Questions of age, generation and population: a look into FPE Dialogues – Netherlands

The Dutch edition of our Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues happened on May 17th 2022, in Wageningen, focusing on age, generation and population. Organized by and based on the interests and research of three WEGO PhDs candidates –  Constance Dupuis (ISS), Milja Fenger (ISS) and Nanako Nakamura (WU) – the event wanted to bring  different, but equally essential, discourses around life-making into the Feminist discussions about care, everyday practices, climate discussions, and social reproduction.

In part, it did so by showing the researcher’s cases and approaches, while evoking questions and discussions from the participants. The PhDs shared a similar standpoint of critical view on normativity, inspired by situated own notions and experiences. 

The first session, “Stories of Aging”, conducted by Constance and Nanako, centered on FPE’s intersectional thinking and the resistance against simple binary to see gendered and aging practices as relational construction of social differences. Both Nanako and Constance used socionatural understandings of the people/place intersection though the meanings presented in Japan and Uruguay.

The second session, “Exploring Controversies Around Population”, by Milja, paid attention to the everyday, to the embodied, to emotions. Milja focused on how FPE methodologies do not recognise the written text as the only or primary means of conducting knowledge production – and how FPE is able to be “performed” in multiple ways including through experimentation with art and creativity.

Despite sharing the understanding and FPE’s perspective, the three PhD researches are distinctive in terms of context, methodology, and research question. The multiplicity in FPE application contributes to diversifying the approach and the theoretical grounds of the Dialogues. 

Questions and reflections

Why and how questions of justice in later stages of life intersect with questions of environmental justice were briefly touched during the event. Both Nanako’s and Constance’s work suggested that aging concerns should feature in environmental justice research, with elderly being key actors in the struggles for environmental justice, as well as important knowledge holders. 

The Dutch edition laid out key concepts around human and non-human life. Environment can be diverse, beyond the natural environment, relationally shaped by a social-ecological political process. The discussions teased out some of those relational processes suggesting that any specific environment entails experiences of human and non-human interactions that make life continue in various ways. 

Photo by Sharmini Bissessar

With this notion in mind, WEGO-ITN PhDs can start looking at what makes a new way of living, unraveled not through relying on the popular notion of anti-aging or regeneration of the population, but through relating to different bodily experiences as an ethical approach (Nanako’s work).

In the second session, the FPE dialogue complicated questions by looking into the relationship between art and research and how methodologies from the former can be used in the latter. Milja Fender suggested that research on environmental justice would do well following the developments in wider academia around the use of creative methodologies in research, but that careful thought around what counts as research outputs are necessary.

The Dialogues were open to everyone interested in joining, so as to invite more people to conversations about FPE, and our interests around age and population. The organizers used mailing lists, personal contacts, and social media, e.g. Twitter and Facebook, to share the event announcement.

Final WEGO-ITN training lab starts today

After four years of intense work, discussions, pandemic-related challenges and exciting new experiences, WEGO-ITN early-stage researchers and mentors gather today for a week of in-peron and online meetings, workshops, trainings and celebrations.

PhDs students will have the opportunity to share the development of their work not only with their mentors, but with all the members of the network. There will be small group discussions on research:  what has worked so far, what were the joys and difficulties, how they developed their skills as a FPE Scholar, where to go from now on.

There will also be a number of hands-on sessions, mainly the ones presented by Prof. Andrea Nightingale on how to write up field work and how to write up research into an article, or by Prof. Rebecca Elmhirst on how to move from PhD to applied research or by Prof. Lyla Mehta on how to fund FPE research. The group will work on the writing and conceptualizing of book chapters and contributions to academic journals.

The programme also includes training sessions designed specifically to help PhDs in furthering their careers after the WEGO-ITN network, focused in communication, in how to find funding opportunities for their research, how to succeed in job interviews, how to use social media in your favor, among others.

We are looking forward to an exciting week ahead. And make sure to join us today, April 25th, for the official launch of the “Feminist Methodologies”- book.

What we can learn from women in grassroots environmental justice movements

Notes from “Women in Graassroots environmental justice movements”, CSW66 parallel event, organized by Pangea Foundation and WEGO-ITN, March 22nd, 2022.

Women from marginalized territories are often overlooked when speaking of women’s leadership, but they are often at the frontline of environmental justice movements. To share their powerful stories, Pangea Foundation and the EU funded Innovative Training Network WEGO – Well-being Ecology Gender and cOmmunity on feminist political ecology have organised an online parallel event in the context of the 66th Session of the United Nation Commission on the Status of Women. 

The webinar was introduced by Simona Lanzoni, Pangea Foundation’s vice-president, followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Wendy Harcourt, Professor of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, Netherlands, both members of the WEGO network. Speakers were from different backgrounds: researchers, activists, and farmers and they shared their story of activism or research with women grassroots movements for environmental and social justice. Ana Agostino, WEGO’s ombudsperson, from Uruguay, who has been ombudsperson of the city of Montevideo for five years, shared a story about Vecinas (female neighbours), a grassroot group of women of the city of Montevideo, concerned about what was happening not only to them personally, but to the community at large. Khayaat Fakier, Prince Claus Chair on Equity and Development 2021-3 at ISS, from South Africa, spoke about the Rural Women Assembly, a self-organizing movement of women farmers, spread across thirteen countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Miriam Corongiu, a farmer from the so-called Land of Fires, Campania, Italy, shared her experience as a farmer and activist in an environmentally degraded territory within the networks Citizenship and Community, Stop Biocide and the ecofeminist group Georgica. Seema Kulkarni, from India, national facilitation team member of MAKAAM – Forum for Rights of Women Farmers, spoke about women coming from farmer suicide households. Agustina Solera, Post Doc Prince Claus Chair on Equity and Development at ISS, from Argentina, shared her experience with the Mapuche Community in Patagonia, Argentina. Siti Maimuna, WEGO PhD student at the University of Passau, from Indonesia, told her experience with the local anti-mining movement, the women’s organization TKPT, working with women in communities affected by mining, the indigenous people’s organization OAT, led by indigenous women in the island of Mollo and other NGOs in Kalimantan Island, campaigning for water justice. 

Siti Maimuna’s story is a story of resistance, a story of women resisting extractivism. When mining companies arrived in Indonesia, women opposed the destruction of nature by occupying the territory with their own bodies. According to Siti Maimuna the human body is part of nature, therefore “opposing the destruction of nature is the same as refusing the destruction of the human body” and “the human body and the body of nature cannot be separated”. In Indonesian, “we call the human body Tubuh, and the nature or the territory where the body belongs is Tanah Air, Tanah means soil, and Air implies water. We call[ed] this the resistance to defend Tubuh-Tanah Air. Defending the bodies”. Women led the resistance against mining, activists organized demonstrations and created songs that were sung in every forest as a form of protest and resistance. Some of them decided to bury their feet in cement in protest mining companies and this act became a symbol of resistance. Eventually some companies left the area and since then, every two or three years, women organize a festival to celebrate the resistance and its success.

Women at the Ningkam Haumeni Festival, Indonesia

Agustina Solera’s experience refers to the time of her PhD research, in the Andean area of Patagonia, Argentina, with the Mapuche community and their schools in rural areas. She wanted to learn from the Mapuche’s ‘way of being in relation’, a way of being sustained on care and respect for the weave of life and its regeneration. When Agustina Solera got the opportunity to meet the population she learnt the fear, the stigma and the shame associated with being Mapuche. She recounted that “schools in Argentina played a main role in “civilizing” the surviving indigenous populations, erasing, denying or, in the best case, devaluing ancestral ways of being in relation (between humans and other-than-humans)”.  Now, instead, “rural schools have become places of belongings in which struggles for resistance and re-existence germinate; have become fertile spaces where people from different cultures encounter each other.” Here, we see that the struggle for the reconstitution of language, knowledge, history and culture silenced in the past are not separable from other struggles of environmental and social justice.

Rural Schools, Andean Patagonia, Argentina

Seema Kulkarni’s experience with MAKAAM and women farmers from suicide affected households in the state of Maharashtra, India is a story of agrarian distress, caused by the commercialisation of agriculture. The lobbying from the pesticide and the chemical industries led to an increase in the cost of cultivation and to a transition from a decentralized model to a corporate model of food production. All these factors contributed to an increase in farmers’ suicides, in particular in those states that were rapidly industrialising, and agriculture was increasingly seen in the commercial space.

The women of farmer suicide households are never visible. The state and its programs have not recognised them as workers and farmers in their own right. “Makaam story starts from there, politicizing this issue, centralizing the question of women farmers as farmers and not just as widows of these farmers,” said Seema Kulkarni. These women were dispossed of their rights, the majority of them never had access to the land that belonged to their family, and they were suffering also the stigma associated with their husbands’ suicide. 

The movement’s action that took place in the capital of the Maharashtra state got a lot of attention from policy makers. These women started to be seen as a political category that demanded attention and a different kind of policies. But there was more. Women were saying that during the Covid-19 pandemic the commercialisation of agriculture left them without food, and they wanted real change. They said no to chemical fertilizers and no to chemical pesticides because they didn’t want to be controlled by corporations, they wanted their knowledge and their understanding of their farms to be at the forefront. 

Miriam Corongiu’s story is of resistance and care from the so-called Land of Fires, Italy, a land where two million people live, characterized by toxic fires of illegally discharged waste, big polluting mega infrastructures (such as incinerators and gas power plants), and a phenomenon called ecomafia, organized crime connected to corrupt politicians and irresponsible managers. “It’s right here that agroecology is more necessary” stated Miriam Corongiu, “especially agroecology made by women, because of its attention to the regeneration of the relationship between nature and human beings, not only to the organic techniques to cultivate the land.” She is a member of several grassroots movements in Terra dei Fuochi, such as Stop Biocide and Citizenship and Community network, and part of an ecofeminist group of women, Georgica, all of them cultivating gardens, trying to fight for food sovereignty and agroecology.

Miriam Corongiu, Land of Fires, Campania, Italy

Khayaat Fakier shared the story of the Rural Women Assembly of South Africa, a country deeply affected by the consequences of climate change that make farming and the provision of healthy food and nutrition to children and communities extremely difficult. A group of women coming from a very arid land not far from Cape Town tried to engage with the local and national government in order to obtain access to land for the production of food, but they were quite unsuccessful. Then, thanks to the interaction with a group of fisherwomen through the Rural Women Assembly, they started aquaponics production of vegetables, a mode of production where plants are planted in water. The water is populated by fishes, which feed from the nutrients and the oxygen that the plants emit into the water and, at the same time, the fishes fertilize the water. Both groups of women benefited from the initiative. This is an example of how the idea and notion of agroecology isn’t separate from food production for the communities and “demonstrates a way in which women working in nature can build collaboration in order to not just improve their own conditions and the conditions of the community but to collectivize the struggle for access to production” said Khaayat Fakier. 

Ana Agostino’s story takes place in Montevideo, Uruguay, where the Vecinas, a group of local women, gave the impetus to an urban regeneration project in the city center. Women from the neighborhood brought to the attention of the ombudsperson of the city of Montevideo the problem of abandoned houses in the city center. This led to the creation of a program called Fincas Abandonadas, a project with the purpose of recovering abandoned deteriorated houses located in the central area of the city and restoring their social function. The municipality organized consultations with the local citizens and found three uses for these abandoned houses. First, dispersed housing cooperatives: houses owned collectively that in spite of being all in the same plot, were dispersed within the neighborhood; second, a Trans House, in response to the LGBTIQA+ community’s need to have a collective space for people who had someone in the process of gender change in their families. Third, a Half-way home, a secure home for people facing difficult situations, such as domestic violence, homelessness, having come out of different types of institutionalizations, etc. 

The story of the Vecinas of Montevideo and their complaints about abandoned houses “is a clear example of this continuum between the day-to-day life of women who inhabit their space with a sense of community, and how they help in the definition and implementation of policies that contribute towards a better life for their communities and for the environment,” said Ana Agostino. Moreover, this case demonstrates that care for the environment where women live in, is not limited to the rural space, but it also includes the urban. 

In conclusion, the speakers highlighted what emerged from the discussion and the stories shared during the webinar. Miriam Corongiu stressed the importance of care: care for the land, the community, loved ones and family; Khayaat Fakier the need of enhancing transnational solidarity, making connections within and across movements, between the rural and the urban spaces; Siti Maimuna stated that we have to learn how to reconnect with each other and nature, underlining that “knowledge restitution is very important and we have to start thinking about how the resistance and the struggle is experienced in our bodies.” Seema Kulkarni pointed out that “all of these stories are powerful stories saying that women are organizing, women are collectivizing, and they are looking at alternative ways of living, creating this world”. Ana Agostino concluded by saying that these stories were stories of women’s resistance, but “the resistance we are talking about is a creative resistance reconstituting a way of being in relation with others and to nature”.  

Register now for the “Despite Extractivism” online exhibition

The Despite Extractivism online exhibition assembles expressions of care, creativity and community from diverse sites of extraction and geographical contexts. Extractivism is characterised by the violent accumulation of resources, which often devastates and disrupts affected communities and the natural world. Collectively, the works in this exhibition illuminate and explore ways of questioning, subverting and resisting the logics and impacts of extractivism.Can artistic interventions help foster new sensibilities and solidarities with distanced extractive contexts? Can sites of extraction be a fertile ground for alternatives?

Accompanying the exhibition, our events series is an unfolding opportunity for collective learning and solidarity building with artists, activists, academics, communities and active audiences.

Between an online launch event and a closing event, three webinars will explore the stories, ideas and practises of the Despite Extractivism contributors and the communities they engage with. The events, featuring performances, presentations and discussions, focus in turn on expanding but intersecting scales, from the body to the global. Presenters and further information to be announced.

Register now and don’t miss it!

 

Check out the exhibition’s program

Welcome
Thursday 20th January |12-1.30pm (UK)
The curatorial collective will be joined by contributors to launch the website and open the exhibition to the public. Together we will take a guided journey through the online exhibition spaces, meet the artists and explore the themes and questions at the heart of the exhibition.

Embodiment
Thursday 27 January |12-1.30pm (UK)
Embodied, sensory or emotional experiences can evoke (new) sensibilities to extractive realities at a personal level. In this webinar we will explore how particular kinds of creative practises and strategies not only portray such experiences but also motivate embodied persistence or resistance , because of – or despite – extractivism.

Community
Thursday 3 February |12-1.30pm (UK)
Communities of place are often at the centre of stories about impacts and resistance to extractivism. When we ask what persists ‘despite extractivism’, the question also invites us to think about what we mean by ‘community’ in our stories.

Worlding
Thursday 10 February |12-1.30pm (UK)
Extractivism describes a singular and toxic way of being in and relating to the world. Each Despite Extractivism contribution invites us to relate and act ‘otherwise’ in different ways and through different registers. Working with the Zapatista definition of the pluriverse – ‘the world we want is a world in which many worlds fit’ – this webinar provides a common space to share stories and conversations across our differences.

Closing
Tuesday 8 March – International Women’s Day (Time TBA)
This event will bring together the collective learning of the exhibition and accompanying events. Rather than marking the end of the project, the event will consider what new ideas, connections or questions have unfolded and how we might cultivate these.

Thinking visually at the 8th Degrowth Conference

The 8th International Degrowth Conference that took place in The Hague between August 24th and 28th was an immersive and comprehensive event  around the central theme of “Caring Communities for Radical Change”. During the five days of the conference, debates focused on care and justice as a way of thinking of degrowth as a collective project promoting sustainable, decolonial, feminist and post-capitalist modes of flourishing.

WEGO-ITN was one of the organizers and our PhD worked for months to guarantee that it would run smoothly – you can read Anna Katharina Voss’ insights here and here, for more details on the organizations.

Panels, plenaries, movie screenings and art installations helped deepen the discussions and broaden the ways that informations got spread. WEGO-ITN added another layer into this visual thinking by inviting artist Carlotta Cataldi to produce an artistic representation of three of the plenaries.

Feminist Political Ecology Perspectives on Degrowth:

Decoloniality and Degrowth Plenary: Resonating and Listening:

And the Closing Plenary:

You can take a look on how Carlotta creates her work on video as well.

 

 

 

Caring in the time of Covid, in Indonesia

July 2021

This morning, like every morning in the past weeks (I can’t remember exactly how many), when I get my phone to view my WhatsApp messages, I prepare myself to see and hear death. My relatives’ death, my friend’s death, my friend’s families, my friend’s friend, my neighbours, my neighbours’ families. And the list continues.

My ears go numb from hearing ambulance’ sirens, announcement of neighbors’ death from nearby mosques. It feels numb now to listen to such stories of death, how they were well, healthy, kind people. How they struggled at the end of their lives to find the care they needed (not all, but many, mostly). How they were alone (without their loved ones) in their final days of struggle.

My eyes are exhausted from reading death, pain, suffering and precarity. The news is full of death. Crowdfunding is filled with stories of people losing jobs that can not afford food for their families. Twitter is flooded with sad, desperate updates. I want to close my eyes and stop listening.  But closing my eyes makes the demon even bigger and scarier.

My heart used to feel anger. But now I feel scared. It feels like days go by and I wait for my turn. What if I need medical care (which is almost impossible to get now)? What if I don’t make it? What would it feel like to leave my two young children forever?

My head is just full, no space left there.

I and I see people have done what they can do, we try to care more. But nothing we do is enough. People are still starving. People are still struggling. People are still in pain. And those in power do not seem to understand the weight of ordinary people in their everyday life. They live in their bubble.

The day I finished this draft, a friend passed away (Monday evening, 19 July 2021, Bogor, Indonesia). He was a kind, loving husband and father to his 4 years old son. Healthy, young, just started a small workshop that provided income for 5 employees and their families. I contacted him at the end of last month, June, when I heard that his wife was infected with Covid and needed to self-isolate, and he was fine back then. He asked me to pray for him and his family to make it through. A week or so ago I knew that he was admitted to the hospital because he was infected and had problems breathing. Then he got worse – but not too worse – judging from the video he showed in his WhatsApp status. I kept on sending him messages (I asked him not to reply). I sent prayers. Then he said to his wife that he got better, tested negative, but was still in the hospital to improve his health. Two days later, he departed.

I got angry with the government, with God, with him. What an untrusted ruler to let their people dying to breathe and survive. What a cruel God to take him away when he had so much to live on. I got angry at him for not fighting harder, how dare he leave his very young son behind. People are unfair, the world is unfair. Every day is really hard to navigate. I got so many questions in my head in these terribly difficult times. I can’t even start to understand.

 

24 Aug 2021

I find it hard to decide whether I should share it or keep it in my folder, contained safely – suppressing my emotions and not letting it show – as the world tells us to do – be strong, be resilient. But then, two days ago, a good friend’s husband passed away, after two weeks of struggle in the hospital. Their sons are similar in age with mine and used to be in the same class in their school. That’s how I met my friend (the wife). She offered me her friendship, despite our differences. This gives me a push to share these small notes, to grieve and to remember them.

 

16 Sept 2021

Thinking and acting Care with FPE

My journey with FPE (Feminist Polirical Ecology) tells me to be reflective, to listen to stories embodied by others, my own stories. María Puig de la Bellacasa said that care is a matter of innocence as well as non-innocence and situatedness of care. 

Covid changes the way of caring. I do not have many friends but meeting occasionally and especially when we are in difficult times has always been a feature of our relationship. Being close and looking into their eyes, listening to their lived struggles, are a way of caring that I found healing – or at least it helps me to survive another day (both as the recipient or giver of care). But then Covid rules say that being close to each other, and having physical contact, is the opposite of caring. We struggle to connect and sense through words in our WhatsApp and voices over the phone, as video calls seems too much during bad days.

And therefore we scramble trying to find ways to stay with the trouble (famously said by Donna Haraway) – do we have other options anyway? (As I read from Anna (Tsing, 2015) in her book in ruin of capitalism context): Continue or maintain life – forget repair. At that point when my friends even find it hard to breathe, to survive. I just want to continue life (make every day bearable) and leave repairing to another time and space.

“in the most general sense,  care is a species activity that includes everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our world so that we may live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, our selves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining web.”
Berenice Fisher and Joan C. Tronto, “Toward a Feminist Theory of Caring,” in Circles of Care, ed. Emily K. Abel and Margaret Nelson (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1990) in (Tronto, 2015) emphasis added.

Caring is indeed not necessarily a feel-good thing, Bellacasa mentions this in her book Matters of care (Bellacasa, 2017). Caring means being emotionally drained for days when your good friend is ill and you see them pass away. Caring means that no matter how I feel shattered, I need to get up and be there for my young children.

Reciprocity is something in care that FPE scholars have attended to, and I find it in my everyday experience of care for my young children. The time I care for my young children (who are not able to take care of themselves yet), it is also the time I feel cared for. Maybe it is the kind of reciprocity that might be different with the conventional reciprocity “This is because reciprocity involves giving, receiving, and returning what has been given” (Mauss, 1974 in (Gómez Becerra & Muneri-Wangari, 2021)). My young children at this care relation do not necessarily return what I gave to them, but still their mere existence fuels my everyday life (in positive and negative sense) – me talking from the perspective of a mother from the Global South, with a partner attending to one school age child (online school for 1.5 year now) and one toddler. After all the pain of losing I experience, I might not be whole now if not for my children.

 

Readings that helped me with this piece:

Bellacasa, M. P. de la. (2017). Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. The University of Minnesota Press.

Gómez Becerra, M., & Muneri-Wangari, E. (2021). Practices of Care in Times of COVID-19. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 3(June), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fhumd.2021.648464

Tronto, J. C. (2015). Who Cares? How to Reshape a Democratic Politics (First). Cornell University Press.

Tsing, A. L. (2015). The Mushroom at the End of the World: on the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. In PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS (Vol. 1). Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004

 

Opening: Post-doctoral researcher in the field of Equity and Development

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), is an internationally oriented university with a strong social focus in its education and research. Inspired by the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam, our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global social challenges. Our mission is therefore “Creating positive societal impact”. Our academic education is intensive, active and application oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR ranks amongst the top European universities. Erasmian values ​​function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded.  

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic center for international development studies. While based in The Hague, the ISS is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. ISS was established in 1952 as a post-graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science and development-oriented research. ISS brings together a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from both the global South and the global North, on average originating from over 50 different countries. The Institute brings together people, ideas and insights in a multi-disciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters and promotes critical thinking and innovative research on fundamental social problems. The strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in developing countries make up a vibrant network where we co-create knowledge so that teaching and research remain socially relevant. Key to the ISS philosophy and practices is the wish to contribute to achieving social justice and equity on a global level.

NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development is a cross-domain initiative within the Dutch Research Council (NWO), WOTRO Science for Global Development programmes, finances and facilitates research for inclusive global development. The WOTRO research programmes are aimed at providing knowledge and skills that contribute to sustainable solutions for social and ecological problems in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The Prince Claus Chair (PCC) of Equity and Development (2021-2023) seeks to employ a post-doctoral fellow for two years starting in January 2022 to be based at the ISS in The Hague, The Netherlands, with field work in South Africa or another country in the Global South. The post-doc researcher is partly funded (40%) by NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development and 60% by ISS.

We are inviting applications for a post-doctoral fellow (fixed term, 2 years I FTE) who have attained a PhD in the last 5 years on a topic which would complement the research agenda of the PCC (2021-2023). See: https://www.iss.nl/en/media/2020-08-pcc-21-23-background-paper-website-docx

Duties:
  • Writing and publishing peer-reviewed publications emanating from the research of the PCC 2021-3
  • Conducting fieldwork with the PCC in South Africa and working closely with the PCC and host of the PCC at ISS in The Netherlands 
  • Strengthening and developing links with networks and organisations related to the work of the PCC 2021-3 in Europe and South Africa
  • Performing relevant PCC administrative and committee duties
Requirements:
  • PhD in Development Studies or related discipline with a focus on care, environmental justice and feminist methodology 
  • Ability to do sustained collaborative research 
  • Strong publication record in English 
  • Appropriate communication and language skills to engage with stakeholders at community, academic and policy levels 
  • Availability to live and work in The Hague, The Netherlands for dedicated periods
Recommendations:
  • Expertise in the fields of gender, community development and environmental justice;
  • Demonstrated interest in feminist environmental and social theory and feminist research methods
  • Existing relationship with community based and non-governmental organisations in Europe and South Africa
How to apply?

To apply, please send your application package to vacancypccpostdoc@iss.nl

Please make sure all required documents are combined in one PDF in the order mentioned below.

To be considered for the Postdoc positions, applicants must submit:

  • A motivation letter illustrating expertise in the fields of gender, community development and environmental justice; knowledge of feminist environmental and social theory and feminist research methods and community based organisations.
  • A CV in English (including the names of two referees)
  • A recent publication in English
Please submit your applications with all required documents in one pdf file to the Selection committee by email 

Deadline for submitting your application is 15 September 2021

Short-listed candidates will be interviewed online. The interviews are expected to take place early-mid October 2021. 

The International Institute of Social Studies is committed to building and sustaining a community based on inclusiveness, equity and diversity and believes this will contribute to our mission and vision of being the best institute in our field. ISS is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities and nationalities.

Additional information

For further information regarding the position please also contact Wendy Harcourt harcourt@iss.nl 

Conditions of Employment

An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

The start date of this position is as soon as possible, and you will be based at The International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. The successful candidate will be offered a temporary fulltime contract for two years, at the level of Post-doc with Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

In accordance with the conditions applied at Erasmus University Rotterdam as indicated in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO NU) of the Dutch universities, the salary is dependent on the candidate’s experience and is set at a maximum of CAO NU scale 11 with a minimum of € 3.746, – and a maximum of € 5.127,- gross per month, on a fulltime basis. In addition, EUR pays an 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year payment of 8.3% and offers excellent secondary benefits, like a very generous leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave. Employees can also use EUR facilities, such as the Erasmus sports center and the University library.

EUR offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on pay-roll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with nearby universities of Delft and Leiden.

New article: “Practices of Care in Times of COVID-19”

Our researchers Marlene Gómez Becerra and Eunice Muneri-Wangari published a paper on “Frontiers in Human Dynamics”: Practices of Care in Times of COVID-19. They also explained how this publication came into being:

“We saw in this health crisis the ideal scenario for rethinking and listening to other forms of life and to recognize diverse practices of care that can work as a vehicle of social change. Questioning these practices motivated us to write this paper”

 

Abstract:

We argue that the COVID-19 virus has been a trigger for emerging practices of care by being an actor with agency that transforms the everyday life of subjects by placing them under uncertainty. Therefore, this paper aims to show how practices of care emerged or were maintained as vulnerable groups were confronted by restrictions to movement and uncertainties following the outbreak of COVID-19. We demonstrate this using two case studies of the Maasai pastoral community in Narok, Kenya and the community kitchens in the city of Berlin, Germany. Thus, we seek to show how practices of care for, care about, and care with are carried out by the members of these communities during pandemic times. Granted that care remains highly contentious in feminist literature, this paper contributes to a growing body of literature on care in Feminist Political Ecology by broadening the conceptualization of care. The research builds on a typology of care relations based on practices of distribution, exchange, and reciprocity. This allows us to show when care is exercised in a unidirectional and hierarchical way and when in a multidirectional way reinforcing social bonds of responsibility and collective care that transcends the socio-nature boundaries.

The article is Open Access and you can read the full paper here.

Register now for ‘Feminist political ecology and the economics of care’ at IAFFE

WEGO-ITN’s coordinator Prof. Dr. Wendy Harcourt will be speaking on June 17th at the 29th international conference of the International Association for Feminist Economists, in Quito, Ecuador. The preconference lecture – ‘Feminist political ecology and the economics of care’ – will be online, 16:00 (Quito time) and 23:00 (Amsterdam time).

Registration for English speaking public

Registration for Spanish-speaking public

About the lecture:

Caring for climate, caring for earth and caring for people should be at the centre of economic value, not at the margins. What is required is to build caring communities for change based on solidarity economies. Such economies would value care work in all areas of live with the creation of new job sectors and climate-friendly livelihoods which challenge the gendered composition of today’s neoliberal, androcentric and capitalocentric economy.

In her lecture, Professor Wendy Harcourt will discuss how different notions of care from feminist political ecology, feminist economy and feminist degrowth profoundly challenge the neoliberal capitalist focus on growth, the free market and technological efficiency and the inadequate lip service paid to notions of gender, empowerment and inclusion. 

Seminar: ‘Imagining Abolition Ecofeminism(s)’ is now online

Giovanna Di Chiro, Professor of Environmental Studies at Swarthmore College and WEGO-ITN partner, spoke on April 29th on an ISS’ Development Research Seminar. She discussed approaches to community-based research and pedagogy that integrate abolition feminisms and anti/de-colonial and environmental justice activism.

It this seminar, Prof. Di Chiro proposed imagining and practicing more just and care-based forms of ‘sustainability’ in the face of the growing, and interconnected crises of poverty, dispossession and climate disruption. She was introduced by WEGO-ITN’s coordinator, Prof. Wendy Harcourt.

You can now watch the talk here.