Letter in Support of Gender Studies: We Are Not an Empty #Line15
by: MAI , November 12, 2018
by: MAI , November 12, 2018
In the past two years the Hungarian Government has made a series of moves to limit academic freedom and reduce the impact of the civil society that opposes official government policies. This series of attacks culminated in a ban on Gender Studies in early October. The ban was followed by a statement issued by the spokesman of the Prime Minister reaffirming that ‘The government’s standpoint is that people are born either male or female, and we do not consider it acceptable for us to talk about socially constructed genders rather than biological sexes’.
According to Andrea Pető, professor at the Gender Studies Department at the Central European University, the Hungarian government not only revoked the Hungarian accredited two-year M.A. program by erasing it from line 15 of the document, but also substituted Gender Studies with a new study program: ‘Economics of Family Policy and Public Policies for Human Development’. The government’s efforts to limit academic freedom culminated with a recent announcement made by CEU that it will be moving to Vienna, in the academic year 2019/2020, as the government has not concluded an agreement that would allow CEU to operate in freedom in Hungary.
We do not see the events in Hungary as isolated, but rather as part of a larger network of attacks on Gender Studies in Europe, the USA, Latin America and the Middle East. These attacks come in different forms, at the individual, institutional and political levels. It may manifest as physical violence and threats or legal and political reforms. The decision to ban gender studies should be addressed as one specific manifestation of a broader anti-gender movement that has made critical research, academic freedom and knowledge production its targets. As part of a research field of prolific debates on knowledge production, we are well aware that all forms of academic work stand in close relation to politics. This urges us to acknowledge the specific political interests that the ban on gender studies in Hungary serves, but also to stress that this is but one of the violent effects of these movements.
Therefore, as a response to these attacks, globally and locally, an initiative was formed by university teachers and students at the University of Gothenburg and a call for mobilisation was issued with a goal to express solidarity with Gender Studies. The initiative started in the Summer of this year when in August our first statement of support was issued and sent to the Hungarian minister of Education. Building upon our engagement with participatory approaches students from the first year Course in Gender Studies at the Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg University designed a slogan and sent out their support widely. This idea was followed by staff members to make a call for a university-wide action. This resulted in a gathering on October 25, 2018, when a group of around 40 university representatives, deans, teachers, students, and activists gathered in front of the main university building in Gothenburg, to express solidarity with Hungarian Gender Studies teachers and students and condemn attacks on Gender Studies globally.
We, the undersigned, are concerned that this is just the inception of a growing phenomenon of anti-Gender Studies sentiment. With this act of solidarity, we would like to state definitively that such action will be met with strong resistance and that Gender Studies as a scientific field of research will persist and thrive despite efforts to shut it down. We strongly condemn the acts of the Hungarian Government and express our solidarity with Gender Studies scholars worldwide.
Arman Heljic, PhD student in Gender Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg University.
Tobias Pontara, Associate Professor in Musicology, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg University.
Lena Martinsson, Professor in Gender studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg
Åsa Andersson, Associate Professor in Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg
Helena Holgersson, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg.
Elin Lundsten, Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Annika Bünz, Researcher, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Mathias Ericson, Researcher in Gender studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Alf Björnberg, Professor in Musicology, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Erika Alm, Assistant Professor in Gender Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg.
Thomas Bossius, Associate Professor in Musicology, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg
Anna Backman Rogers. Reader in Feminism and Visual Culture, Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg
Valeria Villegas Lindvall, PhD student in Film Studies. Department of Cultural Sciences, Gothenburg.
Megen de Bruin-Molé, Teaching Fellow in Digital Media Practice, University of Southampton (UK)
Rebecca Harrison. Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow (UK).
Dr Rhian Waller, Lecturer in Journalism, University of Chester (UK)
Dr Sophie Knowles, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Middlesex University, UK.
Connor Winterton, PhD Candidate in Media & Cultural Studies, Birmingham City University (UK)
Simon Weaver, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, Brunel University London
Julia Havas, Lecturer in Media and Communication, De Montfort University Leicester UK
Dr Ian R Lamond, Senior Lecturer in Event Studies, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
Julia Leyda, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Department of Art and Media Studies, NTNU Trondheim, Norway
Susan Sayce, Senior Lecturer in HR University of East Anglia, (UK).
Liz Watkins, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds (UK)
Adam Ganz, Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway University of London
Mandy Merck, Department of Media Arts. Royal Holloway University of London
Anna Batori, Lecturer in Film Studies, Department of Film and Television, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, RO
Clara Bradbury-Rance, Liberal Arts Early Career Development Fellow in Digital Culture, King’s College London
Michael Muller, ACM Distinguished Scientist and member, ACM SIGCHI Academy.
Anna Zsubori, AFHEA, PhD Student, Graduate Teaching Assistant, PGR Student Representative at the University of Leicester, and Young Scholars Representative to the Audience and Reception Studies of ECREA
Cary Mackay, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Queen Mary University of London UK
David L. Palatinus, Lecturer in Digital Media and Cultural Studies, Head of Department, Department of English and American Studies, founder, Anthropocene Media Lab, University of Ruzomberok
Maja Brandt Andreasen, PhD candidate in Gender Studies, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow UK
Gábor Gergely, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, Lincoln School of Film and Media, University of Lincoln
Matthew Winston, Teaching Fellow, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester
Catherine Baker, PhD candidate in Media and Communications, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.
Dr James MacDowell, Associate Professor in Film Studies, University of Warwick
Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, Lecturer in Global Communication and Development, Loughborough University/ Councillor in London Borough of Newham
Kathi Kamleitner, PhD candidate in Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow, UK.
Dr Sarah Godfrey, Senior Lecturer, School of Art, Media and American Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich UK
Chris Tsui, PhD student, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester
Juan Velásquez Atehortúa, Associate professor in Gender Studies, Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Dr Leanne Dawson. University of Edinburgh
Dr Rasa Pranskevičiūtė-Amoson, Associate Professor in Anthropology, Vilnius University, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Lithuania
Danica Giles, PhD Candidate, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London UK
Andreas Ehrenreich, PhD candidate, Department of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Marija Laugalyte, PhD candidate, Department of German/ Digital Humanities, University College Cork
Deborah Shaw, Reader in Film Studies, University of Portsmouth, UK
Dr Ian McDonald, Reader in Film Practice, Newcastle University, UK
Karolina Szpyrko, PhD candidate, University of Sussex
Dr William Proctor, Senior Lecturer in Transmedia, Culture and Communication, Bournemouth University
Dr Anna Malinowska, Assistant Professor in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Silesia, Poland
Alessio Koliulis, Teaching Assistant, Development Planning Unit, UCL, London.
Dr Maria Brock, Research Associate, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University.
Maria Sulimma, Post Doc in American Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
Christine Gledhill, retired Professor, Cinema Studies, Staffordshire University, UK
Dr Sarah Irving, postdoctoral research fellow, Centre for Concurrences in Colonial & Postcolonial Studies, Linnaeus University
Dr Ruth Pearce, Research Fellow, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK.
Dr Rava Yunus, PhD Sociology, University of Warwick, UK. Assistant Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, India
Dr Ellen Kirkpatrick, Independent Researcher
Dr Gerlinde Mauerer, University Lecturer, Researcher in Sociology and Gender Studies, Vienna, Austria
Dr Mia Liinason, Associate Professor in Gender Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Dr Evangeline Tsao, Gender Equality Research Fellow, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York, UK
Dr Eve Bennett, Teaching and Research Attaché in Media and Cultural Studies, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France
Lilly Markaki, PhD Researcher in Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Juliet Winter, PhD candidate and Associate Lecturer, University of Winchester, UK
Joan Soler-Adillon, Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway University of London UK
Dr Ruth Adams, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Creative Industries, King’s College London, UK
Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez, PhD, Lecturer & Honorary Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong.
Dr Sarah Lonsdale, Senior Lecturer, City University of London
Dr Ian R Lamond, Senior Lecturer in Event Studies, Leeds Beckett University
Philip Rosen, Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Dr Leora Hadas, Teaching Associate, Department of Culture, Film and Media, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Nottingham.
Dr Reva Yunus, PhD Sociology, University of Warwick, UK; Assitant Professor, School of Liberal Studies, Azim Premji University, India.
Professor Lynne Segal, Birkbeck University of London.
Houman Sadri, PhD Candidate and lecturer, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Anna Misiak, Senior Lecturer in Film/MA Film & TV Course Coordinator, Falmouth University
Professor Lynne Joyrich, Brown University
Professor Ellen Rooney, Brown University
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Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
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