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Vital Conjunctures: Gender in Times of Uncertainty

Call for Registration | Friday, 06 March 2015 
Date: Friday, 06 March 2015  - Saturday, 07 March 2015
Location: Mercure Hotel am Johannisplatz | Stephanstraße 6 | 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Organization: DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa" (Germany)
DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261): "Critical Junctures of Globalization" (Germany)
Cooperation: Graduate School "Global and Area Studies" at the Research Academy Leipzig (Germany)
Centre for Area Studies (U Leipzig, Germany)
Language: English/German
Information: 
Contact: Lena.Dallywater@uni-leipzig.de
info@spp1448.de

Summary:
DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa" and the DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261): "Critical Junctures of Globalization" organize a workshop on making and un-making genders and the influencing concepts. The social construction and practice of gender is usually associated with the idea that there is a sequence of life stages corresponding to determined pattern of changing gendered social status. The notion of “vital conjunctures” questions this idea and proposes instead a concept of status based on the interplay between aspirations and institutions.

We are pleased to announce the speakers Jennifer Johnson-Hanks (UC Berkeley, USA), Petra Dannecker (U Vienna, Austria), Gudrun Lachenmann (U Bielefeld, Germany), Erdmute Alber (U Bayreuth, Germany), and Anna Amelina (U Frankfurt, Germany) who will discuss aspects of gender with a special focus on Africa, as well as on migration contexts encompassing various regions.

For further information please contact Lena Dallywater: Lena.Dallywater@uni-leipzig.de

 


Abstract:
The social construction and practice of gender is usually associated with the idea that there is a sequence of life stages corresponding to a relatively stable, culturally determined pattern of changing gendered social status. The notion of “vital conjunctures” questions this idea and proposes instead a concept of status based on the interplay between aspirations and institutions, shaping “the moments when seemingly established futures are called into question and when actors are called on to manage durations of radical uncertainty” (Johnson-Hanks 200: 878).

We argue that this concept helps to understand the making (and un-making) of gender and that it provides a fruitful approach not only to a conceptual de-construction gendered differences but also to imagining new practical ways of un-making gendered inequalities. During the workshop we want to discuss how social transformation and reproduction are interlinked in times of uncertainty and crisis. We will combine a regional focus on Africa with a thematic focus on gender, mobility and migrations in order to address the gendered dimensions of various issues of great topicality – namely citizenship, social security and support, as well as modes of cultural and religious belonging. During a roundtable at the end of the workshop the significance of academic research on these topics for current public debates will also be addressed.

The workshop aims at provoking reflections on and stimulating debates about gendered positioning, both among and between junior researchers who are at the beginning of their careers, and senior researchers who have long standing experience and scholarly expertise in dealing with this problematic. While the invited speakers come from different disciplines and represent a variety of career paths they have all developed innovative approaches to the study of gendered inequalities. Their respective intellectual trajectories as well as the different concepts and approaches discussed during the workshop provide upcoming social scientists with tools to reflect on their own positioning. At the same time, the encounter with established international scholars offers opportunities for networking and initiating future collaborations.