The Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies in cooperation with the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University organises the seventeenth round of the DOING GENDER Lecture Series. These lectures stress the importance of doing gender work combined with an active involvement in the practice of gender theory and research. The concept of DOING GENDER supports a hands-on approach to gender issues in the sense of social and political engagement with the new forms of gender inequalities that are taking shape in the world today. The lecture series wants to give space to the new generations of gender theorists and practitioners and to perspectives that innovate the field and do gender in new ways. Key is the notion of doing gender: what is the state of the art definition of gender? How do contemporary scholars and activists utilise this definition?

On Thursday May 18, 2017, Professor Roderick Ferguson and Dr Rahul Rao will give a Doing Gender Lecture (dialogue) on ‘The Return of Marxism in Queer Theory: Queer of Color Perspectives’

Roderick A. Ferguson, ‘Queer of Color Critique and the Engagement with Western Marxism’

 This presentation will address the effort to fashion queer of color critique as a different version of historical materialism. In this sense, queer of color critique both located itself within historical materialism and attempted to reshape historical materialism, making what Althusser described as “the science of social formation” into an intersectional analysis of race, gender, sexuality, and political economy. As such, queer of color critique would be presented as both an engagement with and an eschewal of Western Marxism. The talk will attempt to demonstrate this intent by revisiting Aberrations in Black and publications by other authors and critics who have helped to produce a materialist shift in the field of queer studies.

Rahul Rao, ‘Queer in the Time of Homocapitalism’

In recent years, leading institutions of global capitalism have begun to take activist stances against homophobia. For example, in response to Uganda’s passage of an Anti Homosexuality Act, the World Bank withheld a $90 million loan that was due to have been disbursed to the country. Like a number of multinational corporations, the Bank has also become invested in quantifying the “economic cost” of homophobia so as to make a “business case” for LGBT rights. Why have these institutions begun to inveigh against homophobia and why have they done so now? What are the terms on which the figure of the queer has come to be embraced as an object of concern by the global development industry and as a potential “stakeholder” by the business world? What understandings of “homophobia” underpin the putative “business case” against it? In addressing these questions, I shall attempt to offer a political economy of “homophobia” as it expresses itself in contemporary Uganda; in doing so, I hope to make visible the implication of the Bank in the production of the very affects that it now purports to oppose.

Roderick A. Ferguson is the co-director of the Racialized Body research cluster at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Prior to his appointment there, he was professor of race and critical theory in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, serving as chair of the department from 2009 to 2012. He is the author of Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004) and The Reorder of Things: The University and its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (2012).

Rahul Rao is senior lecturer in politics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS University of London. His work concerns international relations theory, the international relations of South Asia, comparative political thought, and gender and sexuality. He is the author of Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (2010) and is currently working on a book project on queer postcolonial temporality.

Doing Gender Lecture details:

Thursday May 18, 2017, Prof. Roderick A. Ferguson (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) and Dr. Rahul Rao (SOAS University London, UK)

  • Lecture (dialogue): The Return of Marxism in Queer Theory: Queer of Color Perspectives
  • Time: 11.00 – 12.30 hrs
  • Location: Drift 25, room 1.02
  • Chair: Rosemarie Buikema & Gianmaria Colpani

The Doing Gender Lecture Series takes place in Utrecht and is free of charge.
Registration is compulsory:

Upcoming Doing Gender Lectures:
 – Prof. Lynne Huffer (Emory University, USA): Tuesday June 13, 2017