In the face of the recent and countless repressive events against gender studies and LGBTQI rights which took place in various places of Europe, the Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group is convening a roundtable gathering LGBTQI scholars from Italy, Hungary, and Belarus.
Not so far from Florence, Patrick George Zaky, a master’s student of GEMMA (Women’s and Gender Studies) from the University of Bologna was arrested in his home country Egypt. Prof. Rita Monticelli (the coordinator of the GEMMA Program and the director of Center of Utopian Studies in UNIBO) will give a presentation on academic freedom, critical engagement of academia, the link between gender studies and LGBTQ rights in Italy, and the experiences on academic solidarity with students/scholars at risk.
In Belarus, the only gender studies program was compelled to relocate abroad when its hosting European Humanities University was closed down by authorities in 2004. Now, in 2021, it still operates abroad, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The 2020 protests against Lukashenka's dictatorship had a strong women presence and a visible feminist and LGBT tone. However, so far the protests did not bring about political change. Professor Almira Ousmanova, from the European Humanities University, will propose her vision of the recent events and their relationship to gender studies.
In 2018 the Hungarian government, as part of its fight against gender ideology, banned gender studies programs. By 2020, the government dismantled the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' research network, which for decades acted as the hub of progressive research in the social sciences and humanities. Petra Bakos, a PhD candidate from CEU, will share insights regarding the impact of the Orban government's restrictive and oppressive policies on Hungarian academic life, as well as the ways of resistance developed amongst academics and non-academics.
This roundtable is organised by the EUI Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group.
Professor Rita Monticelli (University of Bologna, Center for Utopian Studies)
Professor Almira Ousmanova (European Humanities Institute, Department of Social Science)
Petra Bakos (PhD, Central European University, Gender Studies Department)
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