Challenging gender equality exceptionalism in the Nordic region

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WorkshopChallenging Nordic Exceptionalisms
LocationUniversity of Gothenborg
OtherTransforming Identities brings together scholars, activists, artists and authors to discuss current challenges to democratic participation, and shifting understandings of diversity and minorities in Nordic societies. With identity politics becoming increasingly contested and the locus of intense debates in politics and society, this two-year project takes the conceptual terrain of identity politics a starting point for investigating current challenges - what’s at stake, why, and for whom? <br/><br/>In three workshops we explore the impulses for new understandings of equality and rights, of solidarity and democracy, in the context of the rise of the right, growing nationalism, local and global insecurities.<br/><br/>The EXCEPT workshop is the second in a series of three that examines central tensions and convergences in contemporary debates concerning democratic participation, minority rights and movement building through the prism of identity politics.<br/> <br/><br/>For this second meeting we are especially interested in exploring how notions of identity and debates around identity politics serve to reproduce, problematize or transform various forms of exceptionalisms situated within and moving between different sites in the Nordic region and beyond.<br/><br/>While the first workshop at the University of Stavanger in November 2018 examined the dilemmas and possibilities of identity politics as a strategy to foster democratic participation, EXCEPT engages the political entanglements between movements, spatialities, and nationalisms in the current historical moment.<br/><br/>The EXCEPT workshop will explore: how models and ideologies of exceptionalisms and their consequences manifest throughout the Nordic contexts as well as their global reach; how power, privilege and inequalities – old and new – are articulated and experienced, and how they are or might be challenged, and by who.<br/><br/>Is there really something particular about the Nordic location – geographically, politically, historically, economically, culturally? If so, how do we locate these particularities through key contemporary debates on e.g. minorities, human rights, democracy environmental degradations and freedoms of speech? Through an engagement with key thematic clusters (see below), we will debate these questions in current critical areas of knowledge production. These areas are for example biopolitics, sexism/anti-gender debates, anti-homosexualities, bigotisms, transnegativities, de/colonizations, patriotisms, nationalism, and racism, paternalizing forms of care.<br/><br/>The EXCEPT workshop welcomes analyses of activisms, art, critical pedagogies and theorizations on the making of liveable spaces in various contexts such as the politics of struggles, solidarities, riots, love, dying, unwellness, and maiming. Whereas EXCEPT is particularly engaged in a critical exploration of Nordic exceptionalisms, we also invite analyses from a variety of geopolitical perspectives, in order to foster a broader dialogue between different ways of seeing, locating and challenging “the Nordic”.
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