The Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies organises the DOING GENDER Lecture Series in cooperation with her partners. 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, March 22, Dr. Sarah Bracke (University of Amsterdam) will give the Doing Gender Lecture entitled Demographic Anxieties, Coloniality, and the Race/Reproduction Bind in Replacement Conspiracy Theories

Lecture: Demographic Anxieties, Coloniality, and the Race/Reproduction Bind in Replacement Conspiracy Theories. 

Replacement conspiracy theories are on the rise, yet again: from Eurabia fantasies to Renaud Camus’ theory of Le grand replacement, white supremacist discourses are thriving and increasingly broadcasting in mainstream venues. In various European countries we have witnessed the electoral successes of political parties propagating replacement thinking, such as Wilders’ PVV in the Netherlands with its attachment to conspirational theories of omvolking. This conspirational thinking revolves around imaginaries and discourses centered on the idea that the national population is under threat of being “overtaken” or even “wiped out” by those considered as “alien” to the nation and that this is the result of concerted efforts by purported “elites” (Jews, multiculturalists, feminists, globalists, etc.…). In this lecture, I explore two dimensions of replacement thinking and their intersections. First, the coloniality of replacement thinking, through situating replacement anxieties in histories, practices, and social-psychic realities of European colonialism and its afterlives. Second, the gendered and sexualized dimensions of replacement thinking, through considering the recent pushback against reproductive rights through the lens of replacement discourse, in order to explore what Weinbaum (2014) calls the race/reproduction bind. To investigate this ideological constellation which often works in concealed ways, I consider both a recent instance in which this bind took centre-stage, namely when the overruling of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court was hailed as a “victory for white life” at a MAGA political event, as well as an influential fiction story of our times that revolves round this race/reproduction bind, namely Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Even when this bind is foundational to the original novel, the analysis shows, it is pushed out of sight in the iconic television series. To better understand contemporary replacement discourse and its perils, I conclude, we need to render both the coloniality as well as the race/reproduction bind of this discourse more visible.

Sarah Bracke is Professor of Sociology of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Amsterdam. She is trained in Sociology, Philosophy, and Gender Studies, and obtained her PhD in Women’s Studies from Utrecht University. She has worked on the question of agency and subjectivity in women’s involvement in pious Christian and Islamic movements in Europe, followed by various investigations of secular governmentality in the context of discourses and practices of ‘multiculturalism’ in Europe, focusing on the centrality of gender and sexuality in this governmentality. She is the principal investigator of a research project EnGendering Europe’s ‘Muslim Question’, funded by the Dutch Research Council, which explores the systematic ways in which Muslims in Europe are problematized, including the bio- and necropolitics of such problematization. This research led to an investigation into population replacement conspiracy thinking, which resulted into the volume The Politics of Replacement. Demographic Fears, Conspiracy Theories, and Race Wars, edited together with Luis Manuel Hernández Aguilar (2024, Routledge).

Details lecture:

Doing Gender Lecture by Dr. Sarah Bracke
Friday March 22, 2024

Lecture: Demographic Anxieties, Coloniality, and the Race/Reproduction Bind in Replacement Conspiracy Theories.
Time: 15.00 – 17.00 hrs.
Location: Janskerkhof 2-3, 0.19 (this room is wheelchair accessible through the back entrance. Please contact to make further arrangements.)
Chair: Dr. Eva Midden
Reading: Bracke, S. and Hernández Aguilar, L.M. (2020) ‘“They love death as we love life”: The “Muslim Question” and the biopolitics of replacement.’ In: British Journal of Sociology 71.4: pp. 680–701.