Interviews conducted at the Conference by Soumita Basu

On Feminist Activism

Bernedette Muthien, Director and Project Leader of Engender, Cape Town 

On the "Arab Spring"

Galia Golan, Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Current Issues

Bernedette Muthien                                                                                                           

Current Issues

Galia Golan

1st Annual Conference

August 2-4, 2012, 

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa 

Leaving the Camp – Gender Analysis Across Real and Perceived Divides

Link to Final Program.

The nature and quality of the insider-outsider feminist conversations with and about International Relations (IR) has captured the attention of many scholarly debates. However, it remains questionable as to whether the opening up of conversational spaces between Feminist IR and mainstream IR, and the perceived voice which may have been won, have indeed facilitated a questioning of IR’s traditional roots. Similarly, in a fast-changing world where rhetoric and reality are conflated in the discourse of interconnectedness, so-called divides between feminist academics and gender policy makers are taken as a given and hence, sometimes become weakly conceptualised and under-theorised. 

Against the backdrop of this brief outline of the problem, the conference seeks to bring scholars and practitioners together to critically consider the implications of erecting epistemological and empirical fences, and to explore ways in which gender analysis as it intersects with the analysis of other identities such as race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation may be used to challenge preconceived ideas about camps, silos and borders. Perhaps answers are to be found in the shared assumptions of, for instance, feminist, queer and postcolonial activism and/or studying of global politics. ‘Gender’ as the dominant category of analysis for ‘borders work’ could therefore also be contested. 

Sub-themes include the following: 

  • Theorising the idea of borders and divides – myths and realities 
  • Gender across the policy/donor/practitioner/academy divide 
  • Gender across geographical divides (gendering transnational spaces) 
  • Gender across institutional divides (gendering international organisation(s)) 
  • Gender across feminist divides 
  • Gender across disciplinary and trans-disciplinary divides