CRCG lunch seminar: The Dialectics of Reproductive Injustice in Palestine

The point of departure of this seminar is the analytical and political urgency to understand Israel/Palestine through the feminist lens of reproductive justice. The State of Israel is known internationally as having adopted remarkably “pronatalist” policies since its creation in 1948, aimed at encouraging high birth rates by offering financial incentives for reproducing large families, welfare benefits for (working) mothers, high child allowances and generous subsidies for assisted reproductive technologies including in vitro fertilisation, egg donation, surrogacy, prenatal and pre-implantation genetic testing, posthumous assisted reproduction, etc. However, critical scholars have been arguing for decades that Israel’s pronatalism is selective, and mostly designed to benefit its European-descended Jewish Israeli citizens and not Palestinians who are framed as a “demographic threat”. In addition to cultural paradigms of “Jewishness” that refer to the importance of reproduction in Jewish culture, religion, and history, this seminar foregrounds a settler colonial analysis of Israel’s stratified reproductive regimes. Situating the crucial role of older and newer technologies of (assisted) reproduction, fertility, and family (un)making within Zionism’s century-old yet ongoing settler colonial history, I will argue that the creation and consolidation of a demographically Jewish state in Israel/Palestine materializes at the expense of Indigenous Palestinian life and reproduction. Using several case studies of reproductive technologies, including egg donation, surrogacy and posthumous sperm-retrieval, I will illustrate how Israel’s selective pronatalism is partly rooted in structures of demographic replacement of Palestinians their collective means and infrastructures of life, biological and social reproduction. (Image credit to @marjoleinpijnappels)

About the speaker
Siggie Vertommen works as a lecturer in gender and global health at the University of Amsterdam and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender at Ghent University. She conducts feminist research into the global politics of (assisted) reproduction from Israel/Palestine to Georgia and Belgium.

Time: 12:00-13:30, 28 February

Venue: Faculteitsraadzaal, Blandijnberg 2, 9000, Ghent

To attend: The seminar is free to anyone interested but please register HERE so we know how many people to expect.

Find and sign the statement for Reproductive Justice for Palestine here:…/resistance-is-fertile-endorse…/

Lunch Seminar/Book Talk: Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s

In this book talk, Prof. Red Washburn will talk about their recently published book Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s.  The sharing will be around 30 minutes, followed by discussions & QA sessions. The talk is free to anyone interested but please register HERE so we know how many people to expect. Below you can find more detailed information about the book and the author.

About the book

Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s explores 50 years of Irishwomen’s prison writing, 1960s-2010s. It connects the work of women leaders and writers in the Six Counties of Ireland, especially during the Troubles. It analyzes political communiqués/ petitions, news coverage, prison files, personal letters, poetry and short prose, and memoirs. It highlights the personal correspondence, auto/biographical narratives, and poetry of the following key women: Bernadette McAliskey, Eileen Hickey, Mairéad Farrell, Síle Darragh, Ella O’Dwyer, Martina Anderson, Dolours Price, Marian McGlinchey, Ann and Eileen Gillespie, Roseleen Walsh, and Margaretta D’Arcy. It also includes interviews. This project builds on different fields and discourses to reimagine gender and genre as central to an interdisciplinary and intersectional prison archive. It repositions Irish women and their work in order to accurately archive social movements for civil rights and cultural productions about them – and this tradition is relevant even now during this moment of transatlantic solidarity with #MeToo and the Black Lives Matter Movement, including in Ireland, post-Easter Rising Centennial, as part of the big conversations happening now around the impacts of political repression and state attacks on social justice advocates and the harms of the carceral state.

About the speaker

Red Washburn (they/he) is Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Queens College of the City University of New York. They are Affiliate Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Graduate Center (CUNY). His book Irish Women’s Prison Writing: Mother Ireland’s Rebels, 1960s-2010s was published by Routledge. Red’s articles appear in Journal for the Study of RadicalismWomen’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Their essays are in several anthologies, including Theory and Praxis: Women’s and Gender Studies at Community CollegesIntroduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Approaches, and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. They are the co-editor of Sinister Wisdom’s Dump Trump: Legacies of Resistance, 45 Years: A Tribute to Lesbian Herstory Archives, and Trans/Feminisms. Finishing Line Press published their poetry collections Crestview Tree Woman and Birch Philosopher X. They co-edited WSQ’s issue Nonbinary (forthcoming Fall 2023). He received an ACLS/ Mellon fellowship for their next project Nonbinary: Tr@ns-Forming Gender and Genre in Nonbin@ry Literature, Performance, and Visual Art.

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.


Lecture: Stories [that] Matter: Migrant Academics’ Narratives of Precarity and Resilience in Europe

Migrant Academics’ Narratives of Precarity and Resilience in Europe grew out of the accumulation of knowledge, experiences, and frustrations of political sociologist Ladan Rahbari, who was born in Iran, and political scientist Olga Burlyuk from Ukraine.

The result is a walk-through of precarity, racialisation, systematic forms of discrimination and gendered hierarchies written and narrated by migrant academics from the Global South working in universities of the Global North. Building on precarity as a critical concept for challenging social exclusion or forming political collectives, the authors move away from conventional academic styles, instead adopting autobiography and autoethnography as methods of intersectional scholarly analysis. This approach creatively challenges the divisions between the system and the individual, the mind and the soul, the objective and the subjective, as well as science, theory, and art.

This lecture will be given by the book editors:

– Olga Burlyuk, professor of Europe’s external relations at the Department of Political Science at University of Amsterdam.

Ladan Rahbari, professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology at University of Amsterdam




12h30 Lecture by prof. dr. Ladan Rahbari & prof. dr. Olga Burlyuk

13h30 Q&A

14h00 End



Monday 23rd of October from 12:30 to 14:00



Auditorium F, Building Technicum 2, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Gent


For whom?

Accessible for everyone (inside and outside UGent)



Free admission but registration is required via this link:

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

Symposium: Islamic ethics & living in ethnic and cultural diversity


In the last decades, anthropological scholarship on Islam has given considerable attention to ethics and Muslim self-fashioning. In the context of Muslims in Europe the ethical turn was most productive in relation to limitations of secular/liberal national regimes (e.g. Fadil, 2011; Jouili, 2015), various forms of governmentality by state and non-state actors (e.g. Ahmad & El-Yousfi, 2021), and in relation to gender and sexual practices (e.g. Amir-Moazami, Jacobsen, & Malik, 2011; Lechkar, 2022). Recently, proposals were made for an anthropology of Islam that takes faith, divinity and God more seriously, for instance, by critically interrogating anthropologists’ methodological atheism (Willerslev & Suhr, 2018). Or by suggesting to devote more attention to the ‘power of God’ by examining understandings of human-divine relations, and the ways theology shapes human interactions through God’s presence and mediation (Schielke, 2019). The question has been raised as to how we can discern and discuss the shapes of an ‘autonomous Islamic tradition’ in Europe, while moving beyond foundational concerns with Muslims’ sameness/Otherness (Fadil, 2019).

The goal of this day is to reflect further on current approaches in the anthropology of Islam, particularly by foregrounding Islamic faith, spirituality and ethics, and the conditions of life in superdiverse contexts. How can anthropologists study everyday life but also the role of Islamic ethics in environments marked by multiple forms of cultural and religious difference? More generally, how can both disciplines – Islamic theology/ethics and anthropology – be brought into a productive dialogue and conversation? We welcome presentations that discuss empirical research or theoretical reflections. Presentations of findings, work in progress and think pieces are all welcome.

Keynote: Mohammed Hashas (LUISS University of Rome)

Roundtable: Samuli Schielke (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Martijn de Koning (Radboud University Nijmegen), Mieke Groeninck (KU Leuven; Odisee University College), Merve Reyhan Kayikci (KADOC- KU Leuven)

Please send your abstracts (250 words) and short biography (100 words) to & before May 7th, 2023. Feel free to address us with any questions. Decision notifications will be sent at latest by May 14th 2023.

Convenors: An Van Raemdonck & Iman Lechkar




Download the full program here: program + abstracts

PART 1 Anthropology’s encounters with Islamic ethics/theology (Eng.)

9.30 Welcome and introduction

9.45 – 11.15 Roundtable 1 with Samuli Schielke (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Martijn de Koning (Radboud University Nijmegen), Mieke Groeninck (KU Leuven; Odisee University College), Merve Reyhan Kayikci (KADOC- KU Leuven)

11.15 – 11.30 Coffee

11.30 – 12.45 Panel 1  Amin El Yousfi (Cambridge University), Hakan Çoruh (Charles Sturt University), Shajeem Muhammed Fazal Pallikkara Veettil (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research), Derya Iner (Charles Sturt University).

12.45 – 14.00 Lunch break

PART 2 The role of Islamic ethics in the lives of Muslims in Europe (Eng/NL)*

14.00 – 15.00 Keynote Mohamed Hashas “On Islamic thick and thin ethics and the challenge of modern pluralism”

15.00 – 16.00 Panel 2 Paper presentations: Noor Zehra Zaidi (UMBC), Erin Atwell (University of Chicago), Dominik Müller(Freiburg University), Kim Lecoyer (Odisee University College).

16.00 – 16.15 Coffee

16.15 – 18.00 Roundtable 2 (NL) with Muslim civil society organisations “The role of Islamic ethics in everyday life”

With Cindy Raes (Al Minara), Kautar Oulad El Haj (Netwerk Islamexperten), Amal Miri (FMV/Antwerp University), Yasmina Akhandaf (Green Deen) en Hilmi Lazhar (Arteveldehogeschool).

18.00 – 20.00 Reception

*Live translation English/Dutch will be provided. 

This event is free and all are welcome to attend!

Please register here:

For questions or more information, please contact An Van Raemdonck,

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