Feminist and LGBTQ rights are increasingly co-opted in public and political debates on the inclusion of refugees into receiving nation-states.
Feminist and LGBTQ rights are increasingly co-opted in public and political debates on the inclusion of refugees into receiving nation-states. Public and political debates following two events in 2015 illustrate this trend. In Cologne, refugee men were accused of sexually assaulting a large number of women on New Year’s eve. In Canada the government decided to place single Syrian men at the bottom of the admissible refugee list, after “complete” families, women, children, and LGBTQ refugees when it adopted a plan to increase the resettlement of Syrian refugees in November 2015. Refugees’ race, religion and gender are central to the way they are framed in public and political debate. Korteweg analyzes newspapers, parliamentary debates and policy documents asking how feminist and LBTQ rights are mobilized by actors in these debates. In the end, these mobilizations largely exclude Muslims from national belonging while appearing to bolster rights for women and LGBTQ’s who are already considered members of the nation-state on both sides of the Atlantic.
Professor Korteweg’s research focuses on the political debates regarding the integration of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe and Canada. She analyzes the ways in which the problem of immigrant integration is constructed in the intersections of gender, religion, ethnicity and national origin focusing on debates surrounding the wearing of the headscarf, so-called “honour-based” violence, and Sharia law. Professor Korteweg is particularly interested in the symbolic and material consequences of the resulting narratives of belonging. She has published the following books: The Headscarf Debates: Conflicts of National Belonging (Stanford University Press 2014, with Gökçe Yurdakul); Debating Sharia: Islam, Gender Politics, and Family Law Arbitration (edited with Jennifer Selby, University of Toronto Press 2012). She is currently conducting research on deportability and the gendered and gendering effects of the increasing precariousness of residence status in Canada, where the number of temporary residents entering the country now far outstrips that of permanent residents (with Rupaleem Bhuyan), as well as a collaborative project on the private sponsors of refugees in Canada (with Audrey Macklin, Luin Goldring and Jennifer Hyndman). In addition, she is continuing to work with her longstanding collaborator, Dr. Gökçe Yurdakul, on issues surrounding gender, race, and diversity in contemporary Europe.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
The lecture will be preceded by the awarding of the 2016 ARC-GS MA Thesis Prize.