Master classes

Master classes are open to all PhD students and advanced Master students with an interest in gender & diversity. 

- Registration by sending an email to:  (Registraion deadline is September 1, 2019).

- Please include your name, affiliation and a brief description of your research and research methods.

- The readings will be provided to the participants by email.

- Venue: Campus Boekentoren, Building Blandijn, Room 120.012, Blandijnberg 2 9000 Ghent


Master Class Shelley Budgeon & Katrien De Graeve: Embodying neoliberal femininity

9 September, 13:30-16:30

The session will begin with a 45 minute lecture which will briefly contextualise challenges presented to feminism by the establishment of neoliberal hegemony before critically ‘unpacking’ a range of key concepts including postfeminism, neoliberal governmentality, entrepreneurial subjectivity, and technologies of gender. The lecture will be followed by a Q & A session in which the following questions will orient the discussion. In preparation for the discussion please complete these questions prior to the session. 

  1. To what extent are we witnessing a resurgence of feminism?
  2. Has feminism become unwittingly complicit in the reproduction of social inequality? Why/why not?
  3. How can we conceptualise the power relations that constitute neoliberal gendered subjects?
  4. Can neoliberalism be resisted by feminism? What are the main strategies associated with resistance?
  5. What are the implications of critiques of ‘neoliberal femininity’ for transnational feminism? Do these critiques translate to non-Western contexts? Why/why not


Rottenberg, Catherine. 2014. “The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism”. Cultural Studies, 28(3): 418-37.
Gill, Rosalind and Orgad, Shani. 2015. “The Confidence Cult(ure)”. Australian Feminist Studies, 30(86): 324-44. 
Eschle, Catherine and Maiguashca, Bice. 2018. “Theorising Feminist Organising in and Against Neoliberalism: Beyond Co-optation and Resistance?” European Journal of Politics and Gender, 1(1):223-39.
Dosekun, Simidele. 2015. “For Western Girls Only?” Feminist Media Studies, 15(6): 960-75.


Please reflect upon one of the concepts/frameworks associated with the critique of neoliberal femininity/feminism and apply it to an aspect of your own research. How useful is this approach? What insights does this concept facilitate? What are some of its limitation?  (up to 1000 words)


Master Class: Paul Boyce & Ladan Rahbari: Sexual Worldings

10 September, 13:30-16:30

The first part of the master class will start with a 45-minute lecture by Paul Boyce titled “Sexual Worldings”. Paul Boyce is a lecturer in Anthropology and International Development in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex.

In this lecture, Paul Boyce will introduce the key theories, concepts and ideas on sexual life-worlds as they might be understood in relation to knowledge making activities and everyday experience. These themes are explored through the example of HIV prevention work in India. Much global health work seeks to define sexualities in respect of determining categories and quantifiable attributes. In the lecture we will consider how such an approach occludes focus on the ‘messiness’ of sexual being-in-the-world. This perspective re-orients research focus away from imaginaries of the individuated sexual subject toward a conceiving of Dasein, Heideggers term for designating qualities for worldly being whereby world and being might be regard as isomorphic. While it is not the intent of the lecture to offer a detailed philosophical account we will consider some practical aspects of such thinking as it might query the object of sexualities studies.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session in which the participates will be given the chance to ask questions on the lecturer.


After a short break, in the second part of the master class, the participants will discuss the questions that they have prepared beforehand (see assignments) in group(s), and then they will choose 1-2 key questions to discuss will Paul Boyce. The lecturer will then engage with the participant groups and will guide the discussions on the selected main issues. 


Compulsory reading and listening tasks:

  • Boyce, P. (2007). Conceiving Kothis: Men who have sex with men in India and the Cultural Subject of HIV Prevention, Medical Anthropology, Vol 26, No. 2
  • Manalansan, M. (2015). Queer Worldings: The Messy Art of Being Global in Manila and New York. Antipode, Vol. 7 No. 3
  • The podcast: “Worlding with the Body, Society for Cultural Anthropology”  (participants should have listed to this podcast before the master class)

Suggested reading:

  • Lorway, R., Rezha-Paul S. and Pasha A. (2009) On Becoming a Male Sex Worker in Mysore. Medical Anthropology Quartlerly, Vol 23, Issue 2


Send a package of assignment 1&2 at least two weeks before the master class date (before August 27, 2019) to Ladan Rahbari ( Assignment 3 is orally presented during the master class:

  1. Prepare an abstract of 200-300 words on a research project/interest that you are engaged with. Kindly outline the subject and its connection to the master class topic in this abstract (please don’t forget your names and affiliations in this file);
  2. Please read the compulsory texts and listen to the podcast “Worlding with the Body, Society for Cultural Anthropology” before attending the master class. Try to reflect upon the new concepts and frameworks that you encounter in the reading/listening tasks. Based on your own research interests, and the reading/listening tasks, prepare three key questions that you would like to discuss during the master class. Please send the questions in the same document, just under the abstract;
  3. Prepare a max two-minute introduction of yourself (focus on your (i) disciplinary background, (ii) research interests, and (iii) what brought you to this master class).


Master Class: Anna Andreeva & Angelika Koch: Sex, Gender, and the Body in pre-1900 Japan

11 September, 13:30-16:30

This masterclass will focus on the historical notions of sex, gender, and the body in premodern Japan before the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Charting the historical and cross-cultural entanglements of different spheres of knowledge, such as Buddhism, Shinto, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and European medicine, we will discuss the permutations of ideas about the body and Japan’s historical configurations of sex and gender during the medieval and early modern times. 



Selby, Martha Ann, 2006. “Narratives of Conception, Gestation, and Labour in Sanskrit Ayurvedic Sources.” Asian Medicine1(2): 254–275. 
Ming, Chen, 2006. “Turning Female into Male,” Asian Medicine1(2): 315–334. 
Andreeva, Anna, 2017. “Childbirth in Early Medieval Japan” in C. Pierce Salguero (ed.), Buddhism and Medicine: An Anthology. New York: Columbia University Press, 336-350. 
Sterling, Anne Fausto, 2000. ‘Dueling Dualisms’, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality.New York: Basic Books & Koch, Angelika Sexual Healing. Sexuality, Health and the Male Body in Early Modern Japan(book manuscript) (excerpts) 


a) Prepare a 300-word outline of the new insights about the historical notions of gender in Japan (and broader East and South Asia) that you gained from any two readings.

b) Based on all the readings, prepare 2-3 questions related to the historical dynamics and complexities of ideas about sex, body, and gender in premodern Japan. How does this new knowledge relate to your own research?

c) Based on the proposed readings and images, prepare the discussion questions.

Medieval Japan:

  • Is there a kind of knowledge that is specific to gender? Can you describe it?
  • Does such knowledge stay static? Does it move between genders, spaces, and times?
  • Can a gender be changed? How? What for?
  • Based on reading 3 [pp. 339–346 only], can you identify any structures or scenes of male observation of women? Why would such structures need to exist? 
  • Based on reading 3 [pp. 339–346 only], can you identify spaces, types of knowledge, and actions that are inhabited and performed by women only and with cooperation of men? 
  • How do women and men control the bodily time of their own and others?

Early modern Japan: 

  • What is ‘sex’? How is it currently defined legally/medically?
  • How many sexes are there (now/historically)?
  • What is Faust-Sterling’s scholarly position? What is her field of specialization?
  • Look at Image 1 below, which represents the body from the viewpoint of Chinese-style medicine (kanpō). How would you describe it in terms of sex? Which features are you basing your argument on?
  • In Image 2, how do the male and female body compare? Is there any division line drawn between them in terms of sex and if so, how?
  • Image 3 represents one of the earliest examples of a Western-style anatomical depiction in Japan. How would you understand its implications about sex?