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Global Studies Research Seminar 2023

Frontiers of capital – Extractivism, Commodification and Resistance

Co-organized by the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, Transnational Institute and the International Institute of Social History

A specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Arts, Humanities & Law, and of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Ghent University

In recent times, there has been a surge of mobilisations worldwide, igniting transformative movements that challenge established power structures. From the Mapuche indigenous resistance in Chile, advocating for land rights and cultural preservation, to the anti-uranium mining protests in Niger, highlighting concerns about the environment and community well-being, these local struggles resonate with wider global issues. Across Latin America, protests against mega-projects and extractive industries have gained momentum. The resistance by Xingu indigenous communities in Brazil against the Belo Monte Dam, and the opposition to the Conga mining project in Peru by local communities, reflect deep concerns regarding environmental impact, displacement, and the violation of indigenous rights.

These diverse mobilisations illustrate the intricate landscape of resistance against extractivism, commodification, and social injustices. By examining the convergences and divergences among these movements, our aim is to comprehend the underlying structures and dynamics that shape their struggles. Moreover, we will critically reflect on the potential for solidarity and alliances across borders and at the intersections of class, gender, and race. Through exploring alternative narratives and transformative practices within these mobilisations, we seek to uncover the potential for systemic change and social reconstruction.

This seminar cordially invites you to join us in exploring the frontiers of capital, extractivism, commodification, and resistance beyond mainstream examples. By examining these impactful topics, we will gain profound insights into the complexities of global social change and the potential to forge a more just and sustainable future.

Global Studies Research Seminar 2022

Global Protest – From Outrage to Hope?

Co-organized by the Ghent Centre for Global Studies, Transnational Institute and the International Institute of Social History

A specialist course of the Doctoral Schools of Arts, Humanities & Law, and of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Ghent University

Over the last 15 years we have witnessed mounting mobilisations worldwide, a global outrage that is only compounded by the devastating and unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – from the Arab Uprisings to the Occupy movement, from Black Lives Matter and Ni Una Menos to the Global Women’s Strike, from the Youth for Climate movement to the Gilet Jaunes, from massive Indian farmer’s protests to urban movements for the right to housing, from the Imider (Morocco) to the Xolobeni (South-Africa) protests against mining projects and extractivist development, as well as different Alt-right movements and recent anti-vax or anti-covid-containment mobilisations. In this seminar, we aim to examine different (local or regional) protest movements and their global connections, in the light of key global studies themes, including capitalist production and social reproduction, post-development and post-extractivism, democracy and citizenship. We explore the divergences and convergences among these various mobilisations, as well as actual or potential solidarities, including urban-rural alliances, and connections across intersections of class, gender and race. Moving from an analysis of resistance to the question of reconstruction, the seminar will also reflect on the transformative counter-power of these different protests, and the place of (academic) research in global social change, including ethical challenges, and co-creative or action-oriented methodologies.

Learning Network on Decolonization – Lecture and workshop by Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa (LSE) On Decolonizing Teaching and Learning

The Ghent Centre for Global Studies is proud to participate in the Learning Network on Decolonization of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University, and happy to announce the lecture & workshop series “How to decolonize the University?” We invite you to register for the next lecture and workshop by prof. dr. Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa (LSE) “On decolonising teaching and learning” on December 15 and 16.

Open letter from Ghent University staff and students on the regularization of undocumented migrants in Belgium

As employees, researchers and lecturers of Ghent University, we want to express our deep concern for the 475 People Without Papers who have gone on hunger strike since May 23rd in the buildings of our colleagues at the VUB and ULB and in the Brussels House of Compassion. With this open letter we want to ask federal policy makers in this country to listen to their demands and work towards a clear and just policy.

Statement in solidarity with the Palestinian people

As departments, research groups, unions, student organisations and individual employees, researchers and lectures of Ghent University, we condemn the violent Israeli attacks on the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and within Israel. We express our solidarity with the Palestinian people who have opposed, since 1948, a settler-colonial regime involved in ethnic cleansing, land annexations, population transfers and apartheid.

“Reach Out and Hold on Another Night” – with Behrouz Boochani

On radical solidarity and transnational home-making in resistance to hostile environments and militarized borders

April 22 – 8 pm (CET) – online

Image: Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani, Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time, 2017, videostill

The Ghent Centre for Global Studies is happy to announce to this online event, co-organised with Z33 House of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture and the Hostile Environments Research Platform. You are kindly invited to attend the screening of a conversation with the Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, author of the award-winning No Friend But the Mountain. Writing from Manus Prison (2018), and his translator Omid Tofighian (University of Sydney), with Lorenzo Pezzani (Hostile Environments, Goldsmiths), followed by a panel discussion with Behrouz Boochani, Ashika Singh (Catholic University of Leuven) and Naïma Charkaoui, moderated by Luce Beeckmans (Ghent University).

0,7 cake crumbs or actual cakes?

Why we need a Minister of Global Affairs

Thomas Vervisch (Ghent University) fears an opportunity was missed in the distribution of ministerial posts in the new Belgian government: where is our Minister of Global Affairs instead of Development Cooperation? That would be a sign that our country and its policies are evolving from a neo-colonial to a global approach.