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Asien-Orient-Institut PRO GED

Thematic Fields

PRO GED’s activities are developed along three main thematic fields that have been identified according to the expertise and interests of the partner institutions involved in the North and the South.

Gender, Memory and Development

This field covers processes of gender and change via the theme of memory that we will tackle, more particularly, through the prism of archives. In spite of the substantial research that has emerged over the past decades in the fields of women’s / feminist and gender history, mainstream research and teaching of history still widely ignore the analytical challenges posed by concepts of gender to the use and theorization of archives. This diagnosis leads to more basic questions regarding the gendered and gendering process of selection and (re-)transcription involved in identifying, recording, classifying and ordering historical material.

Within this PRO GED thematic field, we suggest looking at archives not only in their narrow institutional understanding. We explore their production and usages as a specific discursive regime in their connection to the construction and transformation of collective memory and identity, studying archives not only as a source of information about gendered social and representational regimes, but also as an object of inquiry in itself. The two following main questions are therefore at the core of this thematic axis: How does gender shape the making of archives? And how, in turn, do archives contribute to constructions of gender?

Gender and Diversity Knowledge in Public and Private Organizations

This field is devoted to problems of organizational knowledge production and circulation in the realms of gender and diversity, the intersection of gender, sexuality, gender identity, class, ‘race’, and disability. This thematic field investigates organizational development and the transformation of work and jobs as embedded within constructions of power, status and hierarchy. Issues of gender and diversity are highly relevant to the formation of professional perspectives and behaviours within organizations. An organization’s industry-type and history can influence its implicit and explicit handling of gender and diversity constructs. This has implications for the design and implementation of organizational equality policies, as well as for the definition of jobs and personal development.

This PRO GED thematic field will investigate the organizational conceptualization of gender and diversity, as part of both organizational practices and organizational equality and human resources policies. The aim of this thematic field is, on one hand, to highlight specific scenarios faced by organizations when fostering equality. On the other hand, the conditions and assumptions of organizational reflection upon gender and diversity discourses will be explored.

Gender, Diversity and Public Space

This field focuses on space, the circulation of people within public spaces, and public policies, in the light of power relations. Processes of inclusion and exclusion – along the lines of gender, sexuality, class, race, age, and disability – are a core issue when researching both public space and public policies, and research has long shown that urban regulations contribute to the uneven making of subjects in public space. Some of them are constructed as vulnerable, thus becoming the object of specific policies aiming at protecting or empowering them – for example women in public space, political refugees, or women in management positions. Others are, conversely, constructed as embodied forms of danger (particularly with regard to national security issues) at the crossroads of multiple power relations – for example sex workers, so-called economic migrants, or veil-wearing women in Europe. These analyses shall reveal how certain categories of subjects are the unnamed targets of measures proposed by local governments to attract them to the public space. It shall also underline how the definition of what is the appropriate access to space actually legitimizes specific forms of mobility and technologies of the self, which contribute to the constitution of respectable subjects, while, conversely, control or restriction measures are designed for those considered as a threat or as a problem, thus legitimizing their categorization as deviant or immoral.

This thematic field aims at highlighting how public policies produce hierarchical organization in access to public space at different scales, thus contributing to the making of spaces of difference. Considering how users of public space are unevenly considered by such policies along schisms of, amongst others, sex, gender, sexuality, as well as ethnicity, class, religion or nationality, it intends to shed light on the uneven making of political subjects in different national contexts. Drawing on various case studies and theoretical reflections at the crossroad of gender studies, migration studies and urban studies, this field seeks to create a collaborative support place leading to an international interdisciplinary network.