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Decolonial and Postcolonial Approaches to Gender and Sexuality Research: Exploring Alternative Methodologies | RHEA

Dates: 23 – 24 May 2024

Venue: VUB Etterbeek campus, Pleinlaan 2, Etterbeek 1050



Seminar description: The dynamic landscape of gender and sexuality studies has witnessed a paradigm shift towards embracing diverse and inclusive perspectives. This transformation has been a part of the larger imperatives of global and local decolonization of higher education and research in general. Mainstream research on gender and sexuality has been a particular space for the reproduction of gender binaries, heterornormativity, racist and classist tropes, amongst other problematic evidence of colonial and patriarchal logics. Efforts to decolonize scholarship have been further bolstered by the development of post-humanist, feminist new materialist and post-qualitative approaches to knowledge. Such a context calls for a critical examination of the methods used to research and construct knowledge in these fields. The forthcoming seminar aims to provide a platform for scholars and students to engage in enriching dialogue concerning innovative approaches that challenge traditional research paradigms.

In a world still grappling with the enduring legacies of colonialism and imperialism, this seminar prioritizes the exploration of decolonial and postcolonial theories and methodologies as vital tools for radically reimagining the study of gender and sexuality. The complexities of gender and sexuality studies demand a nuanced approach that transcends Eurocentric frameworks and narratives. By centering decolonial and postcolonial perspectives, we endeavour to dismantle entrenched hierarchies and amplify marginalised voices.

Format: The course will comprise of a two-day programme of lectures and parallel master classes. The lectures offer insight from renowned scholars about the main topic of the seminar and are commented on by a discussant. Students are assigned to Masterclasses based on the topic which best matches their research interests. They prepare readings assignments, present their research related to the topic of the seminar.

Target group: The seminar is open to PhD students and advanced Master students in the Human and Social Sciences of VUB, UGent, and UA whose research uses a gendered perspective, such as students in Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial studies etc. PhD students can upon the completion receive a ‘proof of successful participation’ which can be recognised by the doctoral schools programme.