Postgraduate course Feminisms in a Transnational Perspective

Call for Applications

The topic of the 12th postgraduate course Feminisms in a Transnational Perspective: Fear, Resistance, Imagination was prompted by the escalation of the global culture of “horrorism”, hate, and militarism connected with the stagnation of the liberal project and a weakened “West.” A plethora of contemporary fears has emerged to mask the destructive consequences of late capitalism and to facilitate the state surveillance of citizens. This is not new, however: fear-mongering, intimidation, awe and submission as social and political strategies have been cultivated for centuries to maintain socio-political hierarchies, religious obedience and reproductive heteronormativity, as well as to sustain a sense of powerlessness, dependence and docility of oppressed social groups.

These circumstances offer many openings for feminist readings of the conjunction of historical contexts, political conditions, cultural frames and gender regimes through which specific fears have been ignited, shaped, symbolized, distributed, and sustained. Contrary to the prolific “neuroimagery” of fear as a universal, ahistorical and non-cultural affect, feminist theorists have argued that emotions are cultural practices not psychological states. They have revealed clusters of affective politics, cultural climates, state and popular ideologies, embodied cognitions, national rhetorics, propaganda wars, etc., that induce a strong emotional response of individuals and groups, and diminish or suppress their critical assessment of the situation, “dangerous others”, and “threats”.

Feminist pedagogy as oriented towards personal and collective empowerment, transformative knowledge, social understanding, activism, the development of critical thinking, and re-imagining of a just society is still our most effective means of resistance against the politics and culture of fear nurtured at the heart of the liberal academia. We therefore invite feminist scholars, researchers, activists, artists and others to reflect on fear as a constantly changing phenomenon at the meeting point of lived, cultural, ideological, economic and communicative practices, as well as to investigate the agencies and strategies of those  who oppose fear with the power of bonding, imagination, vision and courageous acts. We welcome proposals for papers, but we are also open to proposals for round tables, performance-lectures or other alternative formats and methodologies of sharing knowledge. Proposals may consider some of the following issues:

–              social norms, cultural patterns, life scripts and intimacies as constructed by gender-related fears and anxieties

–              gendered figures and (collective) fears

–              fears of gendered difference and/or difference encountered by variously gendered subject positions

–              fears of intimate citizenship (related to rights, obligations, recognitions and respect around most intimate spheres of life) vs. fears of lacking the fundamental requisites of citizenship in terms of rights, equality and redistribution

–              gendered fears of social exclusion, marginalization, invisibility vs. fears of being too exposed and unprotected in public realms and digital networks

–              fears of gender binarism, sexual normativity, queer identities

–              conservative fears of “gender ideology”

–              intimidation, surveillance, and governance put in place in the name of protection

–              articulations of gender and fear with landscapes and technologies of surveillance

–              correlation between discourses praising (national) security and privileges, and the paranoid and anxious rhetoric in politics

–              initiatives that explicitly mobilize gendered narratives of resistance to fear or of overcoming gendered bases of fear

–              gender and popular cultures of fear


Course co-directors:

Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research, Zagreb, Croatia,

Lada Čale Feldman, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia,

Francesca Maria Gabrielli, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia,

Silvana Carotenuto, Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Italy,

Elissa Helms, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary,

Sandra Prlenda, Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb, Croatia,

Durre Ahmed, Centre for the Study of Gender and Culture, Lahore, Pakistan,



IUC courses are conducted at postgraduate level. All interested postgraduate students may apply to participate, although the course targets young scholars and postgraduate students with a defined interest in women’s/gender studies, transnational studies, philosophy, sociology, literary and cultural studies, postcolonialism, or anthropology. The course will be limited to 25 participants (15 students) in order to provide sufficient space for discussion, seminar work and student presentations. Participants must seek funding from their own institutions for the costs of travel, lodging and meals. Limited financial support is available for participants from parts of Eastern Europe and some third countries (please see The IUC requires a payment of 50 EUR for the Course fee. The working language of the course is English.

Application Procedure:

Please submit a proposal consisting of a short narrative describing your interest in the topic and your CV. Place all current contact information at the top of your CV. Send submissions by e-mail to (Francesca Maria Gabrielli) and Use the subject: IUC Dubrovnik 2018. The proposal deadline is January, 25th, 2018.


Please follow and like us:
Pin Share





Visit Us