Methods: Run-alongs

One for the methods side of the course, Making space on the run: exercising the right to move in Jerusalem, by Dr Una McGahern, provides an insight into the intersection of politics, the body, and contested spaces.

In her study, McGahern draws on the go-along method, which in the case of her study, involved participating in eight ‘run-alongs’ with a running group, two training sessions in East Jerusalem, and the Palestine half-Marathon in Bethlehem.

[Image via: Right to Movement/Signe Vest]

As well as offering a fascinating analysis of running as “an ongoing political claim and exercise [emphasis in original]”, McGahern highlights the opportunity to do methods in an fresh way:

The ability of the researcher to hold a ‘conversational pace’ of running (or not!) allows local runners the opportunity to initiate, or close, conversation with relative ease. The option to accelerate or slow down the pace of running to run on with others or continue alone provided a safe and non-pressurised atmosphere to participate, observe and gauge perceptions while responding to the different needs, moods, preferences and comfort levels of runners, a key ethical benefit of the run-along method.

Una McGahern, 2019. ‘Making space on the run: exercising the right to move in Jerusalem’, Mobilities. p. 8.

For more on the go-along method, see Margarethe Kusenbach’s 2003 article, Street Phenomenology: The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool; on walking, you can read Tim Edensor’s 2010 study, Walking in rhythms: place, regulation, style and the flow of experience, and Jo Vergunst’s Rhythms of Walking: History and Presence in a City Street (2010), and in the context of Palestine, Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape (2008).

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Reading: Lebanon’s militarized masculinity, by Joey Ayoub

One for Week 5 (or Week 2), Joey Ayoub’s Lebanon’s militarized masculinity provides a comprehensive and insightful reflection on masculinities, gender, and sexuality in Lebanon.

Through the piece, Ayoub considers the ways that masculinity has unfolded since the Lebanese Civil War, as well as the questions that surround the study of Lebanese masculinity, including:

Does ‘Lebanese’ include only those lucky enough to get the difficult-to-obtain citizenship, itself often a sectarian calculation? Do studies exclude, for example, Syrian and Palestinian refugee men who have been in Lebanon for several years? What about those who are half-Lebanese, half-Palestinian, or those who have a non-Lebanese father and a Lebanese mother, and therefore don’t have the citizenship? Does the topic pre-suppose a cis and heterosexual subject? 

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Working as both a primer for the nuances of post-war society and a profound consideration of race, LGBTQ+ rights, socio-economic issues, gender equality, and the Kafala (sponsorship) system, the article also offers paths to research the topic further, via the works of Fatima Sbaity Kassem, Najib Hourani, and Sune Haugbolle.

For more pieces by Ayoub, follow his blog, Hummus for Thought, here.

CfP: Women and Gender Studies in the Middle East

This time a call for papers, for submission towards the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) inaugural conference, Women and Gender Studies in the Middle East, which will be held in Beirut in March 2021.

The thematic focus is broad, and submissions are welcomed from fields such as politics, economics, history, sexualities, culture, arts, and digital humanities, among others.

The deadline for abstracts is October 30, 2019, and submissions must be 250 words, follow the template outlined in the call, and include a reflection on “why you believe this is a pressing topic”.

For more on AMEWS, and their publication, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, visit their latest issue, Generations, here.

CfA: Feminist Studies Mentorship Programme

Here’s an innovative initiative organised by the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration, under which one year of mentorship will be provided by the co-founders and co-directors of the CTDC, Dr Nour Abu-Assab and Dr Nof Nasser-Eddin.

The call’s themes cover a range of areas, including, among others:

  • Decoloniality and Decolonising Methods
  • Feminist Knowledge Production
  • Feminist Methodologies
  • Gender Performances, Masculinities and Femininities
  • Refugeehood Migration and Displacement
  • Feminist Political Theory and Governance
  • Minorities and Marginalised Communities

The Mentorship lasts one year, and is aimed at researchers affiliated with academic institutions, as well as independent scholars and those working in civil society organisations.

For more information on the Centre and the Programme, visit the call, here.

Deadline for applications: July 31, 2019.

Event of Note: Queer Feminisms Writing Workshop

Kohl, a feminist journal with a focus on gender and sexuality in West Asia, South West Asia, and North Africa, has opened its call for applications towards its 2019 Queer Feminisms Writing Workshop.

The workshop will be held over five days between November 29 and December 3 in Lebanon, and will work towards their June 2020 issue.

During the workshop, participants will reflect on how queer feminisms have been conceptualised and experienced in Arabic-speaking societies, both in and beyond the region. Framing the discourse will be questions such as,

What are queer feminisms? How do we theorize them away from western/white articulations? How have queer politics that are intersectional taken root and manifested in our movements’ praxis? What are the queer feminist fault lines we encounter? What political projects are we envisioning and want to see materialize, and what mechanisms do we put in place for ourselves and each other?

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The deadline for applications is August 11; for more details on the submission and eligibility, visit their call, here.