Intersectionality and the Spaces of Belonging,
28-29 June 2012
Main Arts, Bangor University, UK
Current debates on nation, gender, sexuality and religion often draw on the concept of ‘intersectionality’ to understand how these and other categories of identity relate to each other. Hence who we are, and what we belong to, is both multifaceted and contradictory.
Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis, Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London, UK
Nira Yuval-Davis will speak on the subject of her recent book, The Politics of Belonging. Intersectional Contestations.
Prof. Jie-Hyun Lim, Director of the Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea/ Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (due to illness this keynote will be given via videolink)
Prof. Jie-Hyun Lim will speak on his current research project, 'A transnational history of victimhood nationalism: national mourning and global accountability'.
Dr Gurminder K. Bhambra, Director of the Social Theory Centre, University of Warwick, UK
Gurminder K. Bhambra will speak on her current research on early African-American sociologists and their conceptions of identity, inequality, and social theory.
Current debates on gender, nation, sexuality, religion and other categories of social divisions and belonging often address the relations between these categories with the term 'intersectionality': intersecting in an infinite variety of ways, each of these categories helps construct all the others. What we are, what we suffer, what we belong to, or what we long to be, is multifaceted and contradictory. Our longings, or aversions, are related to our belongings in complicated and ambiguous ways, and what social group or category we belong to does not determine our political or cultural values, goals or dreams. And yet: the former inform the latter, if only to the extent that we do not wish to remain tomorrow what we are today. Nor do our positionings, situatedness and belongings simply add up to an 'identity' (being one way and not other) – as if my hold of 'ethnicity no. 7' plus 'gender no. 2' plus 'citizenship in state no. 11' etcetera could ever equate to exactly what 'I am': 'citizenship in state no. 11' does not mean the same depending on whether I am of this or that sex, or sexuality, or age, or ethnicity. These intersections complicate, perhaps thwart, any efforts to ground the cultural and political projects, coalitions, emancipation that we long for in the spaces (physical, virtual, rhetorical) we belong to.
The conference is sponsored by the Belonging and Ethnicity Research Group (BERG), the Bangor University School of Social Sciences, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD), the British Sociological Association Theory Study Group and the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging, University of East London, UK.
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