Lecture: ‘Carrying as a Feminist Method’
by Nirmal Puwar’ – Dec 3, 2015

RHEA Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity & Intersectionality
is pleased to present

The First Annual Machteld de Metsenaere Lecture

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 5-7 pm
Promotiezaal (Campus Etterbeek, room D.2.01 in building D)

Carrying as a Feminist Method
by Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmith College)

The body has a memory, and embodied sensibilities shape our research in ways that we yet have to fully understand. This paper unpacks the notion of “carrying” as an embodied set of experiences and influences that bear upon us in the selection or avoidance of research matters. This discussion considers the informative and affective properties of sensibilities that touch our research directions. It is well recognised that we acquire and carry a body of books for company. What is not so easily acknowledged is the small incidents that stay with us and which often unknowingly offer anchorage to our points of attention. Commonly we carry a set of aesthetics which we struggle to give legitimacy. Most often the risks of anthropological romanticism or scientific reductionism constrain our attempts to work with different ways of being, seeing and feeling. This lecture considers the example of Giddha (Punjabi song and dance between women) that provides an instance of embodied transnational carrying of stories, voice and humour. This however is not an exercise in museum preservation or a politics of salvation.

Nirmal Puwar is Reader in Sociology and Co-Director of Methods Lab at Goldsmith College, University of London. Her work explores postcolonialism, institutions, race and gender, and critical methodologies. She is author of the book Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies out of place (2004) and co-editor of eighteen collections, including: Live Methods; Intimacy in Research; Post-colonial Bourdieu; Fashion and Orientalism and South Asian Women in the Diaspora. She is co-convenor of the Race Forum of the British Sociological Association. In her recent work she has collaboratively worked on a number of projects involved with inventive and public methods.

RSVP is not necessary but appreciated: sarah.bracke@vub.ac.be

Rhea logo 2015

Seminar: Ethical Issues in Research and Teaching on Historically Disadvantaged Groups
October 8, 2015

The VPW working group on Diversity & Equality, in collaboration with the VUB Doctoral School in Humanities, warmly invites you to an inter-university seminar on Ethical Issues in Research and Teaching on Historically Disadvantaged Groups.

This interdisciplinary seminar builds from the recent practice of establishing ethical committees in the humanities to reflect on ethical concerns in research and teaching on historically disadvantaged groups (such as women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI groups, etc…).

The seminar will provide theoretical reflections on the meaning of research ethics and social scientists’ moral responsibilities towards the groups they research and present as subjects of study in their classroom teaching. For instance, do social scientists have a specific emancipatory duty to perform? Should they help overcome taboos? Or, should their ethical responsibilities be limited to the ‘do no harm’ principle? How to transfer scientific knowledge on historically disadvantaged groups to students? Which role can or should a lecturer’s social identity play in teaching? And how do lecturers create a safe learning environment?

The invited speakers will also provide hands-on advice on how to deal with, among others, issues of asymmetrical power relations, disclosure of research objectives to participants, protection of participants’ anonymity, and participants’ safety.

Date and venue

The seminar will take place on Thursday October 8 2015, 9h30-16h, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Guest speakers

Guest speakers are Soumia Akachar (VUB), Jenneke Christiaens (VUB), Liesbeth De Donder (VUB), Henk de Smaele (UA), Dimo Kavadias (VUB), Petra Meier (UA), Eline Severs (VUB/UA), Thomas Swerts (KULeuven/UA), Alison Woodward (VUB) and Sami Zemni (UGent).

Detailed information

Detailed information on the programme and the speakers can be found here in pdf.


Participation is free but registration is required. Please confirm your participation by sending an email to the organizers Silvia Erzeel (silvia.erzeel@uclouvain.be) and Eline Severs (eline.severs@vub.ac.be) before October 2nd 2015.

We hope to see many of you there!

Convenors of the VPW Working Group on Diversity and Equality


Seminar: ‘Gender and work-life balance’ – UHasselt: April 23rd, 2015

Gender and work-life balance are hot topics in the academic community. Three experts will discuss these topics from various points of view, followed by a debate in which the audience is also invited to participate.


  • 9.30 – 10.15: Patrizia Zanoni (Hasselt): Gendered academic careers: Insights from a qualitative study at Hasselt University
  • 10.15 – 11.00: Conny Aerts (KU Leuven): An astromama to bear witness and some recent gender actions towards research organisations, young scientists, and schools
  • 11.00 – 11.30: Coffee break
  • 11.30 – 12.15: Susanne Burri (Universiteit Utrecht): EU legislation and case law on positive action measures: limits and potentials
  • 12.15 – 13.00: Panel discussion with Patrizia Zanoni (UHasselt), Conny Aerts (KU Leuven), Susanne Burri (Universiteit Utrecht) and Marie-Paule Jacobs (administrator UHasselt), moderated by Greet Op de Beeck.

Participation is for free but registration is mandatory.

More information? 
Ilse Van Damme – e-mail: ilse.vandamme@uhasselt.be

Doctoral School of Behavioral Sciences & Humanities

Symposium: Sexual health: (narrative) approaches in research and interventions – Antwerp, April 23rd

What: A symposium supported by the international researcher exchange project HealthNar (http://healthnar.ruhosting.nl), the IWT SBO-project Amica (www.amicaproject.be), and the Health Communication Division of NeFCA (www.nefca.eu).


Where: University of Antwerp, City Campus, Hof van Liere, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/campus-life/on-your-way-to-campus/stadscampus–campus-/-)

When: Thursday, April 23rd, 9am – 4 pm, followed by a drink



9 a.m.: Coffee and welcome

9.30 – 10.50: SESSION ONE

  • “Sexualization in and by children’s media: the content, use and impact of sexualizing messages among preteens” (Annebeth Bels, University of Antwerp & Ann Rousseau, K.U.Leuven)
  • “Narrative representations of unwanted sexual experiences among young people: Findings from a mixed-method approach” (John de Wit, University of New South Wales, Sydney)

10.50 – 11.20: COFFEE BREAK

11.20 – 12.40: SESSION TWO

  • “The use of storytelling by Sensoa.”  (Lies Verhetsel, Sensoa  – Flemish expertise centre for sexual health: www.sensoa.be)
  • “Policy impacts and the fears around children’s exposure to sexual content” (Lelia Green, Edith Cowan University, Perth)

12.40 – 14.00: LUNCH

14.00 – 16.00: SESSION THREE

  • “Online gender harassment: first findings and possible interventions” (Kathleen Van Royen, University of Antwerp)
  • “Mitigating the effect of online sexual narration on sexual risk taking: The Chat Smart Intervention” (Philippe Adam, University of New South Wales, Sydney).
  • “Sexual Health & the New Media – explaining our approach”(Udi Davidovich, Amsterdam Public Health Service & The University of Amsterdam)

16.30-17.30: DRINK





To register, please contact: Kathleen.Vanroyen@uantwerpen.be

‘Transgender Health Care in Europe’ Conference – Ghent 12-14 March 2015

The European Professional Association for Transgender Health (EPATH) is organising its first European Conference “Transgender Health Care in Europe” from 12th to 14th March 2015, in Ghent, Belgium.

We are very proud to host over 100 oral presentations, 39 poster presentations and 13 multidisciplinary workshops (which include training workshops). So far, over 250 participants have registered. We think this is a clear sign of a wide and strong interest in EPATH. The program book and registration info can be found on our website.

Please note that registration ends March 1, 2015.

On Thursday March 12th 2015, the EPATH conference will host a public plenary session entitled: “Human rights and health care in Europe”. Keynote speakers Annelou de Vries (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam), Petra De Sutter (Ghent University Hospital) and Richard Köhler (TGEU) will present actual challenges in the academic, clinical and policy domains of transgender health care. This session – open to the public free of charge – specifically invites NGO’s, public authorities and the general public interested in the topic of transgender health care.

Please find all information in the invitation in attach. We hope to welcome you in Ghent!

Kind regards,

The EPATH 2015 Local Conference Organising Committee, Guy T’Sjoen, Griet De Cuypere, Stan Monstrey, Guy Bronselaer, Walter Bouman, Annelou de Vries, Timo O. Nieder & Joz Motmans

Visit us at www.epath.eu

Follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/EuropeanPATH

Think We Must! 25 Years of Feminist Knowledge Production. The Big Debate
november 21, 2014

Sophia, the Belgian gender studies network, celebrates its 25th anniversary

sophiaThinkweMust14The perfect moment to reflect on the evolutions gender studies have undergone in Belgium and on what the future might hold in store.

Keynote speaker Maria Puig de la Bellacasa and our panel of feminist activists and researchers will discuss the challenges gender studies face, the possibilities for resistance within academia and the ways in which feminist activism and research can (still) go together. Sophia wants to highlight the connections between the women’s movement and gender studies scholars in creating feminist knowledge.

Keynote speaker
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (University of Leicester), author of Politiques féministes et construction des savoirs. “Penser nous devons!” and Matters of  Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds.

Annelies Decat (Interfederal Centre For Equal Opportunities)
Claire Lobet-Maris (UNamur)
Nadia Fadil (KULeuven)
Sara Maissin (Vrouwen Overleg Komittee)
Moderator: Annalisa Casini (ULB/UMons/Sophia)
The debate will be followed by a festive reception

Middaglijnstraat 10 rue du Méridien
1210 Brussels

Info & registration

CESPOL-VPW joint research seminar
‘Spaces of (non-citizen) citizenship: The liminal politics of undocumented activism’ | nov, 3 2014

The ‘Centre de science politique et de politique comparée’ of the Université catholique de Louvain and the VPW thematic group ‘Diversity and Equality’ invite you to a ‘CESPOL-VPW joint research seminar’ with Dr. Thomas Swerts (University of Chicago/Université de Liège).

Dr. Swerts will present his research on ‘Spaces of (non-citizen) citizenship: The liminal politics of undocumented activism’.

Since the turn of the century, urban scholars have argued that the city is the site par excellence for the emergence of new political subjects who are changing the face of citizenship. The mobilization of undocumented immigrants is often invoked as an example of this trend. What remains unclear, however, is how these precarious subjects, who are barred from institutional channels to voice their grievances and who have little access to resources, become political. Dr. Swerts will explain how the city operates as a vehicle for the politicization of undocumented immigrants. His study offers a theoretical understanding of ‘liminal politics’ that focuses on the symbolic and spatial practices whereby the undocumented, who find themselves between and betwixt statuses, enact and perform citizenship. Based on a multi-sited ethnography of undocumented activism in Chicago and Brussels, he shows how such a liminal politics relies on urban space in two ways: first, by its dependence on ‘safe spaces’ wherein the undocumented can (re-)imagine themselves as citizens and second, by its use of public space as a theatrical stage to express rights-claims. The study thus shows that urban space is a crucial incubator for relatively marginalized populations’ struggles over citizenship.

Thomas Swerts received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Previously, he received his MA in Political Science from the University of Leuven. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for Ethnic and Migration Studies at the University of Liège. In his work, he explores the modalities of non-citizen citizenship as an emerging social phenomenon. His research interests also include urban social movements, comparative migration politics and transnational advocacy networks.

The research seminar will take place on Monday November 3 2014 (12h45-14h).

Location: Université catholique de Louvain, Place Montesquieu 1, Leclercq building, room LECL290.

Participation is free, but registration is required (please send an email to silvia.erzeel@uclouvain.be).

With kind regards,
Silvia Erzeel, Conrad Meulewaeter, Eline Severs and Ferdinand Teuber







Lunch seminar – Gender aspects in the academic world | 19 September 2014

On Friday 19 September 2014 the Doctoral School of Behavioral Sciences and Humanities will organize a lunch seminar on the topic of Gender. For this seminar the Doctoral School invited Dr Alvaro Oliveira and Dr Hannelore Roos to talk about gender aspects in the academic world.

  11.00: Welcome
  11.10: Dr Alvaro Oliveira (legal officer European Commission) –
    “Women on Company Boards in Europe”
  12.00: Dr Hannelore Roos (UHasselt) –
    “Missing women on corporate boards: A socio-economic perspective”
  12.30: Questions
  13.00: Lunch

When? Friday 19 September 2014, 11.00 a.m.

Where? Universiteit Hasselt – Campus Hasselt, auditorium Louis Roppe, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt

Registration? Participation is for free but registration is obligatory before 15 September 2014.

Please register via:
For UHasselt member
For non-UHasselt member

More information? Jin Tsui – email: jin.tsui@uhasselt.be

New LGBT Publication “The relationship between childhood gender nonconformity and experiencing diverse types of homophobic violence. Journal of interpersonal violence” door D’haese, L., Dewaele, A., & Van Houtte, M. Lees meer >>

New LGBT Publication “The relationship between childhood gender nonconformity and experiencing diverse types of homophobic violence. Journal of interpersonal violence” by D’haese, L., Dewaele, A., & Van Houtte, M.  >> More

French LGBT translation “Le contexte de la violence homophobe dans l’espace public. Une recherche etnographique dans le centre de Bruxelles” by Huysentruyt, H., Dewaele, A., & Meier, P.  >> Download pdf