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International Women's Day Panel: New Research on Gender in the Global South

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Celebrate International Women’s Day with a panel discussion of new research on gender in the Global South featuring the following speakers:

Dr Victoria Oluwamayowa Gbadegesin, ‘Female representation and gender ideologies in Earth Women: A multimodal approach to Nigerian ecocinema’

  • Abstract: Academic engagements with ecocinema typically focus on the environmental, economic and social effects of climate change on human lives. However, the gendered dimension, which portrays not only the differentiated impact of climate change on gender but also how climate change framing affects gender agency and obfuscates power structures underlying climate knowledge, has not been adequately explored, especially in Nigerian ecocinema studies. In this study, I investigate female representations and gender ideologies in Earth Women, a Nigerian environment and climate change documentary. Using the theoretical framework of Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis, I examine and reveal how communicative resources are deployed to conceptualise and communicate female gender relationship with the environment. In affirming a link between female agency and nature as depicted in the filmic production, I submit that while a viable and healthy environment empowers the female gender, a polluted environment predisposes them to economic disempowerment, health hazards and sometimes untimely death. These realities exacerbate the existing gender inequality in Nigerian communities, and inhibit the government’s attempts at ecological management.
  • Speaker bio: Dr Gbadegesin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies at Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria. Her research interests include exploring multimodality in media and cultural discourse and analysing gender in different domains of language use. She is a Fellow of the African Humanities Program under the American Council of Learned Societies and, in Lent 2024, a Wolfson College Visiting Fellow and 2024 CRASSH Scholar from the Global South.

Dr Garima Jaju, ‘Isha’s wait: Money, love and kinship amidst domestic ruins in India’

  • Abstract: Isha waits in her low-income parent’s home for her estranged husband, charged for dowry and domestic violence, to pay her the legally mandated ‘maintenance money’. I listen to her as she talks about pyaar, or love, and domestic violence as arising from the absence of its ehsaas, or feeling/realization, by the abusive husband. The awaited money is infused with the hopeful imagination that it will generate both pyaar and its ehsaas. I argue that money becomes a substance of kinship that is assigned a disciplining role in engendering the ethical transformation of a ‘bad’ husband to create ‘good’ kinship. Exploring how the tenuous promise of money sustains imaginations of kinship futures, I outline how centrally money shapes the experience of domestic violence and the dealing of its aftermath.
  • Speaker bio: Dr. Garima Jaju is a Smuts Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the Centre of South Asian Studies and a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College. She is an economic anthropologist working on work and labor, studying its intersection with politics, ethics, and love. She holds a DPhil and MPhil from Oxford University and a BA from Delhi University.

Dr Sherin Basheer Saheera, ‘Gender, Islam and the Muslim Question in India’

  • Abstract: The Muslim minority of India emerged as a specific constitutional as well as social category in the context of the partition of India. However, in constructing this socially marginalised category and establishing its historicity, gender discourse has been widely employed. In recent times the Islamophobic tendencies in the western context have also contributed to this process, and the feminist and left approaches to gender in Islam have not quite disengaged from this engendering. Based on the arguments in my book Gendering Minorities: Muslim Women and the Politics of Modernity ( 2021), I intend to discuss the framing of Muslim women’s agency in contemporary India.
  • Speaker bio: Dr Sherin Basheer Saheera is Associate Professor, at the Department of Comparative Literature and India Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. She is currently a Wolfson College Visiting Fellow and the 2024 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at CRASSH . Her academic interests include Secularism and Religion in India, Gender Studies, Comparative Studies, Regional Cinema, Contemporary Art and Urban Studies. Her PhD dissertation on ‘Islam and Women in Kerala,’ is an attempt to study the political presence of Muslim women in South India through a post-secular lens. In addition to Gendering Minorities: Muslim Women and the Politics of Modernity (Orient Blackswan: 2021), she is also the author of Feminism, Desheeyatha, Muthalaq: Prathi Vyavahaarangalude Raashtreeyam (Feminism, Nationalism and Triple Talaq: The Politics of Counter Discourses) 2018, in Malayalam. Her current research project, ‘Reconciling Faith, Modernity and Nation: A Study of Early Muslim Women’s Journals from South India’, analyses early 20th-century women’s journals in Kerala, where a large number of writers and readership consisted of Muslim men and women. Building on the work of scholars like Saba Mahmood on the Middle East and Egypt, this study of early twentieth century Muslim Women’s journals in Malayalam allows us to understand ‘Muslim woman’ as a political subject at the intersection of colonialism, minority status, faith and gender.

Details This event is open to all, free to attend and there is no need to book.

Access This event will take place in the Gatsby Room on the first floor of the Chancellor’s Centre. It has step-free access with a lift and there is an accessible toilet located each floor of the building.

This talk is part of the Gender Hub@Wolfson College series.

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