[19-09-2019] Is Gender Dangerous? Unravelling anti-gender and anti-migrant movements and reflecting on the current challenges of doing research on gender

A two-day workshop on anti-gender and anti-migrant discourses, and doing research on gender.

09/19/2019 | 1:00 PM

As Network for the Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality (NAGS), part of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), we hope to initiate new academic and public conversations on the current developments of opposition against the idea of gender across Europe and beyond. Over the past few years, political and social attacks against the idea of gender and institutions of gender studies, have been increasing. While they have been particularly prominent in Eastern Europe (especially Hungary and Bulgaria), also France has witnessed public protests against gay marriage and what has been described as 'gender ideology'. The most vehement and persistent opposition so far has taken place in Hungary. President Orban cancelled the accreditation of gender studies programs, and withdrew the license of the Central European University (CEU), which is now moving to Vienna.

Today we witness growing social and political tendencies that are hostile to the idea of gender and gender equality in different forms and shapes. In Belgium and the Netherlands, ‘new right’ movements and parties are on the rise. While some movements assert to embrace gender and sexuality equality values (often as enactments of sexual citizenship vis-à-vis Muslim minorities), others express resistance against 'gender' (e.g. Schild en Vrienden in Belgium). For some of the older and new movements – either defined as populist, center-right or far right –  anti-gender thought is often combined with opposition against minorities, refugees, and particularly Muslims and Islam. These developments raise many important questions concerning social shifts in understandings of gender, sexuality and family ideology. In this workshop, we chose to focus on the diverse and complex entanglements of anti-gender and anti-migrant discourses.

Although the main target group of this workshop is anthropologists, we welcome contributions from different disciplinary backgrounds and interdisciplinary work that addresses these new developments and tendencies. We welcome both theoretical research and work that is empirically based. Additionally, we aim to organize two roundtables to facilitate reflection and academic debate. One of the roundtables is particularly conceived to reflect on possible strategies and responses that can be formulated to address the above-mentioned societal challenges.

Day 1: Thursday 19 Sept. 2019, 13:00h - 20:00h.
Day 2: Friday 20 Sept. 09:00h - 18:00h.
Location: VU University, Amsterdam.