Keynote Speakers – Københavns Universitet

Professor Ratna Kapur

"Bodies that Matter"
- Precarious Subjects, Human Rights, and Moving Beyond Cologne.

Friday 29th of April 09.30 – 10.45
Location: Building 35, auditorium 35.01.05

In this talk Professor Kapur analyses how precarious subjects get taken up and circulated in discourses that construct specific bodies as well as our responses to them within human rights advocacy. Her lecture is situated within the context of the assaults on women in Cologne, the current refugee crisis that has swept across Europe and the current grip of fear of the "other" on the continent in light of recent terrorist attacks.. The responses  to these events make evident how some subjects can be constructed simultaneously as an  "ass groper," victim and jihadist, rendering interminable their situation of precariousness. 

Kapur argues that precarious subjects are addressed in human rights within and against already existing racial, cultural, sexual, and civilisational differences that establish a hierarchy of who counts/does not count as “human” - of which bodies matter and which do not.  She examines how bodies are managed, regulated, and governed in relation to gender, alterity and sexuality, quite specifically in the context of the sex worker, the veiled woman, and the homosexual.  

Central to Kapur’s analysis is how the colonial imaginary in relation to “other” bodies continues to inform human rights advocacy in the postcolonial present and how such interventions obviate the possibility of human rights being a radically transformative project as well as limited in their ability to liberate precarious subjects. 

Publications Related to the Lecture:

  • Kapur, Ratna: “Precarious Desires, Postcolonial Justice and the Epistemic Fishbowl of Human Rights”  in: London Review of International Law, 2015, vol. 3, no. 2. Pp. 267 
  • Kapur, Ratna: “Brutalized Bodies and Sexy Dressing on the Indian Street” in Sign: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2014, vol. 24, no. 2. Pp 9-14
  • Kapur, Ratna: “Unruly Desires: Gay Governance and the Makeover of Sexuality in Postcolonial India”, in Nikita Dhawan, Antke Engel, Christophe, HE.Holzhey, Volker Wotersdorffl, (eds.) Global Justice and Desire: Queering Economy. Taylor and Francis, 2015. Pp. 115-132  
  • Kapur, Ratna: “Gender, Sovereignty, and the Rise of a Sexual Security Regime in International Law and Postcolonial India”, in: Melbourne Journal of International Law 2014, vol. 14, no. 2. Pp. 1-26
  • Kapur, Ratna: “The Tragedy of Victimization Rhetoric: Implications for International Women’s Rights and Post-Colonial Feminist Legal Politics”, in Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, vol. 15. Pp. 1   

Professor Leslie McCall

Quantitative and Big Data Approaches to the Study of Intersectionality

Friday 29th of April 15.15 – 16.30
Location: Building 35, auditorium 35.01.05

Scholarly research is becoming more specialized by the day, but research on intersectionality almost by definition requires a big picture perspective, merging separate literatures on multiple dimensions of difference and inequality. Likewise, the data and methodological requirements involved in conducting research on multidimensional topics are formidable. Yet, at the same time, these developments enable increasingly complex analyses. Given this context, I argue for an approach that is gradual, building upon single dimensional studies to eventually arrive at a more complex intersectional analysis. I provide examples from several recent and ongoing research projects, including one that is testing new computer-assisted content analysis programs for the coding of big data. 

Publications Related to the Lecture:

  • McCall, Leslie; Cho, Sumi and Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams: “Toward a Field of Intersectionality Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis” in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2013, vol. 38, no. 4
  • McCall, Leslie and Clarke, Averil Y.: “Intersectionality and Social Explanation in Social Science Research” in Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 2013, vol. 10, no. 2

Associate Professor Andrea White

Friday 29th of April 15.15 – 16.30
Location: Building 35, auditorium 35.01.05

Professor Andrea White specializes in constructive Christian theology, especially womanist theology and postmodern religious thought with research interests in theologies of otherness, doctrine of God, theological anthropology, and the relationship between philosophy and theology.

Womanism derives from the afro-american ‘black theology’ - a theology which contextualizes Christianity in an attempt to help African Americans overcome oppression. Womanism  is a liberation theological critique of white feminism.

White is a recipient of the Lilly Theological Research Faculty Fellowship from The Association of Theological Schools and The Louisville Institute Book Grant for Minority Scholars, both awarded for her research culminating in the forthcoming volume The Scandal of Flesh: Black Women’s Bodies and God Politics (Palgrave Macmillan).