Thema : fem*
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Mittwoch, 6. Juni 2018 - 18:00

Doing Feminism and Gender Studies in Dark Times

Ayşe-Gül Altinay

"Even in the darkest of mes we have the right to expect some illumination, and that such illumination may come less from theories and concepts than from the uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women, in their lives and works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time span that was given them on earth." (Hannah Arendt) In conversation with Hannah Arendt's discussion of the "dark times," this talk will present a critical reflection of the possibilities and challenges of doing feminism and gender studies in Turkey today. "The time span given us on earth" is shaped by deeply destructive forces, the consequences of which range from climate change to wars, from poverty and precarious living to racist and (hetero)sexist violence. Yet, it is also a time span in which we are witnessing major transformations, especially in relation to conventions on gender and sexuality. Contemporary Turkey marks a place where both the most destructive forces and the most transformative ones find strong expression. The talk will reflect on the challenges of doing feminism and gender studies in Turkey today and ask two further questions: Where do we see the "illumination"? Why is it important, theoretically and politically, to "see" the illumination?

AYŞE GÜL ALTINAY is the Director of SU Gender (Sabancı University Gender and Women's Studies Center of Excellence) and Associate Professor of Anthropology teaching in the Gender Studies Ph.D and Cultural Studies BA and MA Programs at Sabancı University. Her research and writing have focused on militarism, memory, violence, gender and sexuality. Her co-authored book with Yeşim Arat, Türkiye'de Kadına Yönelik şiddet (Violence Against Women in Turkey) was awarded the 2008 PEN Duygu Asena Award. Since 2009, she has served as Associate Editor in the European Journal of Women's Studies and was the Marie Jahoda Visiting Chair in Gender Studies at Ruhr University in 2012.

This lecture is part of the Cornelia Goethe Colloquium in 2018.