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Home » Uncategorized » Event: CSWG Seminar: “Gender, Displacement and Feminist Methodologies: Researching Border Struggles of Women and LGBTQ Migrants”

Event: CSWG Seminar: “Gender, Displacement and Feminist Methodologies: Researching Border Struggles of Women and LGBTQ Migrants”

We are pleased to say that three of our IASFM Working Group on the History of Forced Migration and Refugees: An International Working Group for Archiving and Documentation members – Dr Veronica Saba; Dr Rumana Hashem and Nithya Rajan – will be presenting papers at the University of Wawick’s Centre for the Study of Women and Gender’s seminar on “Gender, Displacement and Feminist Methodologies: Researching Border Struggles of Women and LGBTQ Migrants.” The session will be chaired by Dr. Stavroula Tsirogianni.

The event will be an online seminar via the Zoom platform and will take place on Thursday 25 February 2021 between 3pm and 5pm GMT. Registration is available via the CSWG online event page at: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/research/centres/gender/calendar/?calendarItem=8a1785d776674c9201768a0468b0135e.

Further details and speaker abstracts by our three Working Group Fellows are available as follows:

Gender, Displacement and Feminist Methodologies: Researching Border Struggles of Women and LGBTQ Migrants

A webinar by fellows of HFMR at the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender

(CSWG webinar, Thursday 25 Feb 2020, 3PM-5PM: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/sociology/research/centres/gender/calendar/?calendarItem=8a1785d776674c9201768a0468b0135e )

This webinar offers a panel of three presentations by feminist ethnographers in sociology and anthropology from India, Italy and Bangladesh. The researchers will present from their doctoral and post-doctoral research on how refugee policy is gendered in India, Italy and the UK, how women and LGBTQI migrants from the global South respond to such policies, and how we can use their narratives of border struggles ethically without producing epistemic violence. The papers focus on three feminist studies in migration and refugee studies: one doctoral study with Mediterranean migrant women and LGBTQI lived experiences in Italian border, one postdoctoral research with LGBTQ asylum-seekers and undocumented migrant women in the UK, and one doctoral study with Afghan women refugees in Delhi, India.

Studying gendered borders: Challenges in narrating ordeals of undocumented women and LGBTQ-asylum seekers in higher education in Britain.
Rumana Hashem, University of Nottingham, UK

Narrating stories of border struggles of women can be done by using a range of creative methodologies including those recently emerging in social sciences research. Nevertheless, the difficulty occurs when we attempt to study those narratives, particularly theorise about the personal story, because the task does not only posit the ordeal as critical to understanding socio-economic and geo-political boundaries but also makes the person as a subject of study whilst providing room for the creation of a new narrative. What constitutes ethical research in this field? What ethical considerations should we confront with more honesty and as critical consideration? I discuss the challenges I encountered and the extent to which feminist methodologies be used as an ethical mode to study experiences of displacement, exile and the immigration control over women and LGBTQ individuals from the global South in higher education in the UK.

Migrant women’s ways out of violence: drawing a feminist ethnography at the eastern border of Italy.
Veronica Saba, University of Trieste. Italy.

This paper originates from the fieldwork I’ve carried out between 2018 and 2019 at the eastern border of Italy, historically characterized by migratory flows, today still crossed by migrations coming from the nearby Balkan route. It explores critical and potential points regarding the exercise of a “feminist ethnography” and seeks to shed light on the mistakes, the unexpected and the turning points encountered during the research. It also addresses the ethical implications of doing research on migration and gender-based violence, clarifying how this aspect is intertwined with the author’s feminist positionality. Therefore I will discuss how, as a researcher-activist, I have tried to build a relationship with the women based on active listening, reciprocity and reflexivity, trying to shape an ethnographic research, as much as possible, freed from power asymmetries.

An ethnography of everyday life: The ethics and quandaries of feminist research with Afghan refugee women in Delhi
Nithya Rajan, University of Minnesota, US.

Drawing upon my research with Afghan refugee women in Delhi, India, I read the discourses of empowerment and resilience produced as part of refugee livelihood initiatives by NGOs against refugee women’s counternarratives about such projects. I am interested in what such a juxtaposition tells us about the limitations of empowerment and the subjectivity ascribed to refugee women. Refugee women’s counternarratives challenge the homogenization and reduction of their desires to the question of survival, even if they are unable to subvert the global systems of power that relegate them to a state of rightlessness in India. Through this presentation, I hope to contribute to the dialogues about the limitations of representation, refugee women’s agency, and what feminist research methodologies can bring to refugee research.


Espiritu, Yến Lê, and Lan Duong. “Feminist Refugee Epistemology: Reading Displacement in Vietnamese and Syrian Refugee Art.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43, no. 3 (2018): 587–615. 
Pinelli Barbara, “Migranti e rifugiate. Antropologia, genere e politica”, Edizioni Libreria Cortina, Milano, 2019.

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