Oecumene Dialogue March 2012

Dear Oecumene friends and colleagues,

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

Summary of items covered in this issue:

  1. Event 'The Second Symposium: Deorientalizing Citizenship', 12-13 November 2012, London
  2. Blog on 'Performance and Political Subjectivity Workshop'
  3. Blog on 'Sexual Democracy, Imperialism and Cultural Translation Workshop'
  4. Discussion 'Second-class citizenship in Bosnia'

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1. Event 'The Second Symposium: Deorientalizing Citizenship', 12-13 November 2012, London

The Oecumene project team is delighted to announce that our Second Symposium 'Deorientalizing citizenship?' will take place on 12-13 November 2012 at the Goodenough College in London.

Thinking about 'citizenship after orientalism' involves addressing two theoretical issues. Firstly, what do we understand by orientalism thirty years after Edward Said’s seminal investigation? How can orientalism be re-articulated beyond its cultural or representational forms? Secondly, what do we mean by citizenship as a possible mode of political subjectivity? Is any articulation of political subjectivity which enacts a claim to rights, or to the right to claim rights, to be understood as citizenship?


2. Blog on 'Performance and Political Subjectivity Workshop'

By Helen Arfvidsson

Shifting between performance studies and political theory, the workshop provided an inspiring discussion on theorizing the political. Edward Ziter’s paper on street protest in Syria compelled us to think about what happens when performances are dispersed in time and space, relocated and taken up in different circumstances. By exploring performances of abjection and martyrdom, Ziter explored contemporary references on the streets of Syria and in social media to the official ceremonial calendar of martyrdom and rituals at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ziter asked us to consider how the current protesters evoke and appropriate performances of past martyrs, and when doing so, how they in turn challenge dominant nationalist narratives.


3. Blog on 'Sexual Democracy, Imperialism and Cultural Translation Workshop'

By PG Macioti

The workshop Sexual Democracy, Imperialism and Cultural Translation opened up a rich and intense exchange about sexuality, citizenship, political liberalism, orientalism and political subjectivity. Leticia Sabsay posed a crucial question that reoccurred throughout the workshop: what would a queer political intervention look like if it questions the Euro-American universalising reification of the sexual-rights bearing subject and the cultural imperialism which results from it?


4. Discussion 'Second-class citizenship in Bosnia'

By Cynthia Morel

In January 2012, more than a year after the October 2010 elections, a national government was finally formed in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). However, Parliament has yet to adopt the necessary amendments to its constitution or electoral law for the elimination of second-class citizen status of ethnic minorities in the country. Bosnia’s Constituent Peoples - comprised of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks - thus continue to enjoy the exclusive right to run for the Presidency and the upper house, while members of other ethnic minorities are disenfranched from effective political and public participation.


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

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