“Gender, Sexuality, and Knowledge Production in Current Neoliberal and Authoritarian Regimes”: Call for Contributions to the Series

Despite the apparent crisis of neoliberal capitalism, public policies, institutions, and practices that have been described as ‘neoliberal’ remain dominant across the globe. ‘Market necessities’ are regularly invoked to marginalize, discipline, and control dissenting social groups and oppositional politics (Bruff/Tansel 2019). Rightwing populist movements feed on the popular resentment of neoliberal globalization, but also empower authoritarian rulers who continue to enact very similar sets of policies. Looking at this, numerous scholars refer to conceptual and structural links rather than a conflictual and dichotomous relationship between neoliberalism and authoritarianism (Biebricher 2020).

Photo: Georges Khalil.

Despite the apparent crisis of neoliberal capitalism, public policies, institutions, and practices that have been described as ‘neoliberal’ remain dominant across the globe. ‘Market necessities’ are regularly invoked to marginalize, discipline, and control dissenting social groups and oppositional politics (Bruff/Tansel 2019). Rightwing populist movements feed on the popular resentment of neoliberal globalization, but also empower authoritarian rulers who continue to enact very similar sets of policies. Looking at this, numerous scholars refer to conceptual and structural links rather than a conflictual and dichotomous relationship between neoliberalism and authoritarianism (Biebricher 2020).The logic of marketization and competition also shapes academic systems of governance, the self-fashioning of individual researchers, as well as the politics of knowledge production and circulation, which results in contradictory patterns of inclusion, visibility, and promotion, but also exclusion and marginalization. Gendered perspectives are crucial for developing a critical understanding of these dynamics. The field of gender and sexuality studies, in particular, has become a focal point of these struggles. Promoted as part of a (more or less) inclusive liberal agenda, it has come under attack by rightwing populists and is acutely threatened in an increasing number of countries following the rise of authoritarianism. Neoliberal and authoritarian politics of knowledge production and circulation are also complicit in reproducing power relations and inequalities in academia, which are especially evident when considered through the lens of gender and sexuality in their intersection with other categories such as race, age, class, or (dis)ability.

To highlight the ongoing struggles that shape the production and circulation of knowledge in times of neoliberalism and authoritarianism, the Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster of De Montfort University, the Margherita-von-Brentano Center of Freie Universität Berlin, and Academy in Exile are calling for blog contributions by scholars, students, and activists from across the globe that address different regional and disciplinary perspectives on the following topics and questions:

  • What does it mean to be a woman, LGBTQIA+, disabled, older, working class, and/or BIPoC in different academic contexts? How are expectations, entitlements, and obstacles experienced differently along the axes of gender, sexuality, social class, or (dis)ability?
  • How do asymmetries shape the production and circulation of knowledge not only within gender and sexuality studies, but also within/between other disciplines in the fields of social sciences and humanities?
  • Is it at all possible to challenge structural inequalities and to inform academic practices within a gendered and queer feminist perspective? Do feminist pedagogies have that chance nowadays? Is it possible to create radical and alternative spaces of knowledge production and circulation under neoliberal and authoritarian regimes? 
  • How do marginalized and/or critical perspectives become or remain visible in neoliberal and authoritarian political regimes and academic systems of governance? How can gender(ed) knowledge dismantle racist structures and help develop forms of resistance and solidarity? How can these responses be translated into practice in the sense of a political program?
  • How can gender and sexuality studies be conceptually linked to critical inquiries into the effects of neoliberal and authoritarian policies of de-democratization?

We invite contributions that seek to explore these and other related questions, both from an individual or actor-centered perspective and with regard to institutional and disciplinary dynamics. Contributions should not be longer than 1,500 words. The selected contributions will be published on the TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, a platform for transregional and area studies that currently attracts around 20,000 readers per month.

We will publish blog posts during the fall and winter of 2021–22. If you are interested, please contact Sabina García Peter, sabina.garcia.peter@fu-berlin.de, to arrange the details.

You can find further information about the conveners’ related academic programs at the links below:

Conference Gender and Sexuality in the Neoliberal University

Transnational Feminist Dialogues

Workshop on Gender Studies in Exile

Special Issue on Gender Studies in Exile


References

Thomas Biebricher (2020) Neoliberal and Authoritaniarism, Global Perspectives, 1:1, 11872.

Bruff, Ian & Cemal Burak Tansel (2019) Authoritarian neoliberalism: trajectories of knowledge production and praxis, Globalizations, 16:3, 233–244.


Editors

Michela Baldo, University of Birmingham

Sabina García Peter, Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

Marion Krauthaker, De Montfort University

Nina Lawrenz, Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies, Freie Universität Berlin

Achim Rohde, Academy in Exile, Freie Universität Berlin

Judit Takács, Academy in Exile, KWI, Essen


Citation: “Gender, Sexuality, and Knowledge Production in Current Neoliberal and Authoritarian Regimes”: Call for Contributions to the Series, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 18.10.2021, https://trafo.hypotheses.org/31161.


Forum Transregionale Studien

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as Fellows. More...

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