Oecumene Dialogue June 2011

Dear Oecumene friends and colleagues,

We are very pleased to send you the June edition of Oecumene Dialogues, our monthly newsletter.

Summary of items covered in this issue:

  1. First Symposium: Citizenship after Orientalism, 6-11 February 2012
  2. Recent blogs on South Sudan and on statelessness
  3. 1st Visiting Fellow: Elena Ostanel

You are receiving this newsletter because you are subscribed to the Oecumene website. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter anymore, simply use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

1) First Symposium: Citizenship after Orientalism, 6-11 February 2012

We are please to announce the first six-day Symposium 'Citizenship after Orientalism', 6-11 February 2012, The Open University, Milton Keynes.

The Symposium will include:

  • A Conference 'Opening the Boundaries of Citizenship'
  • An International PhD School 'Tracing Colonialism and Orientalism in Social and Political Thought'
  • A series of workshops addressing specific topics on critical new ways of conceptualising citizenship.

Keynote speakers: Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley), Paul Gilroy (LSE), Bryan Turner (CUNY), Engin Isin (The Open University). 

PhD School Conveners: Ian Almond (Georgia State University), Roberto Dainotto (Duke University).

The first Symposium will explore what it means to open up the boundaries of citizenship. How can we give an account of other ways of being political? Which political practices have been rendered inarticulable as political by exclusionary ideas of citizenship? These questions seem most relevant today, in light of the contemporary re-articulation of orientalist and colonial projects, the increasing popular discontent towards renewed exclusionary logics, and the contested meanings of democratic politics across boundaries.

For further details please visit the event section on our website. The call for papers and applications are now open.


2) Recent blogs on South Sudan and on statelessness

Globalising statelessness

By Laura van Waas

Whether described in terms of membership or of participation, citizenship reflects some form of belonging, contributing to the drawing of dividing lines between 'us' and 'them'. Within the legal discipline, citizenship generally denotes a formal boundary, separating those who are official members of a state from those who are not. Also termed nationality, citizenship is then defined as the legal bond between a person and a state. Citizens are members of the state and hold certain rights and duties on that basis. Non-citizens are excluded – they are foreign, alien. The institution and globalisation of citizenship has therefore allowed modern states to stake out their people, much as they do their territory.


Citizenship in post-referendum Sudan

By Cynthia Morrel

Following decades of civil war, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 provided southern Sudanese with the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination by way of a referendum. In January 2011, voters overwhelmingly supported the call for secession from Sudan.


3) 1st Visiting Fellow: Elena Ostanel

Elena Ostanel (Iuav of Venice) is the first Visiting Fellow to join the Oecumene research team at The Open University. During her stay from 6-20 June 2011 she presented her research to the Oecumene group and worked closely with the team to develop her research and opportunities for future collaboration.

In her own words she describes her research interest as follows: 'If citizenship is an historical process that exists at any time and place, constituted by strategies of being political, the aim of this study is to delve profoundly into the construction of this historical process questioning the same notion of 'citizenship' in three case studies: Padova, Johannesburg and New Orleans.'

To read more visit Elena's profile on the Oecumene website.


Oecumene: Citizenship after Orientalism is funded by an European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant (Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour ERC-AG-SH2).

This website is maintained by the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University · Website privacy at the OU

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)ERC: European Research CouncilThe Open University