues and runs regular writing courses and retreats on planning and writing publications and research proposals. In 2004 she was elected to the UK Academy of Social sciences and was a member of the Sociology Unit of Assessment Panel for the UK Research Assessment Framework in 2014.

Lisa Adkins, Professor Newcastle University Australia / FiDiPro professor University of Tampere & University of Turku
Title of presentation: What Can Money Do? Feminist Theory in Austere Times

What can money do? Can it be put to work to address deepening forms of social and economic inequality associated with the financial crisis, recession and still unfolding politics of austerity? Can we have faith in money as an injustice remedying substance in a crisis ridden and yet still thoroughly financialized reality? While the latter scenario is implied in recent feminist calls to redistribute resources to redress widening socio-economic inequalities under austerity, in this talk I suggest that such a redistributive logic fails to account for the shifting capacities of resources, including the capacities of money. To track these shifting capacities, I revisit the demands of the 1970s women’s liberation movement and especially the assumptions at play in these demands that money both measure and distribute justice. While these assumptions were arguably politically efficacious in that moment, in the contemporary present pervasive financialization has involved a material transformation to the capacities of money, a transformation which, I will suggest, leaves its justice distributing potential in doubt. This talk therefore not only calls for careful exploration of the capacities of resources in analyses of crisis, recession and austerity but also for feminist theory to rethink redistributive justice in the light of such transformations. Central to these considerations is money in the wages form.        

Lisa Adkins is the BHP Billiton Chair of Sociology at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor (2015-2019). She is joint editor-in-chief of the journal Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). Widely published in the areas of social theory, feminist theory and economic sociology her recent research focuses on the restructuring of labour and shifts to the economy-society relation in post-Fordist capitalism. Publications from this research have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Feminist Theory, NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research and Australian Feminist Studies. She has also recently contributed to debates concerning the reconstruction of social science through the volumes What is the Empirical? (2009; co-edited with Celia Lury) and Measure and Value (2012; co-edited with Celia Lury). She is convenor of the New Times: Transforming Feminist Political Economies international research network.

Kristiina Brunila, Kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen sosiaalisen oikeudenmukaisuuden ja tasa-arvon professori (tenure track), Helsingin yliopisto
’SINUN PITÄÄ NYT ASETTAA ITSESI KESKIÖÖN!’

Professuuri oikein hallinnan ja hanttiin pistämisen rajankäyntinä

Kristiina Brunila työskentelee kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen oikeudenmukaisuuden ja tasa-arvon professorina (tenure track) Helsingin yliopistossa. Hän on tutkimusryhmineen tutkinut kasvatuksen ja koulutuksen eriarvoisuutta koulutuspolitiikan ja koulutuksen käytäntöjen sekä vallan ja toimijuuden näkökulmista. Erityisenä kiinnostuksena on ollut tarkastella koulutuksen markkinoitumisen, terapisoitumisen ja tietokapitalismin seurauksia.

Esityksessään hän kuljeskelee erilaisten aineistojen kanssa ja sanallistaa ensimmäistä vuottaan professuurissa feministinä ja kriittistä tutkimusta tekevänä tutkijana ja opettajana.

Peggy Watson, Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies Fellow, Univeristy of Helsinki
Title of presentation: The Polish Question: Post 9/11 Politics in Postcommunist Europe

After the cold war, and particularly since September 11, gender equality and sexuality have to a significant degree, come to constitute the ground of politics. ‘The true clash of civilisations… the cultural fault line that divides the West and the Muslim world..   is about sex’ (Inglehart and Norris 2003). I assert a ‘Polish question’, articulated in terms of gender equality and sexual liberation, which like the ‘Muslim question’ and other European questions, is about delineating European identity and difference and hence about circumscribing eligibility for citizenship. The paper is about the cultural representation of Europe, and within Poland the representation of modern ‘Europeanised’ Poles, that is secured through the othering of ‘Poland’ in dominant strands of liberal feminist rhetoric. I will identify (at least) two sites of this orientalising discourse by focusing on the Polish Congress of Women (Kongres Kobiet) and its shadow cabinet manifesto discourse, as well as mainstream feminist statements during the ‘gender crisis’ that split Poland in 2013-2014. Exploring the interrelationships between the symbolic and political economic dimensions of social change will help identify the circumstances under which a feminist discourse whose stated aims are progressive may produce new schemes of inequality, specifically through the production of class difference.

Peggy Watson is currently at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.  She is Fellow and Director of Studies at Homerton College Cambridge and works at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge. Her research interests lie in the field of post- cold war studies,  she has a particular interest in Poland. During the cold war she worked at the Universities of Warsaw and Wroclaw for a number of years. From 2001 onwards she has directed the Nowa Huta Study, a long term study of social change in the former Stalinist new town. She has written a number of influential articles on gender , feminism, and health in eastern Europe. Currently she is working on a project about feminism as a mode of governmentality in Poland. Her most recent book is Health Care Reform and Globalisation: the US, China and Europe in Comparative Perspective, Routledge 2012.

Maryanne Dever, Professor, University of Newcastle, Australia
Title of presentation: Feminism’s Paper Trail

Where is feminism’s archive? The approaches to research that defined feminist archival practice in the 1980s and 1990s positioned ‘the archive’ (singular, monolithic) as the place where we routinely sought to ‘recover’ a past that we understood to have been ‘hidden from history’.  This tradition of archival research has been radically reshaped by recent trends in the Humanities. In this lecture I ask: where is feminism’s archive if it is not something we find fully formed and awaiting our interventions? Were we ever in it? Would we know it if we saw it now?  I explore how new approaches structured by concerns with materiality can yield different orders of insight into literary lives, literary works and their archival traces. I propose a new approach to how and why paper matters in archive-based literary research. I do so by drawing on experiences working with archived collections as diverse as Greta Garbo’s letters, the papers of second wave feminist activists, and those of writers Eve Langley and Valentine Ackland.

Maryanne Dever researches on questions of intimacy and materiality in relation to literary manuscripts and personal papers and she co-convenes the Archive Futures research network (www.archivefutures.com). She is co-author of The Intimate Archive (2009) and co-edited a 2014 special issue of Archives and Manuscripts on ‘Literary Archives, Materiality and the Digital’. She is currently joint Editor-in-Chief (with Lisa Adkins) of Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge/Taylor & Francis). She is a former ofDirector of the Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research at Monash University in Melbourne and President of the Australian Women’s & Gender Studies Association (AWGSA) and is currently Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia. In 2015 she is a Visiting Professor at the University of Tampere and at the University of Turku.

Fall term 2014

Rustom Bharucha, Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India
Title of presentation: The Aftermath:  Reflections on Terror and Performance

Drawing on his recently published book Terror and Performance (Routledge 2014), Rustom Bharucha will probe the modalities and enigmas of one key question:  What happens when the performance ends?  The idea of ‘performance’ will be extended beyond theatre practice to encompass four primary sites of investigation:  ‘September 11’, Islamophobia, Truth and Reconciliation, and Non-Violence. 

Using a dialogic mode of inquiry, he will throw out questions relating to the relationship between ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’, the ethical considerations involved in viewing the act of killing as ‘performance’, the efficacy of the Truth and Reconciliation process beyond the aporias of affect, and the ‘violence’ of non-violence.  These issues will be contextualized within a spectrum of practices including suicide bombing, lip-sewing , blood-graffiti, and peace activism. 

To what extent can theatre counter its complicities within a larger narrative of terror?  Is non-violence viable in an age of terror?  Can justice exist beyond – and against – the law?  These are some of the critical questions that will be raised in the lecture, which attempts to provide a reflective framework on the terror of our times.

Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.  A leading interlocutor in the fields of interculturalism, secularism and oral history, he has written a number of books including Theatre and the World, The Question of Faith, In the Name of the Secular, The Politics of Cultural Practice, Rajasthan: An Oral History, Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin and Terror and Performance.  In recent years, he has worked as a dramaturge for the Tangencya public art project in Durban, South Africa, as Project Director for Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan, and as Artistic Director of the Inter-Asia Ramayana Festival at the theater laboratory Adishakti in Pondicherry.  In February 2015, he will be curating an international conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Rethinking Labor and the Creative Economy: Global Performative Perspectives.

Shane Blackman, Professor of Cultural Studies Department of Media, Art and Design Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK
Title of presentation: Doing Ethnography with Young People: from description to theory

"Doing Ethnography with Young People: from description to theory" focusing on what is distinctive about ethnography, its assumptions, approach, tradition and positionality, issues within fieldwork such as access, interactions, relationships/emotions, how to do interpretation and generate theory.

Shane Blackman is a Professor of Cultural Studies at Canterbury Christ Chruch University, UK. He received his Ph.D. at the Institute of Education, University of London as an ESRC scholarship student. His most recent book is Chilling Out: The Cultural Politics of Substance Consumption, Youth and Drug Policy (2004, McGrawHill-Open University Press). He is a member of the Journal of Youth Studies and YOUNG: Nordic Journal of Youth Research and a member of ESRC Peer Review College. Dr Blackman's research interests include ethnography, deviance, schooling, youth culture, popular music, drugs, feminism, and social and cultural theory.

Matt Cook, Senior lecturer in History and Gender Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London. Department of History, Classics, and Archeology.
Title of presentation: Queer Domesticities: taking queer history indoors

In this lecture Matt Cook uses his latest book (Queer Domesticities: homosexuality and home life in twentieth century London) to make a case for the importance of interior space in the understanding and analysis of queer - and here queer male – desires and relationships.
In discussion of artists Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts, playwright Joe Orton, film-maker Derek Jarman, a group of gay squatters and more besides, he shows how queer home lives provide rich material for the understanding of conflicts, overlaps and intersections of different identifications relating especially to gender, class, nationality and ethnicity.

Dr Matt Cook is Senior Lecturer in History and Gender Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, a Co-director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, and an editor of History Workshop Journal. He is the author of London and the Culture of Homosexuality, 1885 – 1914 (2003), lead author and editor of A Gay History of Britain (2007), Queer Domesticities (2014), and co-editor of Queer 1950s (2012; with Heike Bauer) and Queer Cities, Queer Cultures (2014; with Jennifer Evans).

Eric Fassin, Professor at the department of Political Science and Centre of Women’s and Gender Studies. Université Paris-8 Vincennes-Saint Denis France
Title of presentation: Same-Sex Marriage, Nation, and Race: French political logics and rhetorics

While the debate on “marriage for all” may have looked like a mere repetition of the earlier one on PaCS, the terms have changed since the late 1990s – from secular to religious, and from anthropological to biological. But it is still about national identity. In France, filiation is sacralized because it defines both family and citizenship. As the comparison with the United States makes it clear, the opposition to gay marriage is thus also about race: it articulates the racialization of the nation and the biologisation of the family. However, the political rhetorics do not always coincide with this logic of naturalization / denaturalization: while the sexual nationalisms of the early 2000s pitted “sexual democracy” against racialized minorities, the polemics of the next decade, from the Taubira law to the (so-called) “theory of gender,” offer new configurations of the intersections of sexual and racial politics. Is the Catholic, bourgeois movement of La Manif pour tous about whiteness, or is a morally conservative alliance with the children of immigrants and Muslims from the outer-cities possible?

Éric Fassin is a professor of sociology in the Political Science Department and the Gender Studies Center at Paris 8 University. He works on contemporary sexual and racial politics in France and the United States, and their intersections (e.g. immigration in Europe). He is frequently involved in French public debates on issues his work addresses. He is the author of books such as L’inversion de la question homosexuelle (2005), Le sexe politique (2009), and Démocratie précaire. Chroniques de la déraison d’État (2012), co-author of four volumes on French immigration policies (Cette France-là, 2008-2012), co-editor of De la question sociale à la question raciale? (2006). Published in 2014: Roms & Riverains. Une politique municipale de la race (La Fabrique), Gauche : l’avenir d’une désillusion (Textuel), and the new edition of Foucault’s Herculine Barbin (Gallimard).

Hanna Guttorm, Post-doc-tutkija, Helsingin yliopisto
Title of presentation: Väitöstutkimusta runomitassa - jälkistrukturalistiset teoriat tutkimuskirjoittamisen käytännöissä

Hanna Guttormin 25.4.2014 Helsingin yliopistossa tarkastettu väitös poikkeaa totutusta monin tavoin. Jo tutkimuksen nimi, Sommitelmia ja kiepsahduksia: Nomadisia kirjoituksia tutkimuksen tulemisesta (ja käsityön sukupuolisopimuksesta), kertoo, että nyt ei olla ihan tavallisen tutkimuksen äärellä. Guttorm kuvaa tutkimuksensa tulemista ja jälkistrukturalististen teorioiden materialisoitumista tutkimuksen ja sen kirjoittamisen käytännöissä. Miten asettua tutkijan paikalle vallitsevissa tieteen tekemisen käytännöissä? Miten maailmasta voi kirjoittaa kielellä, joka aina kategorisoi ja erottelee? Ja miten kuvata tutkimuksen prosessia, kun jälkistrukturalistiset teoriat pannaan käytäntöön myös tutkimuksen tekemisen ja kirjoittamisen käytännöissä eikä vain aineistojen analyyseissa?

Guttorm pohtii tutkimuksessaan tiedon tuottamisen ja tietämään tulemisen käytäntöjä ja kuvaa, miten ja mitä väitöskirjassa tapahtuu. Hän esittää metodin ja empirian kuvauksia sekä runomuotoista kysymysten virtaa limittäin myöhemmin kirjoitettujen teoreettisten tekstien kanssa. Näitä kaikkia kirjoituksia hän nimittää nomadisiksi. Guttorm osoittaa, että runomuotoinen kirjoittaminen sopii kuvaamaan tapahtumisten, ilmiöiden ja todellisuuksien rakentumisen jatkuvaa liikettä, niitä haltuunottamatta. Aukollisuudessaan runomuotoinen kieli havainnollistaa tietämisen osittaisuuden, alituisen keskeneräisyyden, monitulkintaisuuden ja prosessiluonteisuuden. Lisäksi se antaa tilaa hengittää ja olla tuhansia eri mieliä.
Guttormin tutkimus luo suomalaiseen käyttäytymis-tieteelliseen tutkimukseen tilaa omalta liikkeelliseltä paikalta tapahtuvalle jälkistrukturalistiselle autoetnografiselle kirjoittamiselle. Kirjoittamiselle, jossa tutkijan oma ja ei-oma tunteva ja ajatteleva moniääni kuuluu.

Beverley Skeggs, Professor in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.
Title of presentation: Reacting to Representation

Drawing on recent research from an ESRC research project on reality television, published as ‘Reacting to Reality TV: Audience, Performance, Value’, which included both textual and audience research over three years, this paper will examine how different groups of
women respond to the television. The responses were shaped not just through reading representations, as is often assumed in media theory, but instead through immanent affect. The majority of research on television proposes that the moral project of neoliberalism has been achieved as programmes instruct people on how to become responsible subjects. Our research suggests this moral appeal is limited, addressing only those who can benefit from its call. More radical analysis suggests that affect disrupts TV’s moral incitement, generating radical new possibilities. Our audience research also highlighted the limits to this approach.  As a form of sensational melodrama reality TV manipulates affects of disgust, repulsion and
care. Yet rather than offering either regulation or resistance we show how programmes generate struggles for value, challenging traditional understandings of media, representation and ideology.

Beverley Skeggs works in the department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her main publications include The Media (1992), Feminist Cultural Theory (1995), Formations of Class and Gender (1997), Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism (2000); Class,
Self, Culture (2004), Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety (2004) (with Les Moran, Paul Tyrer and Karen Corteen), Feminism After Bourdieu (2004 with Lisa Adkins), Reality TV and Class (2011) and Reacting to Reality Television: Audience, Performance, Value
(2012) (both with Helen Wood).  She is the co-editor of The Sociological Review and is currently an ESRC Professorial Fellow on a project on ‘A Sociology of Values and Value’.

Emanuela Lombardo, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Administration II of Madrid Complutense University, Spain.
Title of presentation: The symbolic representation of gender

What is symbolic representation? Why should (feminist) political science engage more with it? Since Hanna Pitkin's seminal book on The Concept of Representation, the symbolic has been the least studied dimension of political representation. In research developed with Petra Meier (Ashgate 2014), we argue that the concept of symbolic representation deserves more scholarly attention than the one it has received so far, so to advance our understanding of what symbolic representation is and what it contributes to political representation. Starting from an understanding of the symbol as being constructed, we explore the relationship between agent (that doing the representing) and principal (that being represented) in symbolic representation, taking gender as the principal and political discourse as the agent. This allows us to address questions such as: What are women and men symbols of? How is gender constructed in policy discourse? What functions does symbolic representation fulfil in the construction of gender? And what is the relationship between symbolic, descriptive, and substantive representation? Drawing on theories of symbolic representation and gender, as well as primary data about political debates on labour and care issues, partnership and reproductive rights, gender violence, and quotas, our analysis shows that reconsidering symbolic representation from a discursive perspective makes explicit issues of (in)equality embedded within particular constructions, as well as their consequences for political representation and gender equality.

Emanuela Lombardo is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Administration II of Madrid Complutense University (Spain). Her research concerns gender equality policies, especially in the European Union and Spain, Europeanization, and gender and political representation. On these issues she has published articles in peer reviewed journals as well as chapters in edited volumes. Her last edited book, with Maxime Forest, is The Europeanization of Gender Equality Policies (Palgrave 2012) and her last monograph, authored with Petra Meier, is The Symbolic Representation of Gender (Ashgate 2014). For further information see http://www.ucm.es/info/target/

Spring term 2014

Athena Athanasiou (Panteion University): Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University, Athens, Greece.
Title of presentation: Unthinkable Mourning: Counter-Memory and Feminist Political Subjectivity in Post-Yugoslavia 

This work glimpses within the affective lives and powers of political activism. My core theoretical question is about agonistic grievability as enacted by activists who enact the register of mourning despite and against its normative assumptions of heteronormative bloodline kinship and militarist national sovereignty. Why does grievability matter politically, then? How might it attend to the experience of becoming a political subject engaged in feminist and antimilitarist struggles? I pursue such questions through the perspective of the Women in Black movement in Belgrade and the ways in which it deploys public grief as a performative practice of protest against nationalism and the wars which led to the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Athena Athanasiou is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, in Athens, Greece.  She has authored the books: Life at the Limit: Essays on Gender, Body and Biopolitics (Athens, 2007); and Crisis as a State of Exception: Critiques and Resistances (Athens, 2012). She has edited the volumes: Feminist Theory and Cultural Critique (Athens, 2006); Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and 'the Greeks' (co-ed. with Elena Tzelepis, SUNY Press, 2010); and Biosocialities: Perspectives on Medical Anthropology (Athens, 2011). She has co-authored, with Judith Butler, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (Polity Press, 2013).

Elina Penttinen, Sukupuolentutkimuksen yliopistonlehtori, Helsingin yliopisto (University Lecturer, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki)
Title of presentation: "Maailma palaa. Poliisinaiset kriisinhallintatyössä"

Kansainvälistä sotilaallista ja siviilikriisinhallintaa toteutetaan jatkuvasti muuttuvassa ja monimutkaisessa turvallisuusympäristössä. Turvallisuustoimijoilta vaaditaan kykyä toimia muuttuvissa olosuhteissa, eettisesti ja tavoitteellisesti ihmisoikeuksia edistäen. Suomi pyrkii toteuttamaan tätä tavoitetta erityisesti lisäämällä naisia siviilikriisinhallintatehtäviin. Tutkimuksessani kartoitin mitä naispoliisit itse ajattelevat heihin liitetyistä odotuksista ja miten he kokevat sukupuolen merkityksen kriisinhallintatyössä. Mitä lisäarvoa naisen sukupuoli antaa kriisinhallintatehtävissä? Ja mikä onkaan naispoliisien menestyksen salaisuus?

Elina Penttinen on sukupuolentutkimuksen yliopistonlehtori Helsingin yliopistolla. Hän on tutkimuksessaan käsitellyt sodan kokemusta ja kriisinhallintaa painottaen erityisesti eettistä kompetenssia, sodan traumaa ja siitä toipumista sekä positiivisten tunteiden merkitystä. Hänen viimeisin teoksensa Joy and International Relations: a new methodology (2013) Routledge: UK, kokoaa nämä teemat yhteen ja rakentaa uutta metodologiaa, joka kutsuu tutkijaa ongelmien lisäksi tutkimaan myös onnistumista, iloa, empatiaa ja ystävällisyyttä haastavissa olosuhteissa. Penttisen aikaisempi tutkimus sijoittuu feministiseen maailmanpolitiikkaan ja hän on käsitellyt erityisesti globaalia seksiteollisuutta.

Susanne Lettow, Professor of Gender and Natural Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland and Lecturer in Philosophy at University of Paderborn, Germany
Title of presentation:  "Vitalism, Ontology, Posthumanism. Three Problems of Contemporary Feminist Theory"

During the last years, constructivism that has informed feminist theorizing since the early 1990s has been increasingly scrutinized. Many theorists claim that the constructivist understanding according to which gender, the body and the world we live in are discursively constructed dismisses the materiality of our existence and its entanglement with non-human beings. In my talk I argue that it is indeed an urgent task for feminist theory to rethink theoretical approaches to matter, body, and biology, and to develop a new theoretical language beyond naturalism and anti-naturalism. However, I am critical about some current theoretical developments by which these challenges are met, in particular the recent turns to vitalism, to ontology and to posthumanism. By discussing these problems I will figure out a elements of a praxeological approach to socionatural relations that avoids a flight from contingency and social and political realities.

Susanne Lettow is currently Visiting Professor for Gender Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. She has holds a PhD in philosophy from the Free University Berlin and has held research and teaching positions in Austria and Germany at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Vienna. She is also a board member of the International Association of Women Philosophers. Among her publications are: The Power of Care. The Philosophical Articulation of Gender Relations in Heidegger's Being and Time (in German, Tübingen: edition discord 2001); Biophilosophies. Science, Technology and Gender in Contemporary Philosophical Discourse (in German, Frankfurt/Main and New York: Campus 2011), and the edited volume Reproduction, race and gender in philosophy and the early life sciences, Albany: SUNY Press 2014)

Taina Kinnunen, Professor of Gender Studies. University of Tampere
Title of presentation: "Touch as Gendered Politics of Affects"

Touch is the most archaic mode of human communication and bonding which the paper discusses by utilizing physiological and psychoanalytic theories. Simultaneously, touch is culturally regulated, experienced and performed - and silenced. I ask how the carnality of touch could be reconsidered by combining anthropological studies of senses and feminist theories of affects. In the context of the traditional Finnish touching culture, the paper stresses the transmission and intercorporeality of affects and the politics of gendering the affects related to touch.

Taina Kinnunen is a cultural antropologist and she currently works as a Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Tampere. She has examined the relationship between the body, gender and culture in mediated, aestheticized and technologized social spheres. Kinnunen has published monographs, collaboration books and articles on beauty culture, cosmetic surgery and extreme bodybuilding. She was the responsible leader of the research group examining installing of ubiquitous technology in northern Finland. Her current interests include the aesthetized body in the post-industrial working culture. Recently, she published a book of the Finnish touching culture.

 

Bulletin 30.11.2020

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