International Workshop 2021-2022

Seminar organized in partnership with the international correspondents of the Institut du Genre (Mixed Units of French Research Institutes Abroad - UMIFRE and Institute of Research for Development - IRD).

Program 2021-2022

Tuesday, June 15, 3:00-5:30 pm (Paris time): Gender, political struggle and academic freedom
Visioconference on Zoom, in English

Session organized with the French Center for Research in Social Sciences - Prague (CEFRES)

  • Welcome and introduction: Jérôme Heurtaux, CEFRES, Prague, Marième N’Diaye & Delphine Lacombe, CNRS, Gender Institute
  • Moderation : David Paternotte, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Speakers:
    • Andrea Pető, Central European University, Vienna: "Science policy of illiberal polypore state"
    • Patrick Awondo, University of Yaoundé: "What academic freedom does to gender as a subject of research in Cameroon"
    • Verónica Rodriguez Cabrera, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco (Mexico) : "Academic freedom and gender studies: the question of violence against women".

Abstract :

This webinar will focus on the relationship between academia and political struggle, with an emphasis on gender studies and the critical knowledge associated with them. We will first discuss the current terms of the conservative backlash against gender studies, the forms of pressure and censorship against them depending on the powers and political contexts, and the political and economic issues of academic autonomy.

We also aim to re-anchor this reflection into the historicity of the debates that the institutionalization of gender studies has aroused over the past thirty years. In different places, this field has arised in conjunction with democratic-liberal transitions. It also has been accused of depoliticizing feminist studies dissolving them in a scientific “new empire” strongly marked by the intellectual influence of the USA, or by the neoliberal globalization. This field of knowledge supposedly homogeneous in the eyes of its detractors continues to span across various and sometimes divergent approaches. It is on this basis that we will question the current forms of social resistance and the reorganization of this field of study.

Finally, by looking beyond the European perspective, we will consider the role of academic space and gender studies as a base for feminist demands (about gender-based violence in Mexico). And, we will ask how the efforts to constitute or consolidate this field of study are currently being carried out in academic spaces that still unwilling to give them a place in their own right, except under the unique angle of “development” (about gender studies in Cameroon).


Thursday, February 10, 2022, 3:00-5:30 pm (Paris time): Reflections on Gender Studies in Nigeria: issues, perspectives and debates
Visioconference on Zoom, in English

Session organized with the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA-Nigeria)

  • Welcome and introduction : Dr Vincent Hiribarren (IFRA Nigeria), Dr Marième N’Diaye (CNRS, Institut du Genre)
  • Speakers : Adebayo Adedeji (University of Ibadan), Dr Mutiat Oladejo (University of Ibadan), Dr Sharon Omotoso (Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan).
  • Chair : Sara Panata (CHS and IFRA-Nigeria)
  • Moderation : Anne Hugon (IMAF) and Dr Seun Olutayo (University of Ibadan)

Dr Mutiat Titilope Oladejo, Women’s History and Historiography in Nigeria
There are scholarly debates as regards women’s authority in precolonial Africa. Studies have identified few women who were in positions of authority. However, they rarely represented the status of the majority. Beyond holding positions of authority, the factors that contribute to power status of women varied across societies and scholars have used it to debunk western-centred constructs about women. Studies on women’s history in Africa aggregate the lives of women that cuts across social, political and economic history. Hence, to what extent has the studies enabled understanding African women in their own terms. Historiography of women in Nigeria have touched on several aspects of gender studies and its intersection with other disciplines. Historiography of women and gender studies in Nigeria are categorized into four: writings by Nigerian women; writings by non-Nigerian women; writings by Nigerian men and writings by non-Nigerian men. The paper analyses the writings of these scholars to unravel the trends of research on Nigerian women. Furthermore, the work explains how location of scholars (Africa and diaspora) and methodologies influence their writings. The paper relies on seminar and conference papers, journals and books of the authors categorized above. Ultimately, the paper locates the lacuna for future research in women’s history and gender studies.

Adedeji Adebayo, Growth and Institutional Contexts of Semi-autonomous Gender Studies Centres in Nigeria
Gender Studies (GS) has continued to grow as an academic field globally. In many contexts, this growth has been noticed both in the expansion of traditional disciplines and as an independent academic discipline with autonomous structure – research institutes and centres – for knowledge production. Although, the process of institutionalization of Gender Studies (GS) has been extensively studied, the particularities and complexities of this area of study has been less studied in Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular. The study interrogates the activities of a Gender Studies centre in a small university located in southwestern Nigeria. It employs a qualitative research approach with samples purposively selected. It concludes that there is the need to employ the services of specialist researchers to promote research in the field of GS.

Dr Sharon Adetutu Omotoso, Gender Studies in Nigeria: Looking Back, Going Forward
With the subsistence of Women’s studies in Nigeria in the last three decades, the contributions of scholars, activists and women’s movements have improved the rate at which gender consciousness is spreading across the country. Equally progressive is the manner with which women’s studies have expanded into gender studies across the country to address masculinities and sexuality issues beyond the confines of womanhood. However, the spread of gender studies is fraught with constraints and contradictions with regards to pedagogy, activism, policy and gender consciousness. Using methods of critical analysis, deconstructive and reconstructive argumentation, this study interrogates the success stories in Nigeria are commensurate with the realities across the country and how gender studies have influenced the teeming populace across spheres. The emerging trends, dynamisms in pedagogy, activisms, policy and media engagements in Nigeria will then be deployed to present possible and plausible future of gender studies in Nigeria.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 3:00-5:30 pm (Paris time): Why and how use post/decolonial and feminist theories on/in Central Asia?
Visioconference on Zoom, in English

Session organized with the French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC)

  • Welcome and introduction : Lucia Direnberger, Gender and Sexuality Studies Laboratory, CNRS, Adrien Fauve IFEAC, Delphine Lacombe CNRS Gender Institute.
  • Moderation : Rose Ndengue, Assistant Professor, Glendon Campus - York University, History Department ; Madina Tlostanova, Professor, Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies and Gender Studies
  • Speakers:
    • Negar Elodie Behzadi, Lecturer, University of Bristol, School of Geographical Sciences.
    • Diana T. Kudaibergenova, Assistant Professor, University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology.
    • Mohira Suyarkulova, Associate Professor, American University of Central Asia, Psychology Department.