Wednesday, January 30, 2019
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute
111 Thayer St.
Registration is at capacity
This talk will chart the trajectories and dilemmas of Nadje Al-Ali as a feminist activist/academic to research, write and talk about gender based violence (GBV) with reference to the Middle East. More specifically, she will be drawing on research and activism in relation to Iraq, Turkey as well as Lebanon—to map the discursive, political and empirical challenges and complexities linked to scholarship and activism that is grounded in both feminist and anti racist/anti-Islamophobic politics.
The political and academic aim to challenge essentialized ideas of Middle Eastern exceptionalism and conflated notions of Muslim, Arab/Middle Eastern culture has clearly been an on-going and familiar motivation for many academics/activists researching and writing on women and gender issues. Maybe more controversially, Professor Al-Ali will reflect on what she describes as “[her] increasing discomfort with narratives about GBV that focus solely on the impact of external factors, mainly framed with reference to imperialism and neoliberalism, instead of recognizing not simply complicity, but pro-active involvement of various local and regional actors.” Drawing on her previous work on Iraq, and her more recent work on the Kurdish women's movement and queer feminist activism in Lebanon, she will share the dilemmas and tensions involved in a transnational feminist knowledge production and activism.