Colloquium: Anti-Gender Anxieties: 'Gender' and 'Civilization' within 'Pro-family' Discourse

  • Date: Dec 7, 2021
  • Time: 17:00
  • Speaker: Haley McEwen, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for the History of Emotions

​​​​​​​The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, led by Prof. Ute Frevert, cordially presents its winter semester 2021/2022 colloquium:

Haley McEwen, University of the Witwatersrand

Anti-Gender Anxieties: 'gender' and 'civilization' within 'pro-family' discourse

Since the mid-1990s, U.S. Christian Right organizations have taken their anti-gender 'pro-family' agendas abroad, globalizing their ambitions to protect the normative status of heteropatriarchy, the gender binary, and the nuclear family model. The United Nations has been a key platform where U.S. Christian Right activists have advanced these agendas through opposition to policy and policy language that is inclusive of gender, sexuality, and family diversity. Pro-family organisations have also been active at national levels, operating across Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa in their efforts to mobilize counter-movements against LGBTIQ+ rights, reproductive rights, and human rights more broadly. This presentation will unpack the ways in which U.S. Christian Right pro-family, or 'anti-gender' groups are strategically mobilizing anxieties about gender and the future of 'civilization' in African contexts. Through critical engagement with pro-family constructions about the dangers of LGBTIQ+ rights for the future of African societies, this presentation will consider the affective dimensions of pro-family discourse, and how these discursive strategies function to obscure the colonial ideologies and power relations that they ultimately seek to reinforce.

Dr. Haley McEwen is Senior Researcher at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies and a nationally rated researcher in South Africa. Her doctoral studies and subsequent research focuses on the U.S. Christian Right 'pro-family' counter-movement against gender and sexuality diversity and rights in African countries. She has published articles on this topic in journals including Critical African Studies, Development Southern Africa, and Critical Philosophy of Race, and popular media platforms including openDemocracy and The Conversation Africa. In 2020, she published research investigating anti-gender attacks on gender studies scholars and programmes around the world with the Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH) as part of their annual campaign for academic freedom. Haley is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Analysis of the Radical Right and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Critical Diversity Studies.

Meeting number: 2740 381 4992
Meeting password: tBkX73jBcj9

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