Today, tens of millions of people are refugees, raising fundamental challenges for governments around the world. The definition of a refugee, as enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, is someone who ‘is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’ But this definition has been regularly challenged over the past 60 years and is under constant review by academics, governments and humanitarian agencies. Many forcibly displaced people around the world do not easily fit within this formal category.
The conference takes a critical approach to questioning normative understandings and addressing empirical puzzles regarding how refugees and international refugee advocacy networks mobilize international and national law and policies to offer new understandings of refugee protection and vulnerabilities. All research seeking to deepen understandings regarding how national institutions define, mediate and respond to refugee legal concerns in crisis will be taken into consideration. In addition to the contemporary refugee crises, historical case studies will be an important part of the event.
Scholars from different fields such as political science, history, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, urban studies, architecture, literature, poetry, art history, life sciences and other fields are welcome to propose their interdisciplinary work at the conference.
How do gender, race, class, sexuality and age contribute to the formation of social identities? What role do ensuing power differences between these factors play in our globalized and mediatized world? What measures have been taken, in the past and the present, in order to prevent discrimination and exclusion? And how do academic, cultural, artistic, journalistic, and policy-making institutions respond to these societal challenges?
Emancipation, the recognition of differences, and awareness of intersections of gender with other factors of identity-making (class, race, age, sexuality, etc.) are crucial tools in analyzing social and cultural relations in today’s postcolonial and post-secular societies.
The conference explores the ways that femininity and masculinity affect an individual’s thought process. This is relevant in a variety of realms, such as social organizations and institutions, interpersonal relationships, and understandings of identity and sexuality.
Power will also be explored as it relates to gender and other forms of identity, including sexuality, race, class, religion, and nationality as encompasses interdisciplinary fields, which include exploration of the histories and experiences of diverse women and men as well as studies of sexualities, masculinities, femininities, and gender systems in society. The conference will also welcome studies that analyze how gender plays out in politics, intimate life, culture, the workplace, athletics, technology, health, science, and in the very production of knowledge itself.
The relationship between gender and society historically and cross-culturally, and the changes now occurring in the roles of women and men, the participation of women in the major institutions of society, and women themselves are among the topics to be included. Historical, contemporary, and transnational analyses of how gender and sexual formations arise in different contexts such as colonialism, nationalism, and globalization can be mentioned as important points of discussion.
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