Gender Research Seminar 2016

Interuniversity Gender Research Seminar – 17 & 18 May 2016

Having an interdisciplinary focus, since 2010, this yearly course provides PhD and advanced MA students whose research is situated in or related to the field of Gender and/or Diversity Studies with in-depth and advanced training in contemporary Gender Studies and theory and methodology in related fields, such as Sexuality Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, etc., next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting. The course is not limited to issues of gender alone, but aims to attract students broadly interested in subjectivity, identity, diversity and agency and questions of (in)equality and power in society and culture from a critical research perspective.

This year’s focus is on Moralities and the Intimate Life: Late capitalism has witnessed significant transformations of the intimate life and relations and practices of intimacy, care and kinship, including changes that have been induced by processes of globalization and new technologies. There has been a diversification of the ways in which relationships are constituted (living together unmarried, polyamorous relationships, LGBT relationships, living alone, mail-order brides…), cohabitation is organized (communes, cohousing, kangaroo housing…), families are formed (ART, surrogacy, marriage migration, transnational adoption, transnational parenting, blended families, single parenthood, co-parenting, foster families,…) and communities of intimacy, care and kinship are molded (temporary communities, sites and meetings online, virtual communities and connections and transnational relations of care). The seminar will feature speakers and respondents form various disciplines (history, women’s studies, literary studies, sociology, anthropology, moral philosophy,…) to explore feminist and postcolonial perspectives and theorizations of these new (or not so new) intimacies and the moral discourses they produce. Questions include but are not limited to: In what ways do ethnocentric and objectivist scientized language obfuscate moral assumptions and socio-economic, raced, gendered, religious/secular, and aged, unequal power relations? How do they work to legitimize increased policy intervention in the personal lives of target groups? In what ways do new (or not so new) types of relationships of love and care, (co)habitation and building households challenge (or reproduce) normative assumptions of relationships, family, kinship and (national) belonging? To what extent do they succeed to expand definitions of relationships, families, households and communities and what are the new exclusions, inequalities and moral dilemmas they create? What lessons can be learned from historical accounts in relation to understandings of the intimate life? How has the intimate life been imagined in the arts and literature and how do these cultural representations affect our moral understandings? How are changes in the intimate life reflected in legal language, state law and policy? What is made visible legally and socio-politically and what remains excluded or silenced?

The course set-up will involve a two-day full programme of lectures, guest lectures and parallel master classes. Here you can find the programme, more information on the lectures, on the master classes; and practical information. Students attend all morning sessions and the evening lecture. In addition, they are assigned to one parallel master class on each day and prepare all reading assignments. They choose one master class in which to present their research related to the class theme. The morning and evening lectures are open to everyone.

Confirmed speakers: Dr. Jennie Bristow (Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Parenting Cuture studies, SSPSSR, University Kent); Prof. Dr. Matt Cook (Birkbeck University of London, UK, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology), Prof. Dr. Dilek Cindoğlu (Abdullah Gül University, Turkey, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Dr. Ilke Turkmendag (Newcastle University, UK, School of Law).


DAY ONE (17 May 2016):

08.30: Registration
09:00: Welcome by the Vice-Chancellor of Ghent University, Prof. Dr. Freddy Mortier.
09:15-12:45: Morning Lectures:

Chair: Prof. Dr. Petra Meier (University of Antwerp, Research Group on Citizenship, Equality & Diversity)

09:15: Lecture 1: Prof. Dr. Dilek Cindoğlu (Abdullah Gül University, Turkey, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) – ‘Wars and Brides’
10:00: Respondent: Prof. Dr. Tom Claes (Ghent University, Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry)
10:15: Discussion

10:45: Coffee break

11:00: Lecture 2: Dr. Ilke Turkmendag (Newcastle University, UK, School of Law), ‘Maternal Responsibility in the Postgenomic Era’
11:45: Respondent: Prof. Dr. Ann Buysse (Ghent University, Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology)
12:00: Discussion

12:45: Lunch

14:00-17:00: Parallel Master Classes

Master Class 1: Prof. Dr. Dilek Cindoğlu; ‘War, Migration and Intimacies’; Coordinator: Dr. Ladan Rahbari (Ghent University, Centre for Research on Culture and Gender)
Master Class 2: Dr. Ilke Turkmendag; ‘Co-production of genetic relatedness in the human reproduction technologies: donor conception and mitochondrial replacement techniques’; Coordinator: Jodie Bernaerdt (Ghent University, Bioethics Institute Ghent)

17:30-19.30: Evening Lecture:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this lecture has been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Chair: Prof. Dr. Chia Longman (Ghent University, Centre for Research on Culture and Gender)

17:30: Lecture 3: Prof. Dr. David Eng (University of Pennsylvania, US; Department of English) – ‘Reparations of the Human’
18:30: Respondent: Prof. Dr. Sarah Bracke (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity, and Intersectionality & Ghent University; Department of Sociology)
18:45-19.30: Discussion

DAY TWO (18 May 2016):

10:30: Registration
10:45: Presentation of Sophia, the Belgian gender studies network, by Lith Lefranc (Dutch speaking coordinator of Sophia)
11:00-12:45: Morning Lecture:

Chair: Prof. Dr. Gily Coene (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity, and Intersectionality)

11:00: Lecture 4: Dr. Jennie Bristow (University of Kent, UK; Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Parenting Cuture studies, SSPSSR) – ‘Generations and the Intimate Politics of Reproduction’
11:45: Respondent: Prof. Dr. Stefan Ramaekers (University of Leuven, Laboratory for Education and Society)
12:00-12:45: Discussion

12:45: Lunch

14:00-15:15: Afternoon Lecture:

Chair: Prof. Dr. Karen Celis (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity, and Intersectionality)

14:00: Lecture 5: Prof. Dr. Matt Cook (Birkbeck University of London, UK; Department of History, Classics and Archaeology) – ‘AIDS, the 80s and the Fate of Permissiveness’
14:45: Respondent: Prof. Dr. Henk De Smaele (University of Antwerp; Department of History)
15:00: Discussion

15:45: Break

16:00-19:00: Parallel Master Classes

Master Class 3: Dr. Jennie Bristow; ‘Diversity, Individuation and Parenting Policy – Exploring the Changing Relationship of the State and the Family’; Coordinator: Dr. Sophie Withaeckx (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity, and Intersectionality)
Master Class 4: Prof. Dr. Matt Cook; ‘Sexuality, Subjectivity and the Problems and Possibilities of Oral History’; Coordinator: Fadi Saleh (UGent; Visiting Researcher, Centre for Research on Culture and Gender)


Lecture 1: Prof. Dr. Dilek Cindoğlu – Wars and Brides – 17 May 2016 – 9:15 – Rozier Aud.O

This paper is meta analysis on the relationship between wars and women’s bodies by looking at a newly rising phenomenon of “cross-border brides” between Syria and Turkey after the breakout of the Syrian Civil War. Although the Middle Eastern societies falls short on gender equality measures in general,  precarious times like civil wars worsen the local oppressive gendered processes by adding further new burdens on women and young girls. The rising literature on the “Arab Spring” mainly focuses on the civil-military relations and democratic  transition in the global context. This paper, on the other hand, focuses on the ways in which wars weaken women and place them in even more precarious positions by reducing their bodies and sexualities to a commodity. The on-line sites, newspaper stories and local narratives provide ample data for the nature of these inequalities and oppressions in these “cross-border” arranged marriages; between young   Syrian girls and older men of Turkey mostly as a second co-wives. In short, this paper will be discussing the gendered impacts of wars in the precarious times in general, Syrian Civil war in particular by looking at the “cross-border marriages” after the breakout of the Syrian Civil War.

Dilek Cindoğlu, Professor of Sociology and Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Abdullah Gül University, Turkey. Previously, she worked at Mardin Artuklu University and Bilkent University. She is a graduate of Bogazici University, Istanbul (B.A. and M.A.) and received her Ph.D. (1991) State University of New York at Buffalo. She has published extensively on the gendered processes of paid work, political participation, migration, health and sexuality in international journals and in book chapters. She was a Visiting Senior Scholar at the IRWAG of the Columbia University of New York (2010-2011), received, “Direct Access to the Muslim World” award from the Fulbright Visiting Specialist Program (2006) was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Gender and Sexuality at the NYU (2003),and Senior Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford (2002), was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1998-1999).She was consultant on various research projects funded by national (Tubitak, KSSGM, AAK) and international (IDRC, Ford Foundation, World Bank, ILO-IPEC,EU) bodies, served as an elected EC member at Turkish Sociological Association, (TSA) 2008-2014 and International Sociological Association (ISA) 2010-2018. Her work has been published at national and international academic journals and as book chapters.

Respondent: Prof. Dr. Tom Claes (Ghent University, Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry)

Tom Claes is Associate Professor of Ethics at the Department of Philosophy & Moral Science at Ghent University. Since 2012 he is the director of CEVI – Center for Ethics and Value Inquiry (CEVI), Ghent University. Together with Paul Reynolds (Edge Hill University, UK) he is network leader and founding member of INSEP – International Network for Sexual Ethics & Politics ( He is also a member of GCGS – Ghent Centre for Global Studies ( and is co-promotor of ANSER – Academic Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policy. He teaches and publishes on ethics and on sexuality and globalisation. His main research focus is on issues of consent, the globalisation of sexuality, sex work and trafficking. He is currently exploring new methodological inroads into the formulation of a theory of sexual justice based on sexual health and rights discourses and activism.

Lecture 2: Dr. Ilke Turkmendag – Maternal Responsibility in the Postgenomic Era – 17 May 2016 – 11:00 – Rozier Aud.O

Epigenetics is a newly emerging field, which explains the ways in which medical, nutritional and behavioural experiences influence the expression of our genes, and how these changes are transmitted to subsequent generations. The impact of maternal behaviour on their offspring’s early development and later health has become a major research area in epigenetics over the last two decades, and the findings of this work are already entering the wider culture and shaping public debate. New research in the emerging field of epigenetics is suggesting a link between maternal behaviour during pregnancy and after birth, and the subsequent well-being of their children in both early and adult life. Although these molecular mechanisms are poorly understood, preventive prescriptions about reproductive health, pregnancy, early development and parenting have started proliferating in media, dedicated websites, and public health policy briefing reports. There is a serious risk that exaggerated and oversimplified messages about maternal behaviour may increase surveillance and regulation of pregnancy, and stigmatising mothers. The field of epigenetics is part of a comprehensive transformation that increasingly individualizes and privatizes the responsibility for social risks, and an example of a wider discourse of geneticisation, molecularisation and biologisation of human.

Ilke Turkmendag is a Lecturer in Law, Innovation, and Society at Newcastle Law School. She has a PhD in Genetics and Society (Institute for Science and Society and School of Law, University of Nottingham), and a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies (University of Oslo).  Her doctoral work concerned the social and ethical implications of the removal of donor anonymity from gamete donors in the UK. She held posts at Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre (PEALS) at Newcastle University, and the University of Sheffield. Between 2012-2013, she was awarded a Mildred Blaxter Postdoctoral Fellowships funded by the Foundation of Sociology of Health and Illness. Turkmendag is interested in the socio-legal and ethical issues associated with biomedicine. Owing to her background, she applies insights and perspectives from science and technology studies, bioethics, and law. She explored the right-to-know in donor conception, ethical issues around the reproductive tissue donation for stem cell science, and the regulation of the novel mitochondrial replacement techniques.  With a small team of lawyers and bioethicists she is conducting a pilot project to examine the ethical, legal and social implications of new health technologies, involving the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.  Dr Turkmendag is also a Co-Investigator in a new ESRC funded project on epigenetics: EpiStressNet: A biosocial systems approach to understanding the epigenetic embedding of social stress responses.

Respondent: Prof. Dr. Ann Buysse (Ghent University, Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology)

Ann Buysse is professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at Ghent University, where she works at the Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology and were she is head of the research group of Family Psychology (Family Lab). She is co-organizer and trainer of the Postgraduate Training Program in Mediation at Ghent University. As a researcher, she has a broad expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, interdisciplinary research and fundamental outcome/process research and methodological research in the field of family psychology. Recently she was chief promoter of two interdisciplinary, inter-university research projects on divorce in Flanders (i.e., IPOS (externe link) (external link)) and sexual health in Flanders (i.e., Sexpert). Currently she is co-promoter of the GOA-research project on social and genetic parenthood (Parenthood Research team (externe link) (external link)) and co-principal investigator of an interdisciplinary, inter-university research project into new processes samengstelde families (FittiF).

Lecture 3: Prof. Dr. David Eng – Reparations of the Human – 17 May 2016 – 17:30 – Rozier Aud.O

Due to unforeseen circumstances this lecture has been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.

This presentation comes from my forthcoming book, “Reparations and the Human,” which investigates the problem of reparations and human rights in Asia during the Cold War. Following the devastating violence of World War II, an emerging discourse of reparations and human rights sought to articulate new precepts against state harm of individuals. Traditionally, reparations could be claimed by one state from another as compensation for the “costs of war.” For the first time, however, the idea of reparations was extended to encompass individual and group claims for redress for state-sponsored violence in the name of human rights and in the interests of protecting the sanctity of human life. My approach to the topic is fundamentally interdisciplinary. Reparation is a key term in political theory, but it is also a central concept in psychoanalysis—specifically, object relations—yet the two are rarely discussed in relation to one another. “Reparations and the Human”  focuses on unexamined links between political and psychic genealogies of reparation in order to explore the possibilities and limits of repairing the injuries of war, violence, and colonialism in the Transpacific region. Here, I investigate three interlocking events: the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII; the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ending that war; and contemporary legal claims of “Comfort Women,” girls and women conscripted by the Japanese Imperial Army into sexual slavery.  From this larger perspective, I analyze the postwar ascension of reparations and human rights not only as a moral response to but also, and indeed, as a form of continued state violence. In this talk, I focus specifically on the afterword to my book, “Absolute Apology, Absolute Forgiveness,” which explores the history of uranium mining and “Little Boy,” the atomic bomb detonated by the U.S. military over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.  Much of the world’s uranium supply is mined from indigenous lands, and the uranium for Little Boy, too, came in part from the lands of the Sahtu Dene, an indigenous people in Great Bear Lake, Canada. Ignorant at the time of how their mining efforts would be applied and the destination of the ore, the Sahtu Dene nonetheless felt implicated once they learned of Hiroshima’s fate. In response to the disaster, they sent a delegation to Hiroshima to apologize. I will discuss the Sahtu Dene’s response to the atomic bombing in order to propose an alternate concept for reparations and the human. Here, I extend Jacques Derrida’s notion of “absolute forgiveness” to develop a corollary concept: “absolute apology.”

David L. Eng is Richard L. Fisher Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), where he is also Professor in the Program in Asian American Studies, the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory, and the Program in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. After receiving his B.A. in English from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley, he taught at Columbia and Rutgers before joining Penn.  Eng has held visiting professorships at the University of Bergen (Norway), King’s College London, Harvard University, and the University of Hong Kong.  He is the recipient of research fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Mellon Foundation, among others.  For 2015-16, he is a Visiting Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.  His areas of specialization include American literature, Asian American studies, Asian diaspora, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, queer studies, gender studies, and visual culture. Eng is author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy (Duke, 2010) and Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Duke, 2001).  He is co-editor with David Kazanjian of Loss: The Politics of Mourning (California, 2003) and with Alice Y. Hom of Q & A: Queer in Asian America (Temple, 1998).  In addition, he is co-editor of two special issues of the journal Social Text: with Teemu Ruskola and Shuang Shen, “China and the Human” (2011/2012), and with Judith Halberstam and José Esteban Muñoz, “What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now?” (2005).  His current book project, “Reparations and the Human,” investigates the relationship between political and psychic genealogies of reparation in Asia during the Cold War.  He is also completing a co-authored book with Shinhee Han, “A Dialogue on Racial Melancholia,” a collection of psychoanalytic case histories and commentaries on Asian immigrants in the diaspora.

Respondent: Prof. Dr. Sarah Bracke (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity, and Intersectionality & Ghent University; Department of Sociology)

Sarah Bracke joined RHEA in 2014 as Senior Researcher. Prior to this, she was a Research Associate and Visiting Professor Sociology of Religion at the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, and she continues to be an Associate professor of Sociology at Ghent University. She is an affiliate researcher at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University since 2012, a resident at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School since 2013, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard. Bracke’s work explores questions of gender, religion, secularism, (homo)sexuality, processes of culturalization and racialization in Europe, and subjectivity and agency, and does so through a combination of theory (critical theory, with an emphasis on feminist, postcolonial, and queer theory) and qualitative research. Three main threads run through her work: a first one is concerned with the “turn to agency” in the study of piety, women, gender, and religion; a second one explores the secular as a form of governmentality as well as an epistemic category; and a third research line looks at the ways in which gender and sexual politics figure within, as well as configure, multiculturalism and nationalism in Europe.

Lecture 4: Dr. Jennie Bristow – ‘Generations and the Intimate Politics of Reproduction’ – 18 May 2016 – 11:00 – Rozier Aud.O

Interest in the ‘problem of generations’ has come to the fore in recent years, through debates about the disproportionate influence of the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation and the alleged crisis of ‘parenting’. This paper examines some of the reasons why generational relations have come to be seen as a site for political debate and policy intervention, and some of the tensions that emerge from this. The policy focus on generations tends to have a naturalistic quality, expressed in a preoccupation with demographic trends or the ideology of eugenics. It also presumes an interest in the domain of social reproduction, situating the family as a cause of, and solution to, social problems. This intersects with a wider, cultural ‘transformation of intimacy’, with the consequence that relations within, and between, generations are conceptualised in increasingly brittle terms.

Jennie Bristow is Visiting Research Fellow with the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies, based in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University Kent. Her research focuses on generations, education, parenting culture, and the sociology of knowledge. Jennie is author of The Sociology of Generations: New directions and challenges (Palgrave Macmillan 2016, in press); Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan 2015), and Standing Up to Supernanny (Imprint Academic 2009). She is also co-author (with Ellie Lee, Charlotte Faircloth and Jan Macvarish) of Parenting Culture Studies (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and (with Frank Furedi) of Licensed to Hug (Civitas 2010).

Respondent: Prof. Dr. Stefan Ramaekers (University of Leuven, Laboratory for Education and Society)

Dr. Stefan Ramaekers is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Laboratory for Education and Society, KU Leuven. He studied Educational Sciences and Philosophy at KU Leuven (Belgium) and obtained a PhD in Educational Sciences in the field of Philosophy of Education about forms of skepticism in educational theory and practices. His research and teaching are to be situated in the broad field of educational philosophy and theory. Over the last years, his research has mainly focused on a critical investigation of the discourse of ‘parenting’ and the parent-child relationship and on the ‘pedagogical’ significance of educational support. Together with Dr. Judith Suissa of the Institute of Education (University College London) he published the book The Claims of Parenting. Reasons, responsibility, and society (Springer). Recently he has started collaborating with Dr. Naomi Hodgson on researching figurations of ‘parenting’ in cultural representations, such as film.

Lecture 5: Prof. Dr. Matt Cook – ‘AIDS, the 80s and the Fate of Permissiveness’ – 18 May 2016 – 14:00 – Rozier Aud.O

This talk re-examines the 1980s anti-gay ‘backlash’ using the testimonies of around 600 largely heterosexual contributors to the Mass Observation project in the UK. It explores the political, generational and geographical divisions that emerge through these testimonies. It also considers the near consensus amongst Mass Observers about promiscuity and the terms on which homosexuality was deemed acceptable. This is underpinned in part by the rationale that emerged in debate about homosexuality and decriminalization in the 1950s and 1960s. The Mass Observation testimonies contrast sharply with those garnered from 160 men as part of the parallel National Lesbian and Gay Survey. The tension between these two bodies of evidence underscores and further nuances sociologist Stuart Hall’s argument about the limits of the much mythologized sexual revolution and ‘permissive moment’ of the 1960s. The biggest contention relates to the gay ‘trespass’ on the ‘public sphere’ and ‘public resources’ in the mid-1980s as the scale of the epidemic and intimate details of a purported ‘gay lifestyle’ were gaining ever-increasing coverage. This to many was a clear breach of the moral settlement of the 1960s. The talk thus address the fate of permissiveness and of an uneasy post war moral settlement in the pressing context of the AIDS crisis.

Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London. He is also Birkbeck Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre and a member of the History Workshop Journal collective. His books include London and the Culture of Homosexuality (2003) and Queer Domesticities (2014) as well as a number of edited collections. He is currently working on three projects:  on AIDS and the 1980s; on provincial queer lives in the UK post 1965; and on a survey book called ‘Writing Queer History’.

Respondent: Prof. Dr. Henk De Smaele (University of Antwerp; Department of History)

Henk de Smaele teaches (apart from methodological courses) Modern Cultural History; History of the Body, and Gender and Sexuality. He has published books and articles on Belgian political history in the nineteenth century. His current research interests include the history of body, gender and sexuality (18th-20th centuries) and the history of ‘cultural encounters’. It is his present ambition to combine ‘queer’ and ‘postcolonial’ perspectives in a rethinking of the powerful and omnipresent metanarrative of ‘modernisation’ in cultural and political history.

Master Classes

Master Class 1: Prof. Dr. Dilek Cindoğlu – ‘War, migration and intimacies’

Master class coordinator: Dr. Ladan Rahbari

When? Tuesday 17 May 2016; 14:00-17:00

Where?  Room D0.19

This seminar will visit the literature on the intersection of gender, war and intimacies in the western and non western societies in the modern times. The main question that the participants need to follow up in this class is how the intimate sphere is being shaped by the conditions of war in modern societies.

Students are expected to read at least three of the 8 following articles (the articles will be sent to you by email), reflect and write a short essay addressing the following topic;

  • Nicola Mai & Russell King (2009) Love, Sexuality and Migration: Mapping the Issue(s), Mobilities, 4:3, 295-307
  • Laura Sjoberg (2015) Seeing Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in International Security, International Journal, 70(3)434-453
  • Nicola Henry (2016) Theorizing Wartime Rape: Deconstructing Gender, Sexuality, and Violence, Gender & Society, 30(1)44-56
  • Gurvinder Kalra & Dinesh Bhugra (2010) Migration and sexuality, International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 3:2, 117-125
  • MAREN RÖGER (2014). The Sexual Policies and Sexual Realities of the German Occupiers in Poland in the Second World War . Contemporary European History, 23, pp 1-21.
  • Sung Kyung Kim (2014) “I am well-cooked food”: survival strategies of North Korean female border-crossers and possibilities for empowerment, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies,
    15:4, 553-571
  • Steven Rosales (2013) Macho Nation? Chicano Soldiering, Sexuality, and Manhoof during the Vietnam War Era, The Oral History Review, 40(2)299-324.
  • Sacho A.Lambevski (1999) Suck my nation – masculinity, ethnicity and the politics of (homo)sex, Sexualities, 2(4)397-419.

Assignment: (essay 1000-2000 words) How do you think that the war/s around the world and migratory flows around your city/country might have influenced the culture of intimacies around you? You are expected to make an argument with reference to the construction of masculinities, femininities, gay, queer and straight sexual practices and discourses with reference to the readings.How do you think that forced and consensual intimate relationships are being influenced by the wars and conflicts in modern world.

Master Class 2: Dr. Ilke Turkmendag – ‘Co-production of genetic relatedness in the human reproduction technologies: donor conception and mitochondrial replacement techniques’

Master class coordinator: Jodie Bernaerdt

When? Tuesday 17 May 2016; 14:00-17:00

Where?  Room D0.10

In this seminar we focus on intersections of science, technology and law; and using two case studies from human reproduction technologies we also examine the ways in which these intersections can be studied. Science, technology and law are intermingled in complex ways. While social institutions change themselves to meet technologies insistent demands, scientific knowledge is not independent of political thought and action (Jasanoff 2004). For example, in biomedicine, emerging research findings and technologies usually call for new regulations before they can be put in clinical practice, while existing laws and ethical guidelines set limits to what kind of research can be conducted in the lab.

In the recent years, there is a growing engagement between Socio–legal Studies (SLS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) to examine the ways in which science, technology and legal processes shape each other. New reproductive technologies are at the center of such examination. In this seminar, using STS framework of co-production (Jasanoff  2004) we will first look at how science, technologies and law shape and define each other. We will then return to co-production of genetic relatedness and identity in the UK’s regulation of two human reproduction technologies: donor conception and mitochondrial replacement techniques to create individuals using genetic material from three individuals.

Essential readings: (Students are expected to read at least four of the following articles)

  • Baylis, F. 2013. The Ethics Of Creating Children With Three Genetic Parents’. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 26: 5317
  • Bredenoord, A. L., Dondorp, W., Pennings, G. de Wert, G. 2011. Ethics of modifying the mitochondrial genome, J Med Ethics 37:97-100.
  • Jasanoff S. 2004.Ordering knowledge, ordering society, in Jasanoff, S (ed) The co-production of science and social order, Routledge, London, p.13-45.
  • Haimes, E. and K.Taylor 2015 Rendered Invisible? The absent presence of egg providers in U.K. debates on the acceptability of research and therapy for mitochondrial disease. Monash Bioethics Review 33 (4): 360-378.
  • Jones, C. Holme, I. 2013 Relatively (im)material: mtDNA and genetic relatedness in law and policy. Life Sciences, Society and Policy 9 (4): 1-14.
  • Turkmendag, I. 2012. The donor-conceived child’s ‘right to personal identity’: The public debate on donor anonymity in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society.  39(1): 58–75.
  • Turkmendag I, Dingwall R and Murphy T. 2008. The removal of donor anonymity in the United Kingdom: The silencing of claims by would-be parents. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family. 22(3), 283–310.

Additional readings:

  • Baker, P., Semino, E. 2014. A three-parent baby or a change of battery? Language in the ethical debate on mitochondrial donation. Retrieved 25/03/2015, from
  • Bredenoord, A.L., Pennings, G., de Wert, G. 2008. Ooplasmic transfer and nuclear transfer to prevent mitochondrial DNA disorders: conceptual and normative issues. Hum Reprod Update 14: 669–78.
  • Dar-Nimrod, I. Heine, S.J. 2011. Genetic Essentialism: On the Deceptive Determinism of DNA, Psychol Bull  137(5): 800–818.
  • Harrington, J., G. Becker, and R. Nachtigall,2008. Nonreproductive Technologies: Remediating Kin Structure with Donor Gametes, Science, Technology & Human Values 33 (3): 393-418.
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) 2013b. Mitochondria replacement consultation: Advice to government.
  • Nuffield Council on Bioethics. 2012. Novel techniques for the prevention of mitochondrial DNA disorders: An ethical review.

Assignment: Essay, 1000-2000 words, choose one of the following topics:

1. Discuss the ways in which genetic relatedness in egg, sperm and embryo donation is ‘co-produced’ in Belgium by giving examples (eg from news items, assisted conception regulations, social media).

2. The developments in new reproductive technologies challenge and reshape our understanding of kinship. Do you agree with this statement? Please discuss it for the example of either donor conception or the mitochondrial replacement techniques.

Master Class 3: Dr. Jennie Bristow – ‘Diversity, individuation and parenting policy – exploring the changing relationship of the state and the family’

Master class coordinator: Dr. Sophie Withaeckx

When? Wednesday 18 May 2016; 16:00-19:00

Where?  Room D0.19


– Gillies, V. (2011) ‘From Function to Competence: Engaging with the New Politics of Family.’ Sociological Research Online, 16 (4) 11.

Assignment: submitting a short essay on own research related to the theme of the master classes (2000 words max)

Master Class 4: Prof. Dr. Matt Cook – ‘Sexuality, subjectivity and the problems and possibilities of oral history’

Master class coordinator: Fadi Saleh

When? Wednesday 18 May 2016; 16:00-19:00

Where?  Room D1.34

In this interactive session we look at how we might use oral history to think about intimate pasts – about histories of gender, sexuality and subjectivity. We look at the genesis of oral history as a method in social, sexual, and gender history and ask if and how a study of an individual or a small group of individuals might relate to bigger historical questions about politics, society, culture and change over time. Drawing on an oral history project which looked at the lives of gay squatters in south London in the 1970s and on a selection of recent queer interview projects, we also consider the political and community significance of testimonial work – and some of the problems, possibilities and challenges associated with it.  In the second half of the session, and time permitting, we will experiment with different approaches to oral history and interview work.



  • Matt Cook, ‘Gay Times’: Identity, Locality, Memory and the Brixton Squats in 1970’s London’, Journal of Twentieth Century British History (2013) 24 (1): 84-109

And if possible:

  • Penny Summerfield, ‘Culture and Composure: Creating Narratives of the Gendered Self in Oral History Interviews’, in Cultural and Social History 1 (2004)


Taha Hassan, ‘Brixton Faeries: Made Possible By Squatting’


One of more of the following queer intervieworal history work:

Please come to the masterclass prepared to talk briefly about one or more of the interviews from these websites.  How useful is it/are they in thinking about cultures of gender and sexuality, past and/or present?

Essay assignment (1000-1200 words):

‘How useful is testimonal evendence in exploring gender and/or sexuality in the past and/or present?’

Additional reading:

  • N.Roque Ramirez and Nan Alamilla Boyd, eds, Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (OUP, 2013)
  • Ken Plummer, Telling Sexual Stories: power, change and social worlds (Routledge, 1996)

Organizing Committee

Coordinator: Dr. Katrien De Graeve; Organizing team: Prof. Dr. Chia Longman, Dr. Ladan Rahbari, Drs. Amal Miri, Maaike Goethals (Department of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University)

Maaike Goethals

Scientific Committee:

Ghent University

Centre for Research on Culture and Gender

  • Dr. Katrien De Graeve, Prof. Dr. Chia Longman, Dr. Ladan Rahbari, Drs. Amal Miri

Bioethics Institute Ghent

  • Dr. Veerle Provoost



Centre for Expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality

  • Dr. Sophie Withaeckx, Prof.Dr. Gily Coene, Prof. Dr. Karen Celis


Research Group on Citizenship, Equality & Diversity

  • Prof. Dr. Petra Meier

History Department

  • Prof. Dr. Henk De Smaele

University of Kent, UK

Centre for Parenting Culture Studies

  • Dr. Ellie Lee, Dr. Jennie Bristow