CANCELLED–Researching Intimacy–Thoughts from Fieldwork in the Nursing Home

Latest update on 30 November:

For those who have registered, please note, this lunch seminar is CANCELLED and will be re-scheduled because our speaker got sick and cannot make it. We will post more information when a new date is selected

About the seminar

During this CRCG lunch seminar, drs. Gabriëlle de Pooter shares insights from her currently ongoing fieldwork on intimacy and sexuality in a nursing home. Many spaces through which older women move might be considered ‘unsexy’ as they are tied up with stereotypes of older women being asexual. One such space is the nursing home, a common place of living for many older women. However, as geographers have noted, no place is truly devoid of sexuality. So how do desire, longing and refusal emerge through the cracks of institutionalised regimens of care? During her seminar, Gabriëlle reflects on the research process, methods used, emerging themes in the data, and ethical challenges when psychiatric diagnoses come into play. There will also be room for discussion, exchange and feedback.

About the speaker

Gabriëlle de Pooter is a doctoral researcher working in the ERC-project ‘Later-in-Life Intimacy: Women’s Unruly Practices, Places and Representations’ (LiLI). Her specific research within the project locates itself at the intersection of gender, sexuality, aging, and their relation to space and place. Get to know more about LiLI and the research team via:

Participation format

This is a hybrid event.

For both online and offline participants, please register via the link here so we can better accommodate you.
On-campus: Faculteitszaal, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Ghent
Online: you will receive an automatic meeting link upon your registration.


Decolonising FGC programmes: From ‘grandmother-exclusionary bias’ to ‘grandmother-inclusive’ intergenerational approaches

Lunch seminars are informal presentations where internal and visiting researchers present their work during lunch. You are welcome to bring your lunch along! We offer tea and coffee to go with it. The seminars are hybrid and take place on campus and online. Please register by sending an email to
The seminars are open to all, PhD students, postdocs, senior researchers, and other interested individuals.


About the lunch seminar

Grandmother-exclusionary bias” – or the side-lining of female elders as change agents within programmes – represents a major obstacle to the success of programmes that aim to end Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Grandmother-exclusionary bias runs counter to the extensive authority and decision-making roles that grandmothers wield in relation to FGC and child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa. It also goes against insights from systems theory and meta-evaluations of FGM/C eradication efforts which stress that sustained change requires engaging those who wield authority over gender and social norms. I use postcolonial and decolonial theory to explain the negative assumptions about grandmothers which underpin grandmother-exclusionary bias, and provide recommendations for designing grandmother-inclusive, intergenerational community-led programmes.

About the speaker

Dr Anneke Newman works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University. Before that she worked as a Teaching Fellow at Sussex and a FNRS-funded postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Mondes Contemporains (LAMC) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Newman’s current research is a decolonial analysis of knowledge production and policy-making related to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. Her previous projects investigated educational decision-making involving secular and Islamic schools, and the education-migration-development nexus, in northern Senegal. Her research focuses on the coloniality of development policy, decolonial alternatives, action research and participatory approaches.

(picture credit Judi Aubel, Grandmothers of Vélingara)


Other pathways of mesoamerican tradition: An autoethnography and affective ethnography on the spirituality of a migrant farmers family from Ahauacatlán de Guadalupe

During this lunch seminar Manuel will present some of his advances on research about the relation of his family with spiritual practices from mesoamerican tradition as a point of inquiry from autoethnography and affective ethnography. Since the articulation of the methodology required a necessary ethical reflection, his starting point on the relationship with family members and himself for the research has been one of its main axes along the project. At the same time, the inquiry into his family history opened the way to understand his own situated relations to the colonization process that many people have gone through in his country. From this perspective, his actual focus is to understand the relation between coloniality, the effects of policies of mestizaje, the potentiality of spirituality, and the way in which his family keep certain vitality of the Mesoamerican tradition even when they as farmers, are not part of any indigenous group.


Manuel Antonio Guerrero García is a PhD student on Anthropological Sciences at the Metropolitan Autonomous University- Iztapalapa UAM-I, in Mexico City. He has a training on social anthropology and history. Specialist on anthropology of culture, his principal interest is on symbolic anthropology, religion studies, gender, decoloniality, policies of citizenship and raciality.


This lunch seminar will be hybrid. You can join on-campus at:  meeting room Panopticon, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent

Or follow online via MSTeams. You can register here

CGRC Lunch Seminar “Tit-for-Tat Media: The Contentious Bodies and Sex Imagery of Political Activism”

About the seminar

Tit-for-Tat Media examines a visual-sexual turn in social media discourses in the field of online activism with a particular focus on the extraordinary protest years of 2018-2020.  The book presents a socially engaged theory and includes case-studies on activist movements such as the Euro-American alt-right, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and revolutionary artists in China. It reveals how visual cultures, including gendered or sexualized imagery, are utilised to influence public perception. The talk will zoom in on the role of sex-focused visuals used during the Hong Kong Anti-Extradition movement of 2019 and coinciding with a radicalized “laam chau” doctrine. (“If we burn, you will burn with us”). It will outline the wider techno-political contexts of these visuals and also make a plea for archiving and studying them despite their highly contentious and ephemeral nature. It will discuss research methods of “historicizing” and “humanizing” social media visuals by positioning them as catalysts for geo-political transformations and sex/gender justice. It will also ponder a shift in a researcher’s methods of online ethnography from open and affective encounters or observations towards a cautious handling of highly polarized and politicized materials.



  • online:,OjWm1ICrgUWiRDBCbeZ5fw,F1Dm7yMhBUCTFq4zIOqs1Q,Wu3QeJpnOUyQpSTw4PSJDQ,sCqyp3xylUqP87c5xu1cyQ,nwdJl57nOUCdi9deQxl6eA?mode=read&tenantId=d7811cde-ecef-496c-8f91-a1786241b99c
  • on-campus: Faculteitzaal, Blandijnberg 2 (1st floor), Ghent, 9000, Belgium



12:00pm – 13:30 pm (CET), 25 May 2023


About the speaker

Katrien Jacobs is Adjunct Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Research Associate in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Ghent. Jacobs has lectured and published widely about sexuality and gender in and around digital media, contemporary arts and online activism. She received several Hong Kong government-funded GRF grants and authored four books about Internet culture and gender/sexuality. Jacobs is also an artist-scholar who has produced documentaries and performance art pieces alongside her academic and ethnographic fieldwork, which can be accessed on

Caring for the patient, caring for the nation: the figure of the care worker in a language training for migrant job seekers

In this lunch seminar, Sara Nyssen will talk about her ethnographic research in one of the trainings of non-Dutch speaking care workers. In order to address unemployment among migrant job seekers as well as shortages in the care sector, the Flemish employment service organizes language trainings to prepare non-Dutch speaking job seekers for an education and subsequent employment as a nurse or caregiver. My ethnographic research in one of these trainings shows that knowledge of Dutch was by no means the sole criterion for selection and evaluation: assessment of job seekers was (partly) based on whether they were seen as good (future) care workers. As such, there was a lot of attention for job seekers’ selves in the course, specifically through the use of psychological terminology. In this lunch seminar I will argue that this concern for care workers’ selves cannot be separated from a concern for the people they have to take care of. I will explore what kind of patient emerges from the image of the ideal care worker, and what this reveals about how care work is imagined, and about who is (and isn’t) seen as suitable for care work.

About the speaker

Sara Nyssen holds a master’s degree in social and cultural anthropology and is currently a PhD researcher in sociolinguistics at Ghent University. Her research is an ethnography of a language training for the care sector aimed at migrant job seekers, with a focus on language, labor and personhood.

This lunch seminar will be on-campus only and it will take place at the faculty room of Blandijn (Faculteitszaal, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent). You can register sending an email at

Pseudo-autobiography and sex negativity in Kathy Acker

Cover of The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula by the Black Tarantula (Acker’s pseudonym)

Tessel Veneboer is a PhD student in English Literature at Ghent University. She specializes in queer theory and experimental literature and is a founding member of the Sex Negativity research collective at ASCA. She is currently working on a dissertation on Kathy Acker (supported by FWO).

Kathy Acker’s pseudo-autobiographical writing of sex work challenges the sex-positive politics of écriture féminine as well as a queer politics of embodied writing. Acker’s literary work is often read as sex-positive due to her experiments with masturbatory writing, depiction of graphic sex scenes and interest in s/m relations. My dissertation argues that the avant-garde convictions of Acker’s formal innovation are closer to “sex negativity” as they reveal the structural negativity and the nonsovereignty of the subject, “exemplified in the sexual encounter” (Edelman and Berlant 2013). If sex-positive feminism asks how sexuality can be expressed and affirmed, Kathy Acker’s sex negativity lies in a distrust of knowledge of the self. The radical pessimism of Acker’s work is not directed against sex itself, but refuses to treat sex as a moral issue and instead questions the conditions and implications of self-knowledge and the autobiographical subject.

This lunch seminar will be on-campus only and it will take place at the faculty room of Blandijn (Faculteitszaal, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent). You can register sending an email at

The Anger Turn: Towards a New Perspective on Feminist Rage

Portrait of Sigrid Wallaert
Sigrid Wallaert

During this lunch seminar, Sigrid Wallaert will present her research on feminist anger. In the last few years, after the peak of the #MeToo movement especially, angry women are everywhere. From women’s marches to women’s strikes, women are taking to the streets with their anger and refusing to quiet down. In my research, I take this trend as a starting point to develop the concept of an anger turn (in partial parallel with Sara Ahmed’s happiness turn). This anger turn is characterised by a sudden prominence of anger in the public eye on four main fronts: publishing, media, academia, and politics. However, there is something special about this anger. I outline the concept of feminist anger as a type of activist anger with feminist goals and purposes. This anger is forward-looking, collective, and potentially apt, and should therefore be seriously considered for its communicative value.

Sigrid Wallaert is a PhD researcher in philosophy at Ghent University and FWO Flanders. She holds a master’s and research master’s degree in philosophy. In her PhD project, she is delineating feminist anger as a potentially productive concept, and examining what its value can be through the framework of epistemic injustice. Get to know more about the speaker on her website:

Follow the seminar:

On-campus: Faculteitszaal, Blandijnberg 2

Online:  interested participants can register and join on Microsoft Teams



CANCELLED | Tit-for-Tat Media and the Hong Kong Meltdown

In this talk, Katrien Jacobs will discuss a polarization in social media discourses and sexual politics in the field of online activism. Political activists across the political spectrum are using online visual cultures as “extreme speech” to target each other and as a mechanism of emotional release and social cohesion. The talk will zoom in on the role of sex-focused visuals used during the Hong Kong Anti-Extradition movement of 2019 and coinciding with “a highly radicalized “laam chau” doctrine. (“If we burn, you will burn with us”). It will outline the wider techno-political contexts of these visuals and also make a plea for archiving and studying them despite their highly contentious and “rubbish-like” nature. It will discuss research methods of “historicizing” and “humanizing” this imagery by positioning them as catalysts for radicalized movements, geopolitical transformations and sexual well-being. At the same time, it will ponder a shift in a researcher’s methods of online ethnography from open and affective encounters or observations towards a cautious handling of highly polarized and politicized materials.



About the speaker:
Katrien Jacobs is adjunct associate professor and research associate at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Ghent University. She is leading scholar of sexuality and gender studies alongside emerging digital cultures and social movements. Her book “Tit-for-Tat Media: The Contentious Bodies and Sex Imagery of Political Activism” was published by Routledge in June 2022. Her work can be found at

Follow the seminar:

Online: interested participants can register and join on Microsoft Teams

On-campus: Faculteitszaal, Blandijnberg 2

Incomplete lives: Islamophobia in Belgium as the governance of Muslim subjectivities and restriction of life aspirations

In this lunch seminar, An Van Raemdonck will present her research on experiences of racism and Islamophobia among Muslim minorities in Belgium. While phenomena of discrimination have been widely documented, in-depth qualitative research remains scarce. Findings are based on forty semi-structured interviews conducted between 2020-2021 with Belgian Muslims who are second and third-generation immigrants. Education appears as a prime domain where interviewees experience discrimination and racism, resulting in the restriction of life aspirations. The problematization of Muslim subjectivity is discussed through women’s understandings of job acceptance on the condition of hijab removal as a rejection of the (Muslim) self. Respondents’ prospects of the future are therefore afflicted and some express the desire to leave Belgium in search of better life conditions. This analysis refines our understanding of the two main rationales of Islamophobia as governmentality – assimilation and separation – with the intertwined dimensions of governance of Muslim subjectivity and restriction of life aspirations.

An Van Raemdonck is postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender. Her current research project focuses on Islamic ethics, Islamic conviviality and the ethics of living together in diversity.

The seminar is hybrid. You can follow on campus or online. Please register here.

Confronting the unspoken in black women’s sexuality in contemporary South Africa by Memory Mphaphuli

Within the context of black families, candid talks about women’s sexuality continue to be restricted, with the exception of pithy exhortations that aim to scare young women from experimenting sexually. Many other aspects of sexuality are supressed through various discursive strategies. By drawing upon the narratives of the lived experiences of two generational cohorts of black women (between the ages of 20-30 and 40-62), this study identified some of the discourses that black mothers and their daughters use to shape their understanding of sexuality in contemporary South Africa. Findings show that silence and restrictions characterise the way knowledge about sexuality is communicated to women in different age groups. Importantly, insights from these black women show that female sexuality continues to be heavily influenced by traditional ideas about respect, marriage, safe sex and diseases. Collectively, the narratives revealed that mothers and their daughters simply do not have the words to encourage a positive expression of sexuality, that is, a language to talk affirmatively about sexuality. Young women especially end up holding evasive and ambivalent views about their sexuality, with a decreased sense of sexual self-awareness and agency.

Memory is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Ghent University. She identifies herself as a feminist sociologist who is intrigued by different forms of social inequalities that are linked with gender and (hetero)sexuality specifically. She is most interested in studying how gender and sexuality intersect with other social phenomena such as race and class.