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Thinking Through the Crises

ARC-GS Online Lecture Series

The Thinking Through the Crises online lecture series explores the ways in which gender and sexuality lie at the core of the challenges of our times. How can scholars of gender and sexuality contribute to discussions about the health, environmental, political, and economical crises affecting the world? How can their insights help us to navigate the current socio-political landscape(s)?

ARC-GS offers them a digital platform to share how we can think through the crises from the perspective of gender and sexuality studies. Prof. Tithi Bhattacharya best summarized its mission in the inaugural edition of the series when she stated that “the pandemic has shown us in very clear terms what feminists and activists have always known” and proposed that “our job is to” analyze this landscape “and yoke it to… deeper feminist understanding[s].” Thinking Through the Crises aims to connect researchers working on these questions at this critical juncture in global history.

  • Thinking Through the Crises #1 | What is Essential Work? Social Reproduction in Pandemic Times | Tithi Bhattacharya

    The Covid-19 pandemic has sharply clarified what social reproduction feminists have been saying for a while, namely that care work and life-making work are the essential work of society, and that this essential work is deeply gendered and racialized.  

    In this webinar, Tithi Bhattacharya will offer an analysis of current conditions of how work and life are organized and are reshuffled in pandemic times through a lens of social reproduction theory. Marguerite van den Berg will engage these analyses in a Dutch context, where, among other things, soon after the Covid-19 lockdown in March, academics were recognized as ‘vital professions’.

    About the Speakers

    Tithi Bhattacharya is an Associate Professor of South Asian History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2005), Social Reproduction Theory: Remapping Class, Recentering Oppression (Pluto, 2017) and co-author of Feminism for the 99% A Manifesto.

    Marguerite van den Berg is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. She is on the Advisory Board of ARC-GS.

    What is Essential Work? Social Reproduction in Pandemic Times
    In this webinar, Tithi Bhattacharya will offer an analysis of current conditions of how work and life are organized and are reshuffled in pandemic times through a lens of social reproduction theory.
  • Thinking through the Crises #2 | Special 8th of March Edition | The Women’s Strike

    What is the international movement called the Women’s Strike? How does it speak to questions of work and care, and violence against women (#NiUnaMenos)? What can the Women’s Strike look like at the university? How could we imagine the Women’s Strike at the University of Amsterdam? Join us on International Women’s Day for a conversation with Dr. Siggie Vertommen (Ghent University), who will join us from the Women’s Strike at Ghent University; Dr. Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow), who will tell us more about the history of the Women’s Strike; and Dr. Ladan Rahbari (University of Amsterdam), who will brainstorm together with ARC-GS about how a Women’s Strike could look like at the UvA. The conversation is facilitated by Sarah Bracke, Director of ARC-GS.

    About the Speakers

    Siggie Vertommen is conducting postdoctoral research on the political economy of global fertility chains between Israel/Palestine, Ukraine (egg donation) and Georgia (surrogacy) at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University. She is particularly interested in understanding women's role and participation in the bio-economy as egg vendors and surrogates through the lens of reproductive labour. This research builds further on Dr. Vertommen’s PhD research on the political economy of assisted reproduction in Israel/Palestine, in which she addressed the multiple ways in which reproductive technologies, including IVF, Pergonal, child removals, sperm smuggling, egg donation and transnational surrogacy, have been imagined, materialised and coproduced in Israel/Palestine, at the crossroads of ongoing histories of settler colonialism and biocapitalism. Dr. Vertommen is also active in the feminist and Slow Science movement in Belgium.

    Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow) is a historian of 20th-century social, gender and political history of Europe. Dr. Bracke started her career studying West European communism during the Cold War period, specifically the impact of the Czechoslovak crisis of 1968 on the Italian and French communist parties. This was published as a monograph, and Dr. Bracke has authored articles in leading international journals on aspects of communist history, history of the European left, political and social mobilisation around ‘1968’ in Western and Eastern Europe, and collective memory of World War Two. Since 2010 Dr. Bracke has turned her attention to women’s and gender history, resulting in a monograph on Italian feminism (2014, Routledge; Italian translation 2019), and numerous articles in leading journals and edited collections. Dr. Bracke’s work has appeared in five languages, and Dr. Bracke is currently working on a major book project charting the rise of notions of reproductive rights in post-1945 Europe (West and East) in a global perspective.

    Ladan Rahbari (Ph.D., Ph.D., MA, BA) is an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology, at the University of Amsterdam, and a senior researcher at the International Migration Institute (IMI). She was formerly based in Ghent University, Belgium as the recipient of an FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) post-doctoral fellowship (2019-2022). Dr. Rahbari obtained a Ph.D. in Gender and Diversity (Studies) from UGent and VUB (2019) and a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Mazandaran (2015 "Doctor in de Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen"), a Master’s degree in Anthropology (Tehran University), and a Bachelor’s degree in Italian Literature (Tehran University). Dr. Rahbari's research interests include gender politics, migration, religion, body and digital media with a general focus on Iran and Western Europe, and in the frameworks of postcolonial, feminist, and critical theories. She is currently affiliated with the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender (CRCG) and Centre of Expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (RHEA) and the alliance ECSO.be. Between September 2019 and September 2020, Dr. Rahbari was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies (DiGeSt).

    Date and Time

    The event will take place on 8 March 2021 from 17:00-18:00 (CET).

    Online Event

    The event will take place online as a webinar.

    Registration Required

    Please click HERE to register for the webinar.

    The Women’s Strike
    What is the international movement called the Women’s Strike? How does it speak to questions of work and care, and violence against women (#NiUnaMenos)? What can the Women’s Strike look like at the university? How could we imagine the Women’s Strike at the University of Amsterdam? We were joined on International Women’s Day for a conversation with Dr. Siggie Vertommen (Ghent University), who joined us from the Women’s Strike at Ghent University; Dr. Maud Bracke (University of Glasgow), who told us more about the history of the Women’s Strike; and Dr. Ladan Rahbari (University of Amsterdam), who brainstormed together with ARC-GS about how a Women’s Strike could look like at the UvA. The conversation was facilitated by Sarah Bracke, Director of ARC-GS.
  • Thinking through the Crises #3 | Critical Breakdown | María Puig de la Bellacasa

    Life on Earth depends as much on the build-up and endurance of matter as it is its breakdown and recirculation. Today ecological cycles on Earth are struggling with a crisis of breakdown processes, choking from an excess of manufactured endurance. Engaging with a notion of critical breakdown from an intersectional feminist standpoint in this seminar we will explore what naturecultures grounded on the resistance to breakdown can learn from this ecological crisis.

    About the Speakers

    María Puig de la Bellacasa is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick and an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow. Her most recent book, Matters of care. Speculative ethics in more than human worlds (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) initiates a conversation between feminist critical thinking on care and debates on more than human ontologies in science and technology studies, the environmental humanities and social theory. Her current research concentrates on ongoing formations of ecological cultures, in particular around human-soil relations, looking at how connections between science, eco-social movements and artistic interventions contribute to transformative more than human ethics and politics. Based on this research she is working on a new monograph, When the Name for World is Soil. You can read more about her on her webpage https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/cim/people/maria-puig-de-la-bellacasa/ and find a number of her publications here: https://warwick.academia.edu/MariaPuigdelaBellacasa.

    Francio Guadeloupe has been a tenured staff member of the Department of Anthropology since 2013, combining public anthropology with a love for teaching and doing ethnographic research. He is also a senior research fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV-KNAW). Guadeloupe's principle areas of research have been on the manner in which popular understandings of national belonging, ethnic diversity, cultural heritage, religious identity, and mass media constructions of truth, continue to be impacted by colonial racisms and global capital. He has pursued these interests in his research and publications on social processes on the bi-national island of Saint Martin & Sint Maarten (St. Martin), Curaçao, Aruba, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Brazil, and the Netherlands. He is the author of the monograph, (University of California Press, 2009). Dr. Guadeloupe is currently embarking on a study of climate challenges in the (Dutch)Caribbean from a popular culture and cultural heritage perspective. He is the co-editor of the Sage Journal Ethnography.

    Date and Time

    The event will take place on 25 March 2021 from 14:00-15:30 (CET).

    Online Event

    The event will take place online as a webinar.

    Registration Required

    Please click HERE to register for the webinar.

    Thinking through the Crises #3 | Critical Breakdown | María Puig de la Bellacasa
    Life on Earth depends as much on the build-up and endurance of matter as it is its breakdown and recirculation. Today ecological cycles on Earth are struggling with a crisis of breakdown processes, choking from an excess of manufactured endurance. Engaging with a notion of critical breakdown from an intersectional feminist standpoint in this seminar we will explore what naturecultures grounded on the resistance to breakdown can learn from this ecological crisis.
  • Thinking through the Crises #4 | Feminist self-defence against Violence. A vital critique of neoliberalism as a regime of death | Elsa Dorlin
    Elsa Dorlin

    This intervention would like to return to the genealogy of feminist insurrectionary currents that have problematized self-defence as a global politics of struggle against the liberal state and capitalism: self-defence is thought of as the recourse to a power of embodied self-organization, sexual, social, sanitary, intellectual, that generates other modes of collective organization and reproduction of life, and that targets the mortifying dimension of patriarchy proper to hegemonic modernity. In the context of the pandemic, of the unlimited capitalist predation and of the intensification of the neo-colonial police repression within the historical democracies, it will be a question of rethinking the positioning of a part of the feminist movements as revolutionary power.

    About the Speaker

    Elsa Dorlin is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes/Saint-Denis in France. In 2009, she won the bronze medal of the CNRS for her work on feminist theory and philosophy of gender. She was Visiting Associate Professor at the Critical Theory Program of the University of California, Berkeley (2010-2011) and Abigail R. Cohen Senior Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas & Imagination (2018-2019). A specialist in social and political philosophy, Dorlin’s research focuses on black feminist epistemology and Fanonian phenomenology. Her latest book Self-defense: A philosophy of violence (Paris, Zones éditions, 2017), winner of the 2018 Frantz Fanon Book Prize from the Caribbean Philosophical Association, is forthcoming in English (Verso).

    Date and Time

    The event will take place on 22 April 2021 from 15:30-17:00 (CEST).

    Online Event

    The event will take place online as a webinar.

    Registration Required

    Please click HERE to register for the webinar.