Postgraduate course in Feminist Critical Analysis: Perspectives on Pacifism

Faculty of Media and Communication Belgrade, Center for Women’s Studies Belgrade, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers – State University of New Jersey, and the Coalition Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities – Margins Skopje are pleased to announce the annual postgraduate course in Feminist Critical Analysis: Perspectives on Pacifism – Old and New, that will take place from May 22–26 2023, at the Inter-University Center (IUC) in Dubrovnik.

Psihologija obrazovanja

Using feminist critical analysis as a point of departure, this course will bring together themes of feminism and pacifism, since they are both inextricably linked and are theoretically and politically relevant for each other. We know, that only when we analyze conflicts from a gender perspective, integrating relevant feminist concepts such as power relations, disarmament, peace building, care, and social justice, to name some, will we be able to review and address the root causes of conflicts. The interdisciplinary field of gender and peace studies explores the complex connections and relations between pacifism, politics, and feminism, although often such topics are analyzed in academic isolation.  However, when we consider how they intertwine, intersect and interact with each other, it opens up new areas for exploration and analysis.

Pacifism has a turbulent and challenging history, especially with a view to women’s participation. Women’s peace movement has originated more than a century ago. The Hague Congress in 1915 gave birth to the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace. Since then, international women’s peace movements took on different forms and opened many topics and areas for examination within the frames of feminism and pacifism. In the early phases of the movement, women peace activists were convinced that experiences of motherhood (such as care, nourishing, protection, and the like) are the most potent basis for uniting women across national borders. However, feminist theories have, for some time, offered serious arguments against any essentialist approaches, questioning the identity of woman and many feminists are rejecting the argument of women’s inherent pacifism as problematic and politically counterproductive. Therefore, one of the questions to be explored is how to explain a prevalence of women’s peace initiatives? Issues to be considered are concepts of femininity, as well as masculinity, leading to issues of identities, and intersectionality.

Pacifism, as a theoretical discourse or a political option cannot be addressed if it is not considered as a response to war. This raises a set of issues, such as violence, exploitation, resistance, sacrifice, as well as politics of peace. In our course, we would like to encourage different directions in exploring and opening theoretical discussions on diverse concepts of peace within the feminist pacifist discourse, and also focus on specific contexts, or, address consequentialist as well as juxtapose absolute and conditional pacifism.

This would link peace to topics which are perceived as reciprocal, interdependent and highly relevant for peacekeeping, non-violence and non-exploitation, such as women’s movements, democracy, socioeconomic contexts, education or environmentalism. We invite discussions on the possibility of applying feminist pacifist politics and ethics while examining robust concepts such as autonomy, violence, resistance, peace, religion, body politics, bio/necropolitics, vulnerability and politics etc. Finally, we would like to encourage open discussions on how we should think about these concepts within patriarchal, masculine, racist and militarized culture.

About the Course

The course is built on the intellectual dialogue among a diverse body of scholars from different geographical locations and, the participating faculty is drawn from different universities.

The course is co-directed by Professor Dasa Duhacek, University of Belgrade; Professor Ethel Brooks, Rutgers University, USA; Professor Jelisaveta Blagojevic, Singidunum University, Belgrade; and Irena Cvetkovik, from the Coalition Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities – Margins, Skopje.

Lecturers and speakers will include renowned theorists and activists from the interdisciplinary and related fields of research, the focus of which are issues pacifism and feminism. The program is conducted in English.

We are looking forward to cutting edge presentations as well as challenging discussions as a result of which we hope for an important publication on this topic.

The course will be held at the Inter-University Centre (IUC), Dubrovnik, from May 22h to May 26th 2023.

Eligibility and Fees

IUC courses are conducted at a postgraduate level. Candidates with a graduate degree and/or current postgraduate students interested in the topic are encouraged to apply for participation.

There is no course fee. However, participants are expected to cover the IUC registration fee (50 EUR), as well as their own expenses of travel and accommodation. Unfortunately, the organizing institutions are not in the position to offer any financial assistance.

Application Procedure

If you would like to attend the course, please send your CV and a short statement (up to 200 words) explaining your interest in the topic with your current complete contact information to the following e-mail address

Final deadline for applications is April 30th, 2023.


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