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February 28 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Feminist Seminar: February 28, 2018 (Wed) 2-4pm (Please note the date change from Feb 21 to Feb 28, due to the reading week)
Authors: Anna C. Korteweg (U of Toronto) and Gökçe Yurdakul (Humboldt University)
Title: Feminism and LGBTQ Rights in Refugee Politics: Drawing Boundaries and Borders through the Gendered Racialization of Muslim Masculinities
Discussant: Robert Diaz (Gender and Women’s Studies Institute, U of Toronto)
Abstract. Feminist and LGBTQ rights are increasingly co-opted in public and political debates regarding the inclusion of refugees into receiving nation-states. Public and political debates following two events in 2015 illustrate this trend. In Canada, the government decided to place single Syrian men at the bottom of the admissible to-be-resettled refugee list, after “complete” families, women, children, and LGBTQ refugees when it adopted a plan to increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees in November 2015. In Cologne, Germany, refugee men were accused of sexually assaulting a large number of women on New Year’s Eve. Refugees’ race, religion and gender are central to the way they are framed in resulting public and political debates. Drawing on intersectionality and homonationalism, this paper analyzes newspapers, parliamentary debates and policy documents asking how actors mobilize feminist and LGBTQ rights to produce the borders and boundaries of the nation-state. In the end, these mobilizations largely exclude Muslims from national belonging while enforcing territorial borders through drawing national boundaries based on support for the rights of women and LGBTQ’s.
Notes from Anna: This a paper that Gökçe and I have been writing for a while, a continuation of our work to understand the uses of equality frameworks to non-liberatory ends. I hope we can use this paper to discuss how we as sociologists & gender/sexuality scholars, broadly defined, approach conflicts over the meaning of freedom and liberation and the process by which to arrive at a more equitable distribution of resources and structurally supported expressions of varied subjectivities.