Januari 2018

Delphine Gardey - Research Seminar on Gender and Materiality. Theoretical reflections and Empirical Implications in Humanities and Social Sciences Research (KULeuven)


Though the written word remains the main source for many researchers, increasing attention has been paid to material culture in recent years. Following Bruno Latour’s work on the complex relationship between subject and object, researchers in the humanities and the social sciences have revealed how the study of artefacts can contribute to a more nuanced and encompassing understanding of culture and society, not in the least from a gender perspective. Attention has shifted from the mere object to the ways objects are conceptualized, produced, experienced, used and exchanged. In the field of gender studies, the gendered character of material practices has come to the fore.

On September 21st and 22nd KU Leuven Doctoral School for Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes an expert on gender and material culture, professor Delphine Gardey. Trained as an historian and a sociologist, Delphine Gardey is full professor of contemporary history at the University of Geneva, where she directs the Institute for Gender Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Her main fields of interest are the history of gender, labour and technology, and feminist theory. In her work she has reflected on the relationships between gender, science and technology, and between the body, gender and politics. Her most recent work includes the books Politics of Coalition (2016), based on the work of Judith Butler , Le Linge du Palais Bourbon. Corps, matérialité et genre du politique à l’aire démocratique (2015), a study of the material and gendered history of the French National Assembly and Le féminisme change-t-il nos vies? (2011), a survey of the impact of feminism on contemporary daily life.

On Thursday afternoon (17:00) professor Gardey will give a lecture on the historical construction of the political space of the French parliament from a material, anthropological and gender perspective (more information ion the lecture). On Friday she will teach a research seminar on gender and material culture for phd students and postdoctoral researchers. The seminar will be organized as a discussion, starting from Gardey’s own work as well as some recent research trends. Participants are asked to read three texts: (1) a theoretical reflection based on the empirical analysis of office space and the importance of Bourdieu’s and Latour’s work from a feminist perspective (Delphine Gardey, “Culture of Gender, Culture of Technology: the Gendering of Things in France’s Office Spaces between 1890 and 1930”, 2006); (2) a reflection on Donna Haraway’s work (Delphine Gardey, “The Reading of an Oeuvre. Donna Haraway: The Poetics and Politics of Life”, 2014); (3) the introduction of Coole’s and Frost’s book New Materialism, Ontology, Agency, and Politics (2010), which deals with some recent developments in gender and materiality.

In her seminar, professor Gardey will also challenge junior researchers to reflect on and discuss the way gender and materiality could add to their own research. For that purpose participants are asked to provide a short summary of their project beforehand, which should be sent not later than September 10th at Anna.Cabanel@kuleuven.be .

This master class is limited to 15 people and will be in English. Registration is possible until September 10th please contact Anna.Cabanel@kuleuven.be The preparatory literature will be send to the participants after their registration.

Plaats en tijdstip

Arts Faculty 01.52


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