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Statement by the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) in solidarity with the Gaza solidarity encampment at Utrecht University

The Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) stands in solidarity with the Gaza solidarity encampments set up by students at Utrecht University on May 7 and May 8, to which the university responded with the unacceptable deployment of police forces against students and staff.

After months of open letters, student-led peaceful actions, teach-in’s, public meetings, academic events, and consistent attempts by students and staff across UU departments and faculties at establishing substantive dialogue with our Executive Board, and in the wake of the violent eviction of the first Gaza solidarity encampment at the University of Amsterdam in the early morning of May 7, UU students decided to set up their own encampment. The students were joined by faculty and support staff. We hoped not to witness at UU the same repression which was unleashed against the student encampment in Amsterdam as well as across US and European campuses in the past weeks. Regrettably, our own university administration decided yet again not to engage with the demands put forward by students and staff who denounce the ongoing genocide in Gaza, opting instead for the deployment of police forces against the encampment. Students and staff were attacked and detained by Utrecht police on university premises while exercising the most fundemental democratic right to protest.

On the next day, May 8, UU staff walked out and gathered in front of the Academiegebouw with students and other supporting citizens to protest against the actions of the UU Executive Board and the Utrecht police. This demonstration led to the peaceful occupation of Drift 25. The student occupation was joined by a large crowd of staff and citizens who gathered outside the building. At night, the UU administration again decided to call the police against this great display of democracy, self-organization, and solidarity with the Palestinian people. The police intimidated, injured, and detained students, staff, and supporters, just as it had happened in Amsterdam only a few hours earlier. This is simply unacceptable.

We unconditionally support students and staff’s right to protest and endorse the demands put forward by the UU Gaza solidarity encampment. We call on the Executive Board of Utrecht University to apologize for its treatment of students and staff and to seriously engage with those demands:

  1. Take a clear stance against the genocidal nature of the Israeli attacks on Gaza;
  2. Be transparent about the university’s ties with Israeli universities, research institutions, organizations, and companies;
  3. Commit to an academic boycott of Israeli universities and fully divest from all institutions, coorporations and organizations partaking in the occupation of Palestine;
  4. Change policies to reflect recognition and support for decolonial resistance efforts by Palestinians and solidarity organizations and urge other Dutch universities to do the same.

In solidarity,

The Graduate Gender Programme

Utrecht University

Book talk / Public Meeting: Towers of Ivory and Steel: How Israeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom by Dr. Maya Wind.

**please note, due to overwhelming interest the location has changed to Drift 13, room 0.04!).**  On Tuesday May 14, Dr. Maya Wind (University of British Columbia) will come to Utrecht University to dicuss her recent book Towers of Ivory and Steel: How Istraeli Universities Deny Palestinian Freedom (Verso, 2024). The talk will be moderated by Dr. Layal Ftouni, and is taking place at 17:15h-19:30h (Drift 13, room 0.04, Utrecht University). Find more information about the Public Meeting here.

Frames of Palestine (part 3) – Film Screenings

The GGeP is continuing with the third installment of their series of film screenings entitled Frames of Palestine. The first screening of part 3, which will be the film Gaza Surf Club (2016) by Philip Gnadt & Mickey Yamine, is taking place Wednesday March 13th, 17:15-19:00h at Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, room 006. Find more information about the upcoming screenings here.

 

Frames of Palestine (part 2) – Film Screenings

After the Christmas break, the GGeP is continuing their series of film screenings entitled Frames of Palestine. The first screening, which will be the film Photo Booth (2022) by John Greyson, is taking place Wednesday January 24th, 16:30-19:00 at Janskerkhof 2-3 (Room 013). Find more information about the upcoming screenings here.

Frames of Palestine – Film Screenings & National Walk-Out November 29

 GGeP is organising a film screening series entitled Frames of Palestine. The first screening will take place Wednesday November 29th, 17:15-19:00 at Drift 25 (room 1.02). Find more information about the upcoming screenings here.

There will also be a national walk-out on November 29th, 12:00-13:00 happening at multiple Dutch universities, including Utrecht, which coincides with the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian People. The location for the Walk-out in Utrecht will be the Bestuursgebouw (Heidelberglaan 8).

Moreover, students and employees of Utrecht University have written an open letter to the Executive Board of Utrecht University urging them to reconsider their neutral stance in the ongoing genocide happening in Gaza. You can sign the open letter by clicking on this link.

Utrecht Gender Studies Statement – Palestine Solidarity Statement, 2023

The way before us is quite clearly marked.
We are either to fight for justice, truth,
and the right to honest criticism, or we should
 quite simply give up the title of the intellectual.
(Edward Said, 1989)

We as the Graduate Gender Programme endorse the Dutch Scholars for Palestine’s statement, which can be read and signed here.

As scholars, we also stand with the voices expressed in the Birzeit university union’s statement and maintain our solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Rabeea Ahmad receives the Hélène Phoa Gender Studies Research Thesis Prize 2022

The year 2022 marks the third awarding of the Hélène Phoa Gender Studies Research Thesis Prize.  The winner is Rabeea Ahmad with her thesis titled The Transparency/Opacity Conundrum: Locating Dutch Deportation Regimes at Schiphol Detention Center. The prize was awarded during the diploma Graduation Ceremony of the Research Master Gender Studies on October 31, 2022.  The jury enjoyed reading all submitted theses, as they offer an exciting view of what constitutes Gender Studies for a new generation. Although the jury encountered a variety of topics and approaches all submitted work had one thing in common: all authors were committed to knowledge production that contributes to social justice and inclusive diversity. The jury also warmly congratulates the two honorable mentions, Sophia Pekowsky Postpartum as Portal: Reimagining Western Conceptions of the Human Through Linocut Printmaking Workshops on Postpartum and Motherhood and Muhammad Khurram Queerness, Illness: The Psychosomatic Materialities of Pakistanis. See here for the complete interview with this year’s winner. 

GEMMA: Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies
Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies (GEMMA), is a two-year postgraduate interdisciplinary study programme that provides high quality education and professional competencies for personnel working or intending to work in the areas of Women’s Studies, Gender Studies and Equal Opportunities across Europe and beyond. Students benefit from international mobility as they study at two different European universities and obtain a double diploma from the Home and Mobility institutions.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, the GEMMA Master has been included among the ten Erasmus+ projects that have contributed the most to gender equity and empowerment of women. See here

Utrecht Gender Studies statement – Palestine Solidarity Statement, 2021
The Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University together with the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG) condemn the brutal Israeli assaults against the Palestinians and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who are rising up against seven decades of Israeli settler colonial violence. Read our statement here.

Utrecht Gender Studies statement #blacklivesmatter, 2020
These are momentous times. After weeks of shut down and Covid-19 related anxieties, the world has erupted in mass protests in support of #blacklivesmatter and anti-racist struggles. The Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University together with the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG) stands in solidarity with the growing global protests and the work that activist groups and organisations everywhere undertake in order to fight structural racism, white supremacy and the continued colonial order. Read our statement here.

GEMMA student Patrick Zaki free, 2023

GEMMA student Patrick George Zaki was detained in Egypt on February 7, 2020 and has been unjustly kept in prison for 22 months awaiting trial. Patrick is accused of “spreading false news inside and outside the country” based on an opinion article he published on the Daraj website. He was released on parole in December 2021. On 18 July 2023, Zaki was declared guilty of the charge of spreading fake news and sentenced to three years of imprisonment, though the court immediately reduced the imprisonment term to fourteen months, since Zaki had already spent 22 months in preventive detention. However, the following day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pardoned Zaki and ordered his release. Zaki returned to Italy on 23 July 2023.
For more information, see here.

UU Graduate Gender Programme exhibitions 2019:
Exhibition: Footnotes on Equality – in collaboration with Casco Art Institute Utrecht.
Exhibition by MOED: What is left unseen – in collaboration with Centraal Museum Utrecht and the research team of MOED: Museum of Equality and Difference

Platform Gender, Diversity and Social Justice, UU
The Platform Gender, Diversity and Social Justice at Utrecht University provides a demand-driven platform that focuses on analyzing and solving gender, diversity and social justice issues as put forward by our societal partners, as well as to develop strategies for implementing diversity in order to achieve societal inclusion and change. As such, it provides a meeting ground for both researchers and stakeholders, to exchange and enhance their expertise across disciplines, to share and develop best practices and to put possible solutions to the test with a view to truly contributing to the empowerment of under-represented groups in society and to combating stereotyping. The platform is part of research expertise area Institutions for Open Societies.

Platform (In)equality, UU
The Platform (In)equality at Utrecht University focus on the way inequality is affected by different institutions: capital & property relations, divisions of wealth, families, division of care, educational & training traditions, cultural institutions, welfare state arrangements, tax regimes, borders and other international legal structures. Institutions can also affect citizens’ attitudes towards the permissibility of inequalities, for example the rise of meritocratic ideology. The platform is part of research expertise area Institutions for Open Societies.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Utrecht University
Utrecht University stimulates diversity and inclusion within education, research and the organisation. A diverse community of students and teachers contributes to an inspiring and challenging learning environment. In addition, this is a good preparation for working in a pluriform society. Diversity enriches the academic debate and contributes to an intensive cooperation and exchange with social organisations. Utrecht University considers it important to contribute to bridging opposites and creating equal opportunities for all. More information here

Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture – A Comprehensive Guide to Gender Studies (Routledge 2017)

Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture – edited by Rosemarie Buikema, Liedeke Plate and Kathrin Thiele – is an introductory text for students specialising in gender studies. The truly interdisciplinary and intergenerational approach bridges the gap between humanities and the social sciences, and it showcases the academic and social context in which gender studies has evolved. Complex contemporary phenomena such as globalisation, neo-liberalism and ‘fundamentalism’ are addressed that stir up new questions relevant to the study of culture. This vibrant and wide-ranging collection of essays is essential reading for anyone in need of an accessible but sophisticated guide to the very latest issues and concepts within gender studies. For more info read here.

The German version Doing Gender in Medien-, Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften, edited by Rosemarie Buikema and Kathrin Thiele was published in 2017 by LitVerlag. For more info read here.

Revolts in Cultural Critique – Rosemarie Buikema (Rowman & Littlefield 2020)

Rosemarie Buikema’s new monograph Revolts in Cultural Critique has been released as part of the New Critical Humanities series, published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020.
The book is centered around the relationship between art and political transformation. From Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf, to Marlene van Niekerk and William Kentridge, artists and intellectuals have tried to address the question: How to deal with the legacy of exclusion and oppression? Via substantive works of art, this book examines some of the answers that have emerged to this question, to show how art can put into motion something new and how it can transform social and cultural relations in a sustainable way. In this way, art can function as an effective form of cultural critique.

Contribution to publication Beperkt Zicht from Women Inc.

Women are less common in media than men. Research from the Commissioner of Media shows that between 2010 and 2015 their participation in TV-shows from public broadcasting  has even decreased. Commissioned by Women Inc. the UU Graduate Gender Program together with Atria dove into the current state of affairs regarding the representation of women: how often do they appear in the media, in what role and are there differences between several media (television, radio, newspapers, online newssources, social media)? The publication Beperkt Zicht (only available in Dutch) can be found here.