War, Gender, Memory: Feminist Scholars in Conversation

War, Gender, Memory: Feminist Scholars in Conversation
9th June, 2017, 2 – 5.30pm
University Square Stratford,
Room: USG.19/20

All welcome! The event is free. Please register on the link below.
To Book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/war-gender-memory-feminist-scholars-in-conversation-tickets-34716125867
Feminist research afternoon co-organised by Centre for Narrative Research, Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, Centre for Social Justice and Change and Feminist Research Group at the University of East London.

The event brings together feminist scholars, Andrea Petö, Ayşe Gül Altınay, Maja Korac-Sanderson and Nadje Al-Ali, who will discuss their reflections on feminist research methodologies, feminist ethics, feminist politics and activism, drawing on their research on gender based violence, war, conflict, peace and memory within specific socio-political and historical contexts.

Abstracts

Narrating War, Violence and Peace in Iraq and Turkey: Feminist reflections on method, memory and ethics
Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London
My talk will engage in the dilemmas of feminist researchers to capture memories of war, violence and aspirations for peace. I will reflect on the wider methodological and ethical issues of engaging in research about gender and war. My thought and concerns are based on long-term research in the context of Iraq and its diasporas, and my more recent work on the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. How do we as researchers deal with the gaps and tensions between experience, memory and history? How do we engage with claims about “truth” on the one hand, and avoid nihilistic relativism on the other hand?

Memory politics of illiberal states : writing history of women in revolutions
Andrea Pető, Central European University, Budapest
The talk discusses how memory work, an important method of feminist politics is appropratied by illiberal states. Analysing the case of 60th commemorations of 1956 Revolution in Hungary, the talk argues that the recent writing women`s turn to “her story” writing in Central European countries is built on the achievements of feminist history writing, and argues for different feminist interventions.

Reflexions on gender, peace, and security: Rethinking feminist anti-war activism during and after Yugoslav wars of succession
Maja Korac-Sanderson, University of East London
In reflecting upon gender, peace, and security, I revisit the role and importance of women’s organising in the wars of the 1990s for the security of women and gender just peace in the Balkans and beyond. I re-examine the initial critical engagement of local feminists with the socio-political processes that were shaping the contemporary notions of masculinity and femininity. By pointing to early feminist analyses, including my own, that acknowledged multiple masculinities and how men are victimised by the hegemonic impositions of masculinity as warrior-like, I focus on the processes that led to their prevailing attention to the security of women and women victims of GBV. Reflecting back on their years of anti-war activism I argue, now and from my current perspective/location, that the lack of acknowledgement on the part of local feminist anti-war activists of the diversity of men’s experiences of the war, and of men’s victimisation by war and the sexual violence as war crime in particular, constitutes a missed opportunity for demanding more radical challenges of the patriarchal state systems of gender-power relations that discriminate against women and many men. Without this shift, in my view, there will never be a good time for gender just and positive peace. Hence, my proposition for our feminist conversations at UEL, is to discuss how feminist anti-war activism and theoretical reflections can move away from centring on women, peace and security and start addressing gender, peace and security.

Rethinking the continuum of violence: critical reflections on gendered silences
Ayşe Gül Altınay, Sabanci University, Istanbul
Reflecting on my own scholarship through the years on militarism, genocide, gender based violence and memory, this presentation will discuss the ways in which the research and activism on different forms of violence continue to remain disjointed from one another, despite the widespread acceptance of the need to explore and theorize their connections. How can we better understand the gendered gaps between different scholarly debates on violence, as well as the gaps and silences in our own scholarship? What are some of the questions that have remained unasked or undertheorized? Based on these questions and others, the presentation will discuss the intricate links between the personal, the political and the academic.

Programme

2 – 2.15pm
Introduction

2.15 – 2.45pm
Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London
Narrating War, Violence and Peace in Iraq and Turkey: Feminist reflections on method, memory and ethics

2.45 – 3.15pm
Andrea Pető, Central European University, Budapest
Memory politics of illiberal states : writing history of women in revolutions

3.15 – 3.30 pm
Tea/coffee

3.30 – 4pm
Maja Korac-Sanderson, University of East London
Reflexions on gender, peace, and security: Rethinking feminist anti-war activism during and after Yugoslav wars of succession

4 – 4.30pm
Ayşe Gül Altınay, Sabanci University, Istanbul
Rethinking the continuum of violence: critical reflections on gendered silences

4.30 – 5.15pm
Discussion
5.15 – 6pm
Reception

Biographical Notes:

Andrea Pető is a Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, a Doctor of Science of Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has edited fifteen volumes in English, seven volumes in Hungarian and two in Russian. Her works have appeared in 15 different languages. She has also been a guest professor at the universities of Toronto, Buenos Aires, Novi Sad, Stockholm and Frankfurt. Her books include: Women in Hungarian Politics 1945-1951 (Columbia University Press/East European Monographs New York, 2003), Geschlecht, Politik und Stalinismus in Ungarn. Eine Biographie von Júlia Rajk. Studien zur Geschichte Ungarns, Bd. 12. (Gabriele Schäfer Verlag, 2007) and together with Ildikó Barna, Political Justice in Budapest after WWII (Politikai igazságszolgáltatás a II. világháború utáni Budapesten. Gondolat, Budapest, 2012 and 2015 by CEU Press). Her recent book is co-edited with Ayse Gül Altinay: Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories. Feminist Conversations on War, Genocide and Political Violence, Routledge, 2016. She serves as an associate editor for the European Journal of Women’s Studies.
In 2005, she was awarded the Officer’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary by the President of the Hungarian Republic and the Bolyai Prize by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2006.

Ayşe Gül Altınay (Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sabancı University and Director of SU Gender – Sabanci University Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence) has been exploring the nexus of gender, memory, militarism, and war in Turkey’s convoluted past and present. Among her recent works are The Myth of the Military-Nation: Militarism, Gender and Education in Turkey (2004); The Grandchildren: The Hidden Legacy of “Lost” Armenians in Turkey (with Fethiye Çetin, trans. Maureen Freely, 2014) and Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories: Feminist Conversations on War, Genocide and Political Violence (co-edited with Andrea Petö, 2016).

Maja Korac-Sanderson is a sociologist; her research interests are in the area of conflict, gender and displacement; conflict, intervention and development; gender, migration and integration. Maja got her PhD from York University, Canada. She has held positions at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (Britain), Centre for Refugee Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research, York University (Canada), and University of Belgrade (Yugoslavia/Serbia). She is one of the founding members of the Women in Conflict Zones Network (WICZNET), an international network of scholars, policymakers and grassroots women’s groups from around the world. Maja co-directs the Centre for Social Justice and Change, and co-leads MA Refugee Studies and MA Conflict, Displacement, and Human Security, School of Social Sciences, University of East London.

Maja’s single authored books include Remaking Home: Reconstructing Life, Place and Identity in Rome and Amsterdam published by Berghahn Books Oxford in 2009 (Serbian translation 2012); Linking Arms: Women and war in post-Yugoslav States published by Life & Peace Institute, Uppsala in 1998 in The Women and Nonviolence Series, and Captives of Their Sex: Social Identity of Young Rural Women Between Traditional Culture and Contemporary Values published by the Institute of Sociological Research, University of Belgrade in 1991 (published in Serbo-Croatian). In 2003, she co-edited a book entitled Feminist under Fire: Exchanges across War Zones, Toronto: Between the Lines (Sinhalese translation 2008; Croatian translation 2004), as well as of Women in Conflict Zones, Special Issue of Canadian Women’s Studies, 2000, Vol. 19, No. 4, York University Publications. Maja published widely in edited books and academic journals such as: Identities, Feminist Review, Women’s Studies International Forum, Gender and Education, the Journal of International Migration and Integration, the Journal of Refugee Studies, and Sociology. E-mail m.korac@uel.ac.uk

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London, where she is also head of the Doctoral School. She has published widely on women and gender in the Middle East as well as transnational migration and diaspora mobilization. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books) and Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000). Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-American book prize for non-fiction. Currently, she is working on a research project about the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Professor Al-Ali is a member of the Feminist Review Collective and on the advisory board of Kohl: A Journal f Body and Gender Research, based in Beirut.

 

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