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University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies

 

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Academic Year 2021-22

Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture: Easter Term 2022


 

 

The Centre for Gender Studies hosted the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture on Leaving No One Behind vs. Respecting Local Ownership in Development Cooperation: Conflicting Norms about LGBTQI+ Rights in Hostile Environments on Monday 6 June 2022.

The Lecture was followed by a Q&A, chaired by Dr Lauren Wilcox, UCCGS Centre Director and a drinks reception. 

Professor Stephen Brown, Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa, is the UCCGS Leverhulme Visiting Professor for 2021-22, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Sexual and gender minorities are among the most marginalized populations in many regions of the world. As such, under the Sustainable Development Goals’ overarching principle of “leave no one behind”, LGBTQI+ people can be considered priority populations for development cooperation. However, that perspective appears to be in direct conflict with the fundamental principle of national ownership of development priorities in countries that criminalize homosexuality or otherwise persecute their LGBTQI+ citizens. How can the two norms be reconciled when governments deliberately exclude specific communities? That is the conundrum that Stephen Brown explored in this talk.

 

Webinar on LGBTQ+ rights in Botswana and Ghana: Recent Victories and Current Challenges


Image: Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, University of Ghana (left); Ms Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, Southern Africa Litigation Centre (right)

The Centre for Gender Studies hosted a webinar on Wednesday 27 April 2022 with human rights advocates from Ghana and Botswana, who discussed the situation in their countries.

Media accounts of LGBTQ+ rights in African countries tend to emphasize extremely homophobic laws and stories of individual persecution. Amidst the challenges, however, there are valiant public campaigns that seek to defend the rights of sexual and gender minorities, as well as ground-breaking victories that can inspire others.

The conversation on Ghana focussed on the origins and struggle to defeat the draconian anti-LGBTQ+ bill titled Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, which is currently before Parliament. The discussion on Botswana concentrated on the recent legal challenges that led the courts to strike down the colonial-era law that criminalized homosexuality. Together, these discussions explored what might come next in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.

PROGRAMME

Welcome:

Dr Lauren Wilcox, Centre Director, University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies

Speakers:

Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana. Professor Gadzekpo is a seasoned gender equality advocate and currently a leading voice in the fight against the proposed anti-LGBTQ+ rights bill in Ghana.

Ms Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, Programs Manager LGBTI, Sex Work & Disability, Southern Africa Litigation Centre. Ms Mmolai-Chalmers is a human rights practitioner and activist. She was previously the CEO of Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) for six years, during which time she led the organisation through two landmark court cases.

Hosts:

Professor Stephen Brown, Leverhulme Visiting Professor, University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, and Professor of Political Science, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa.

Ms Amelia Amemate, PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies, University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies

Webinar recording available at:

 

Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture: Lent term 2022


 

The Centre for Gender Studies hosted the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture on Visibility or impact? International efforts to defend LGBTQI+ rights in the Global South on Monday 14 March 2022 in the Quarry White House Auditorium, Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Professor Stephen Brown, Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa examined when and how international actors should become involved in defending LGBTQI+ rights in countries in the Global South and explored the problematic motives and means that often underpin Northern/Western countries’ interventions. The lecture outlined a more fruitful approach, centred on local rights defenders’ perspectives, priorities and initiatives, while recognizing the obstacles to the proposed alternative.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A, chaired by Dr Lauren Wilcox, UCCGS Centre Director and a drinks reception. Our sincere thanks to all contributors.

Professor Stephen Brown is the UCCGS Leverhulme Visiting Professor for 2021-22, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Lecture recording available at:

 

The Irish Civil War: A roundtable discussion 


Image: NLI, Four Courts Dublin, 1922

The University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies hosted an online event to mark the centenary of the Irish Civil War on Thursday 24 February 2022. The Irish Civil War: A roundtable discussion aimed to explore the history and legacy of the Irish Civil War from different vantage points and perspectives.

A panel of scholars who have researched and published important work on gender, memory, trauma, sexual and gender-based violence, commemoration, the Irish revolution, literature, historiography and social and cultural theory provided an interdisciplinary analysis and roundtable discussion: 

  • Professor Linda Connolly (Chair), Visiting Fellow, UCCGS; Professor of Sociology and Director, Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, Maynooth University: Contextualising the Irish Civil War: advancing new perspectives
  • Professor Guy Beiner, Boston College: Remembering and forgetting the Irish Civil War
  • Dr Síobhra Aiken, Queen’s University Belfast: Trauma, testimony and the Irish Civil War
  • Dr John Borgonovo, University College Cork: Martial women, revolutionary history/sources and the Irish Civil War
  • Professor Linda Connolly, Maynooth University: Women, violence and the Irish Civil War
  • Dr Ailbhe McDaid, University College Cork: Developing a literary and cultural history of the relationship between public and private experiences of the Irish Civil War

Recording of roundtable discussion available at:

 

Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture: Michaelmas term 2021


 

The Centre for Gender Studies hosted the Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Lecture on Global frictions on homosexuality: International relations and the case of LGBTQ+ rights in Tanzania on Wednesday 24 November 2021 in the Quarry White House Auditorium, Selwyn College, Cambridge.

In this fascinating lecture, Professor Stephen Brown, Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa discussed the conflictual dynamics of North-South relations regarding homosexuality. Using examples drawn mainly from Tanzania, he demonstrated how governments on both sides of the “global frictions” often superficially perform identities more than they actually take concrete action. Rather than promoting LGBTQ+ rights, such external interventions can actually place the LGBTQ+ population at greater risk.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A chaired by Dr Lauren Wilcox, Centre Director, UCCGS and a drinks reception. Our sincere thanks to all contributors.

Professor Stephen Brown is the UCCGS Leverhulme Visiting Professor for 2021-22, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

Recording of lecture available at: