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Research in Focus

ARC-GS Online Lecture Series

The Research in Focus online lecture series invites researchers from around the world to share cutting-edge work on gender and sexuality. ARC-GS aims to curate an interdisciplinary range of voices on questions related to gender and sexuality from around the world. We ask the following questions: How is gender and sexuality studies evolving as a field? Where are we heading? Who is working at the forefront of these developments?

Research in Focus shines the spotlight on scholars who are pushing the boundaries of the field on a broad array of issues ranging from queer New York to gender variant children. Researchers from across the social sciences with a broad focus on gender and sexuality are invited to participate in this series. ARC-GS offers them a platform to share their work and engage in public discussions with researchers from universities in The Netherlands. 

Upcoming events

Inverting Sex: A History of Gender Transgressions in Early Twentieth-Century Argentina | Patricio Simonetto | Research in Focus #9

Speaker: Patricio Simonetto | Friday 25 November | 15:30-17:00 | REC A1.07 

This presentation will explore the social and cultural history of transgressive gender embodiments during the early twentieth century. The lecture will explore the practices and discourses of those who allegedly "changed their sex" before the popularisation of biotechnological treatments.


ARC-GS Workshop | New Frontiers in the History of Sexuality | Complement to Patricio Simonetto’s Lecture

Workshop | Patricio Simonetto | Friday 24 November | 13:00-17:30 | REC JK1.19 

Complementing Patricio Simonetto’s lecture at ARC-GS, “Inverting Sex: A History of Gender Transgressions in Early Twentieth-Century Argentina,” this workshop offers researchers and advanced graduate students a platform to continue the discussion started in Dr. Simonetto’s lecture and to present their own work in progress.


Past events

  • Research in Focus #1 | A Queer New York: Geographies of lesbians, dykes, and queers, 1983-2008 | Jack Gieseking
    Research in Focus #1 | A Queer New York: Geographies of lesbians, dykes, and queers, 1983-2008

    The path to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) liberation has been narrated through a claim to long-term territory in the form of urban neighborhoods and bars. Lesbians and queers fail to attain or retain these spaces over generations—as is often the case due to lesser political and economic power—so what then is the lesbian-queer production of urban space in their own words?  

    • Speakers: Jack Gieseking, Ladan Rahbari and Andrew DJ Shield
    • Date: 12 November 2020
  • Research in Focus #2 | The child, true gender self and the clinic | Sahar Sadjadi
    Research in Focus #2 | The child, true gender self and the clinic

    In recent years, the field of clinical management of gender in children has expanded and new approaches to gender variant children have emerged. In this webinar, Sahar Sadjadi traces the shifts and continuities in the clinical paradigm that has shaped diagnostic and treatment practices around gender variant children in the early 21st century.

    • Speaker: Sahar Sadjadi, Geertje Mak
    • Date:  10 December 2020
  • Research in Focus #3 | Disobedient Black Mothers: The culpable sufferer, the criminal dead, and the intolerability of refusal | Jan-Therese Mendes

    Drawing feminist analyses of the affective work of shame, compassion, and pain into dialogue with an Afro-pessimist critique of the ‘ordinary’ spectacle of Black suffering and death, this lecture theoretically examines how the ‘bad feelings’ that stick to Black women’s disobedient bodies are used to uphold the whiteness of public space. Considering mainstream news media and social media coverage of two separate instances from 2019 where Black mothers were subjected to public violation or public scorn — in accordance with racial-sexual logics that define the Black female body as recalcitrant, ungovernable, and disposable — I argue that the fleeting shame or sustained apathy of a looking public reveals how the theatre of Black distress renews the racial fraternities of the white city-nation. Situating this analysis within the intellectual tradition of Black feminist thought and praxis this lecture further interrogates the ways women refuse these capitalisations through mutinous affects that illicitly reproduce Black life or embrace death.

    About the Speaker

    Jan-Therese Mendes holds a PhD in Social and Political Thought from York University, Canada. Mendes is currently a postdoctoral fellow in studies of gender and race with the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Stavanger and a 2020-2021 visiting scholar with the Amsterdam Research Centre for Gender and Sexuality. Mendes has previously held visiting scholar positions at Uppsala University’s ‘Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism’ (2018) and in performance studies at Stockholm University (2017), where Mendes has also extensively guest lectured. Invoking frames of analyses from Black feminist theory, Afro-pessimism, and affect theory Mendes’ research uses critical media analyses and arts-based methods to examine Northern welfare states’ penal fixation on the Black womb, Black mournability, pedagogies of assimilation and humiliation, and the possibilities of willful strangeness in Black visual and performance art. Mendes’ recent or forthcoming works are published with Souls, Hypatia, Periskop, and the Palgrave Handbook of Queer and Trans Feminisms in Contemporary Performance. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Mendes founded the international collective ‘Black Feminist Fridays: Nordic and Beyond’ which brings together scholars, artists, and activists from across Scandinavia for bi-weekly online dialogues on the everyday pain, love, and imagination of living Black feminist lives.

  • Research in Focus #4 |The queer politics of postcoloniality | Rahul Rao
    Research in Focus #4 | The queer politics of postcoloniality | Rahul Rao

    Between 2009 and 2014, an anti-homosexuality law circulating in the Ugandan parliament came to be the focus of a global conversation about queer rights. Focusing on the Ugandan case, political theorist Rahul Rao traces the encounters and entanglements across geopolitical divides that produce and contest contemporary queerphobias. Rao’s book, "Out of Time: The Queer Politics of Postcoloniality" (2020), investigates the impact and memory of the colonial encounter on the politics of sexuality, the politics of religiosity of different Christian denominations, and the political economy of contemporary homophobic moral panics. 

    • Speaker: Rahul Rao
    • Date: 15 October 2022
  • Research in Focus #5 | "Feminine happiness": Sexuality and disability in Kyrgyzstan | Mohira Suyarkulova
    Research in Focus #5 | "Feminine happiness": Sexuality and disability in Kyrgyzstan | Mohira Suyarkulova

    Happiness and its pursuit have become the new normative regime, a teleological end-all of human existence in a neo-liberal society. The various critics of this condition have pointed out that the ideology of personal happiness and the “happiness industry” it has generated are utilised by capitalist regimes to appease individuals with the condition of the ever-growing social wretchedness.

    • Speaker: Mohira Suyarkulova, Rahil Roodsaz, Julie McBrien (moderator)
    • Date: 26 November 2021


  • Research in Focus #6 | The Flexibility Paradox | Heejung Chung
    Research in Focus #6 | The Flexibility Paradox | Heejung Chung

    Why flexible working is not a magic bullet for enhancing gender equality

    Research in Focus #6 | Heejung Chung | 25 March 2022 | 15.30-17.00 | Online event 

    Does flexible working really provide a better work-life balance, enhance worker’s well-being and gender equality? Using data from across Europe and drawing from studies across the world, Chung will evidence how flexible working can lead to workers working longer and harder, with work encroaching on family life.

  • Research in Focus #7 | Same-Sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana | Serena Dankwa 
    Research in Focus #7 |Same-Sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana | Serena Dankwa 

    Same-Sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana

    This session of Research in Focus series is dedicated to the book Knowing Women, an ethnography on friendship, desire, and same-sex intimacy among urban, working-class women in southern Ghana. The intersectional analysis of their life narratives situates these women in relation to political, economic, and social developments affecting Ghana and other postcolonial and African countries, including anti-gay policies and queer activist movements.

    • Speaker: Serena Dankwa
    • Date: 21 April 2022
  • Research in Focus #8 | From the closet to the cabinet | Robby Davidson 
    Research in Focus #8 | From the closet to the cabinet | Robby Davidson 

    Creating movement-government consensus in Dutch LGBTI politics

    While studies of social movements have overwhelmingly focused on contention and protest, I focus on the other end of the tactical spectrum, consensus. I conceptualize a repertoire of consensus and argue that through deploying a repertoire of consensus, movement actors might be able to establish relations with government actors characterized by cooperation and/or collaboration.

    • Speaker: Robby Davidson
    • Date: 13 May 2022