The Annual Minority Research Seminar 2024, Many Gazes of Law, is organizing two concurrent workshops for PhD students on the 12th of April 2024. PhD students are cordially invited to submit an abstract/statement of interest to the following workshops:
Session 1: Methods, Minorities and Law
Session 2: Theorising Women of Colour as Knowledge Producers in Finnish Academia
Abstract Submission Instructions:
Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) online latest by December 31st 2023.
Other important dates:
Notification of abstract acceptance: End of January 2024
Paper submission deadline for Session 1: 18th of March 2024
Questions and contact information: Please contact respective workshop session convenors. See below for contact details and other essential information about each workshop.
Workshop Session 1: Methods, Minorities & Law
Convenors: Isabell Junkkari (email@example.com) & Karla Schröter (firstname.lastname@example.org), Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University
Background: This workshop provides a platform for Ph.D. students to consider the evolving challenges and complexities surrounding minority interactions with legal systems, acknowledging that these issues are dynamic and require ongoing exploration. The workshop encourages interdisciplinary engagement, enabling participants to draw from diverse perspectives to help enrich the discourse on minority encounters with the law, ensuring that research in this vital area continues to evolve and make meaningful contributions to scholarship, methodology, social justice and equity.
The workshop is designed for PhD students engaged in the multifaceted domain of minority research. We are aiming for participants from different backgrounds and fields whose research orbits the nexus of linguistic, religious, ethnic and cultural minorities and their encounters with diverse systems of law. The workshop fosters a collaborative forum wherein participants are encouraged to contribute to the discussion in one of two key fronts: methodological innovation or substantive content.
When submitting their abstract, PhD students are invited to indicate whether their principal interest lies in advancing methodological paradigms pertinent to minority research or in the exploration of substantive issues relating to minority legal rights and experiences. The workshop seeks to pool our collective brainpower to drive forward our understanding of minority research.
As the workshop aims to be interdisciplinary, we hope to see contributions from various fields and employing various methodologies, with links to the realm of law. This could entail, but is not limited to, legal-dogmatic research, sociology of law, legal anthropology, critical legal studies, critical race theory, intersectional research, case studies, empirical or qualitative research, or legal activism. Topics on legal developments, law as a form of oppression, resistance towards laws, or empowerment of minority groups through human rights regimes are welcome.
Send in your abstract of 300 words here by 31 December 2023.
Format of the Workshop:
The selected participants will send in one paper of 5000 words. The submission deadline will be on 18 March 2024. Good-quality submissions may be selected to be published in the Åbo Akademi Working Paper Series (voluntary).
Every participant will be responsible for being the main commentator for one paper and the sub-commentator for another (further instructions will be sent to participants). All the participants are to engage in a discussion on most if not all the papers. Due to the workshop’s highly interactive nature, the workshop will be limited to a maximum of 9 papers.
Workshop Session 2: Theorising Women of Colour as Knowledge Producers in Finnish Academia
Convenor: Dionysia Kang, Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University (email@example.com)
‘For those who live without privilege, resistance is part of existence. It is tiring to be continually resisting, with no real sense that the institutions and structures we come up against are in any way diminished by our fight. But we are not merely working in an isolated moment in our time, our struggles are long and interconnected.’ (Deveci, 2019; p178)
The Eurocentric and male-dominated traditions of knowledge production entail a tendency of conditional listening to and acknowledging Women of Colour (WOC) as knowledge producers. She ought to fit into — often dualistic categories — dominant narratives of victimhood or carry the burden of representing an entire culture in reductive frames that deny her of her agency, authenticity, complexity and, sometimes, privileged positions in different forms. Mohanty’s (1984; p.338) famously located the ‘Third World Women’ written in Western feminist studies ‘as a homogeneous “powerless” group often located as implicit victims of particular socio-economic systems’. As Babara Christian (1987, p. 52) writes, ‘People of color have always theorized — but in forms quite different from the Western form of abstract logic (…) often in narrative forms, in the stories we create, in riddles and proverbs, in the play with language, since dynamic rather than fixed ideas seem more to our liking’, including WOC.
Besides facing the reluctance to embrace WOC as knowledge producers and that their knowledge comes in dynamic and heterogeneous forms, WOC face threats/realities of precarity when deviating from fitting into categorical boxes imposed on them. Their experiences are unique not only in effect to racism but also intersecting with patriarchy, misogyny and class oppression amongst other axes of oppressions. For instance, Moya Bailey (2021) coined the term ‘misogynoir’ to describe ‘the uniquely co-constitutive racialized and sexist violence that befalls Black women as a result of their simultaneous and interlocking oppression at the intersection of racial and gender marginalization.’ Writing about WOC activism, Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande (2023) shows how WOC activists face ‘intersectional vulnerabilities’, whereby they experience complex affects of community joy and hope while simultaneously being vulnerable to disappointments, burnouts and material precarity resulting from the structural reality that they are situated within. Trinh Minh-ha (1989; p. 104) also wrote of a triple jeopardy faced by WOC whenever she takes up a feminist fight, ‘immediately seen as betraying either man, her community or women herself’ since anti-racist and anti-sexist struggles are pitted against one another in Euro-American systems of dualistic reasoning.
In Finland, foreign researchers are underrepresented in professors; only one in 10 foreigners have permanent positions compared to one in three Finns in universities (Rusk & Kymäläinen, 2023). Astra magazine issues 4/2020 and 1/2021, and No Niin magazine have offered spaces for BIPOC voices, when otherwise silenced, to exist in broader knowledge and cultural production in Finland. How does WOC’s process and experience of knowledge production look like in Finnish academia? How is WOC knowledge situated in the sphere of neoliberal knowledge production? In what ways do WOC PhD researchers’ knowledge production contribute to the epistemologies of law, social science and humanities?
This is a workshop invitation for WOC PhD researchers, including those who are subjugated by patriarchy, racism and imperialism, in Finland who are conducting PhD research in the legal, social science and humanities fields. The aim of this workshop is to allow for deeper dialogues to contextualise and interrogate 1) the dynamics of being a WOC and knowledge production in social sciences, 2) systems and technologies of othering WOC in knowledge production; in other words, epistemic violence, and finally 3) possibilities and hopeful practices for WOC knowledge production to thrive. The workshop seeks to fill knowledge gaps on knowledge production and methodologies resulting from the epistemic othering of WOC. This workshop forms a space for convergence and care, and a space to theorise otherwise neglected knowledge. The theorisation will draw on, for example, critical race theories, postcolonial, decolonial and Black feminist theories, the Black Radical Tradition, Third World Approaches to International Law and beyond. This workshop provides possibilities for participants to move towards future collaboration and joint publications.
The workshop format is participatory. Participants will engage in various activities that draw from their own observations to theorise the systems and technologies that other their epistemic contribution in the Finnish context. Finally, the session will close with discussing future hopes and plans of collaborative knowledge production and dissemination in this field of scholarship such as, but not exclusively, through scholarly publications, creative work, events and seminars.
This workshop draws inspiration from the lecture series ‘Destabilizing Normative Landscapes: Racism and Colonial Continuities in Helping Professions’ organised by Dr Kris Clake and Dr Harjeet Badwall at University of Helsinki, and practices by Coletivo Afreketê (IG: @coletivo.afrekete) and Núcleo Antirracista de Coimbra.
Please submit a statement of interest by briefly introducing yourself, and outlining both your motivation for participation, expectations and hopes from participating in this workshop (max. 250 words) here latest by 31 December 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Dionysia Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bailey, M. (2021). Introduction: What Is Misogynoir? In M. Bailey, Misogynoir Transformed (pp. 1–34). New York University Press. https://doi.org/10.18574/nyu/9781479803392.003.0004
Bailey, M., & Trudy. (2018). On misogynoir: Citation, erasure, and plagiarism. Feminist Media Studies, 18(4), 762–768. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2018.1447395
Christian, B. (1987). The Race for Theory. Cultural Critique, 6, 51. https://doi.org/10.2307/1354255
Devici, Y. (2019). In the Changing Light; Daring to be Powerful. In A. Emejulu & F. Sobande (Eds.), To exist is to resist: Black feminism in Europe (pp. 167–180). Pluto Press.
Emejulu, A., & Sobande, F. (2023). Intersectional Vulnerabilities and the Banality of Harm. Meridians, 22(1), 76–93. https://doi.org/10.1215/15366936-10220491
Mohanty, C. T. (1984). Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses. Boundary 2, 12(3), 333–358. https://doi.org/10.2307/302821
Rusk, L., & Kymäläinen, S. (2023, September 8). Tutkijan mukaan ulkomaalaisen on vaikea edetä urallaan Helsingin yliopistossa: ”Se on kuin mafia”. Yle. https://yle.fi/a/74-20049008
Trinh-Thi-Minh-Ha. (1989). Woman, native, other: Writing postcoloniality and feminism. Indiana University Press.