CIRSDe, the Research Centre for Women's and Gender Studies, will organise the conference “Beyond Genders”. Intersectionality between theory and practice. Interdisciplinary gazes” on Friday, 24 November and Saturday, 25 November at Luigi Einaudi Campus.
This concept was born within the Anglo-American legal discourse and coined by the American jurist Kimberlé Crenshaw to highlight how the law is often inadequate to address the discrimination based on several factors and how even inadequate the anti-discrimination policies are to interactions, such as those in the situation of black women. The concept of intersectionality underlines the existence of social hierarchies and compartmentalization by describing oppression and discrimination caused by belonging to multiple groups and/or categories such as sex, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
Nowadays, it is transversally used as theoretical orientation in gender and women’s studies to analyse how the indicators of difference intertwine with majority and dominant structures. Over the years, its scope has extended beyond the abovementioned disciplines, including the social, pedagogical, psychological, medical, or linguistic field, to name a few. An increasing number of people working in the academy and interested in inequalities, social injustices and discrimination is aware of the need to overcome binarism and dichotomies that simplify the complexity of multiple belongings. Together with the multidisciplinary branching, the concept of intersectionality became the object of different divergences. It is the object of heated debates and epistemological and ideological controversies between those who believe in its ideological nature that cannot be limited to a mere methodological approach, and those who claim the need of an analysis based on a class struggle, crucial for any social injustice.
Moreover, while in some disciplines, such as gender studies, the concept of intersectionality is well known both from a theoretical and practical point of view, in others it is a nebulous concept searching for a well-defined identity, especially in its practical effects. Given the plural nature of the current debate and the diagonal nature of its application, the conference intends to be an opportunity for dialogue between the different disciplines to explore the “state-of-the-art” of research and considerations on this topic. What are the perspectives through which it has been analysed for years? What are its applications? What makes its implementation complex and what are the pitfalls in its actual applicability? Why do some
fields of study seem to dialogue more fluently with this concept and others to be resistant?
Which are the most popular research methods, and why? How was the concept of intersectionality analysed and discussed among the various disciplines? How can an
intersectional perspective be developed in global contexts that deal with a past of colonialism and oppression?
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