ResistanceS to gender EQUALITY (28 & 29 September 2015)


This yearly interdisciplinary intensive course provides Doctoral and advanced Master students in the human and social sciences with in-depth and advanced training in gender+ studies, next to general scholarly skills such as reading, writing, discussing and presenting. The course is not limited to issues of gender alone, but aims to attract students broadly interested in diversity, epistemology and questions of (in)equality and power in society, culture and politics from a critical research perspective. Central to the course seminars are the key concepts, theories and methodologies for research in gender studies as an interdisciplinary field, yet which are also relevant for other critical research.

Each year the course has a specific focus, drawing on different debates and course material, which allows students who previously followed the course to re-register. This year, 28 & 29 september 2015, the event will take place in Antwerp. 


This year’s topic is resistances to (gender) equality, what form they can take, and how to approach and study them. Resistance is deliberately put in plural, gender between brackets. We would like to take a broad approach to what resistance can mean when thinking of gender equality, but also equality more broadly speaking. We often think of actors opposed to some policy initiative or issue at stake and how they organize. Translating this to gender equality would mean ‘conservative’ forces being opposed to ‘progressive – left wing’ feminist suggestions, such as the current rise in mobilization against abortion rights. But resistance can take many forms and is not only an issue of looking into actors. Social practices, norms, laws, mores, discourses, etc. can be looked at. Resistance is also not unidimensional. What is resistance and who resists very much depend on the angle one takes. Therefore, the question is rather who resists what? For instance, there are different feminist approaches to equality, and there is a broad range of perspectives such as queer studies, men’s studies, transgender studies, ethnic and cultural studies, which may all take a different stance, all of which may contain elements of opposition and resistance towards one another. This two day course therefore would like to look into the issue of resistance to gender equality, or to equality more broadly speaking, from a plurality of perspectives.


Two days of lectures and master classes. Students attend all morning sessions and prepare reading assignments. All students choose for each day one of the parallel masterclasses which are organized in the afternoon. Students present their own research in one of the master classes and (try to) relate it to the topic of the course.


This seminar is an interuniversity initiative organized by the Universiteit Antwerpen (Henk de Smaele, Petra Meier), Universiteit Gent (Julie Carlier, Chia Longman), and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Karen Celis, Gily Coene)

in cooperation with the Antwerp Doctoral School, University of Antwerp, and Sophia, the Belgian Network on Gender Studies.

and with support from