Lecture Andrea Peto

Public lecture Andrea Petó: „Right-wing  and anti-gender movements in Europe: How gender became a pop-science”

Responses and discussion by David Paternotte, professor of sociology at ULB, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Date                     September 28, 2017

Time                    20:00- 22:00

Location              Jozef Plateauzaal, Campus Boekentoren, gebouw18.01 – Plateaustraat 22

(open to all and free attendance, please register via an.vanraemdonck@ugent.be)

This event is part of the Hot Topic lecture series on gender, supported by the UGent Doctoral Schools. Both the master class and public lecture address some of the challenges students and scholars of gender are facing when studying gender equality politics in a globalized world.

Activists and scholars have discussed the current state of gender equality values globally through an analysis of anti-gender discourses and movements, especially in Europe (Kováts & Põim 2015; Köttig, Bitzan & Petö 2017). While the success of religious movements globally are often pointed at as responsible for supporting  gender-conservative values (e.g. Egypt, Turkey, India), other contexts of heightened nationalism and authoritarianism provide examples of secular threat to present and aspired regimes of gender, sexuality and reproductive rights (e.g. Poland, US, Russia).

In this lecture and master class we examine what anti-gender movements can tell us about global gender politics and the current international regimes promoting gender equality values. The focus lies on anti-gender movements in Europe and its possible interpretative and theoretical frameworks. The aim is to analyse the state of anti-gender movements in Europe and to assess the impacts of counter strategies by progressive actors. The lecture argues that anti-gender movements are a new phenomenon in European politics which requires new methods to study and different counter strategies from progressive forces.

We further interrogate what can be the role of anthropologists, sociologists and students of gender and sexuality in studying this changing social landscape of post-secular society, heightened nationalism and the rise of the right and gender-conservative policies globally. What are the theoretical, discursive pitfalls when studying gender, religion/secularism and politics together, such as the problem of reification? How does questioning the scientific value of gender studies by anti-gender movements challenge teaching gender studies? What kind of responses are possible when illiberal states are questioning autonomy of education?


PhD/MA student master class with Andrea Petó “Right-wing and anti-gender movements in Europe: Gender as symbolic glue”

Date                      September 28, 2017

Time                     13:00- 15:30

Location              Jozef Plateauzaal, Campus Boekentoren, gebouw18.01 – Plateaustraat 22

(information and registration via an.vanraemdonck@ugent.be)

The master class is open for all PhD and advanced MA students from various disciplinary backgrounds who are interested in gender and sexuality politics, right-wing politics, Europe, globalization and conservatism.

The class discusses why ‘gender’ receives so much public attention and how we can characterize the actors in this process. It interrogates the sites where these debates are occurring and what kind of (progressive) political strategies are possible. During the class we will discuss required readings and watch small excerpts from relevant videos.

Required readings for the master class:

Petó, Andrea, Eszter Kovats, Maari Poim (eds.) 2015. Gender as Symbolic Glue. The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-Gender Mobilisation in Europe, FEPS, FES, Brussels, 2015.

Petó, Andrea, with Weronika Grzebalska, Eszter Kovats. 2017. “Gender as symbolic glue: how ‘gender’ became an umbrella term for the rejection of the (neo)liberal order”, Political Critique, Website to view before the class: citizengo.org

Kuhar, Roman. 2014. “Playing with Science: Sexual Citizenship and the Roman Catholic Church Counter-narratives in Slovenia and Croatia.” Women’s Studies International Forum.

Grzebalska, Weronika. 2016. Why the war on “gender ideology” matters – and not just to feminists. Anti-genderism and the crisis of neoliberal democracy. Visegrad/Insight.  http://visegradinsight.eu/why-the-war-on-gender-ideology-matters-and-not-just-to-feminists/


About Andrea Petó

Prof. Dr. Habil. Andrea Petó DSc is a Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her research areas include European comparative social and gender history, gender and politics, women’s movements, qualitative methods, oral history and the holocaust.

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 co-edited books are, with Ayse Gül Altinay: Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories. Feminist Conversations on War, Genocide and Political Violence, Routledge, 2016. And Gender as Symbolic Glue. The Position and Role of Conservative and Far Right Parties in the Anti-Gender Mobilisation in Europe eds. Eszter Kovats, Maari Poim, FEPS, FES, Brussels, 2015. Downloadable: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/budapest/11382.pdf


About David Paternotte

David Paternotte is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Université libre de Bruxelles, where he convenes the Atelier Genre(s) and Sexualité(s) and is the coeditor of the journal Sextant. His dissertation examined the advocacy of same-sex marriage in Belgium, France and Spain.He studies the processes of Europeanisation, globalisation and NGOisation of LGBT activism.  He has recently started a project on new forms of resistances to gender, feminist claims and LGBT rights, with a focus on the Catholic Church.

This event is hosted by the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender (UGent) and co-organised with Rhea – Centre for Expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (VUB), Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre (KULeuven), Research Group Citizenship, Equality & Diversity (Antwerp University).