Susan Stanford FriedmanIn the spring of 2015 the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies in cooperation with the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University organises the fourteenth 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 Friday January 23, 2015 Professor Susan Stanford Friedman will give a Doing Gender Lecture on Religion, Secularism, and Migration in the Post 9/11 World: Feminist Intersectionality.
In the lecture prof. Friedman will argue that consideration of gender, citizenship, and human rights in the context of late 20th and early 20th century migration requires sustained attention to religion and secularism and the dismantling of such binaries as the West/secularism/modernity/progressivism versus the Rest/religion/traditionalism/backwardness. Religion and secularism are entangled phenomenon throughout the world and through history. The concept of feminist “intersectionality” has largely neglected the interactions of religion with other constituents of identity such as race, class, national origin, sexuality, disability, and caste. Heightened global migrations in the 21st century often involve conflicts over religion and secularism. The lecture will offer new ways of understanding feminist intersectionality in the context of Muslim migrations into Europe and North America and the difficult issues of integration, assimilation, cultural retention, and diasporic identification. At stake is a concept of cultural as well as legal citizenship, one based on cosmopolitan forms of pluralism rather than dogmatic forms of religion or secularism. Possible examples to be discussed include A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (Palestinian/Egyptian/American), The Translator by Leila Aboulela (Sudanese/Scottish/Qatari), The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak (Turkey), and The Girl with the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf (Syrian/American).

Background reading:

  • “Religion, Intersectionality, and Queer/Feminist Narrative Theory,” forthcoming in Narrative Theory Unbound, ed. Robyn Warhol and Susan Lanser. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2015. 101-22.
  • “Cosmopolitanism, Religion, Secularism, and Migration.” Unpublished paper, related to work in progress tentatively entitled Sisters of Scheherazade: Religion, Diaspora, and Muslim Women’s Writing.

Susan Stanford Friedman has published over eighty articles and book chapters on modernism, migration/diaspora, world literatures in English, narrative theory, feminist theory and pedagogy, narrative theory, women’s poetry, modernism, autobiography, psychoanalysis, globalization and geopolitics, and identity; on writers such as H.D., Freud, Virginia Woolf, Julia Kristeva, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Adrienne Rich, James Joyce, Gloria Anzaldúa, Rabindranath Tagore, Arundhati Roy, Fatima Mernissi, Azar Nafisi, and Leila Aboulela. She has guest-edited special issues of Contemporary Literature and Journal of Narrative Technique and co-founded and edited Contemporary Women’s Writing (2007-12), a prize-winning Oxford UP journal.

Lecture details:

  • Friday January 23, 2015: Prof. Susan Stanford Friedman (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
  • Lecture: Religion, Secularism, and Migration in the Post 9/11 World: Feminist Intersectionality
  • Time: 09.45 – 11.45 hrs
  • Location: Utrecht, Academy Building, Kanunnikkenzaal (Achter de Dom 7)
  • Chair: Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Buikema

The Doing Gender Lecture Series (flyer) takes place in Utrecht and is free of charge. Registration is not compulsory, but highly appreciated: or 030 – 253 6001.