Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
P3: Plenary 3 - Closing
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
5:30pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Gary Pollock, Manchester Metropolitan University
Location: The Bridgewater Hall
Lower Mosley Street Manchester, M2 3WS

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Decolonial Feminism in Europe and Beyond

Françoise Vergès

Independent Scholar

In which ways decolonial feminism is contributing to political antiracism and anti-capitalist strategies for our times? Françoise Vergès will first define what she calls decolonial feminism and then will argue that women of color’s strikes in the cleaning/caring industry in Europe constitute a terrain of decolonial feminist struggle. To do so, she will explore how the work of racialized women in the cleaning/caring industry in Europe (which include sex work) bring together intersections between feminization of work, migrations, the fabrication of vulnerability and precariousness, of visibility and invisibility, the economy of exhaustion, health, race and gender and notions of cleanliness and dirtiness that trace new borders of living.


Françoise Vergès is an independent scholar. Originally from Reunion Island where she was a member of postcolonial/anticolonial groups, she arrived in France in the 1970s where she was an antiracist activist and worked as a feminist journalist and editor. She went to the USA in 1983 where she worked before getting her PhD in Political Theory at University of California Berkeley (1995). She has taught at Sussex University and Goldsmiths College and was Chair "Global South(s)" at the Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris (2014-2018). She has written on memories of colonial slavery, anti-imperialism, decolonial feminism, Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon, racial capitalism and racial Capitalocene. Author of films on Maryse Condé and Aimé Césaire, she works with artists and activists. She is the president of the association Decolonizing the Arts in France for which she co-organizes a monthly seminar. Her last book (forthcoming in English in 2020) is Un féminisme décolonial, Paris, 2019.

Migration and Refugees in a Global World: The Case of the Mediterranean

Sari Hanafi

American University of Beirut, Lebanon (Lebanese Republic)

The world is witnessing unprecedented movements of refugees and labor workers all across the globe. In 2018, there were 68.5 million refugees, a 50% increase from the previous year. 80% of refugees come from Arab region. There are 20 million displaced people in the Arab world, a number that rises to 54 million when including economic migrants. The number of stateless people is also witnessing an increase, amounting to 15 million in 2018. In this paper I will unfold some features of the current migrants and refugees mobility in the Mediterranean, then I will point out three societal implications in relation to politics, religion and identity. First, the politics of disinformation about refugees/migrants and their scapegoating has encouraged totalitarian trend and politics of agnotology; second, the very presence of refugees/migrants has transformed the religion landscape in host societies and their will have major effect in the politics of (non-)integration in Mediterranean states, and finally identity politics is the dark side of pluralism, a concept dear to Peter Berger. Pluralism needs the management of cultural relativism and universalism. How would they be reconciled?


Sari Hanafi is currently a Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut and editor of Idafat: the Arab Journal of Sociology. He is the President of the International Sociological Association. Recently he created the “Portal for Social impact of scientific research in/on the Arab World” (Athar). He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Poitiers and Migrintern, University of Bologna and Ravenna, and CMI (Bergen). He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on the sociology of religion, sociology of (forced) migration; politics of scientific research; civil society, elite formation and transitional justice. Among his recent books are: Knowledge Production in the Arab World: The Impossible Promise (with R. Arvanitis); From Relief and Works to Human Development: UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees after 60 Years (co-edited); The Power of Inclusive Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in The Occupied Palestinian Territories (edited with A. Ophir & M. Givoni, 2009).

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