Sexuality and Politics in Africa
Next year - 2007 - the biennial AEGIS conference will take place in Leiden, 11-14 July, hosted by the African Studies Centre. The SexGenSoc panel proposal below has now been accepted by the AEGIS Scientific Steering Committee. The first AEGIS conference took place in London last year. The SexGenSoc programme had a panel at that conference as well. The panel for the 2007 AEGIS conference in Leiden is likely to be the last activity of the SexGenSoc programme.
At stake in such controversies are interpretations of 'culture'. Who interprets 'culture' in which ways, and backed by which economic and political interests? At stake are also interpretations of 'rights'. Whose rights are being defined and claimed by whom and how? To what extent are 'rights versus culture' dilemmas being conceptualized in terms of implicit North/South differences - and how may such conceptualizations be challenged?
Emerging struggles for the acknowledgement of sexualities beyond mainstream notions of masculinities and feminities are also linked to dilemmas and interpretations of 'culture' and 'rights'. Implicit in such struggles are often a certain measure of 'identity politics', which may be necessary, but which also have limitations. How to expand the rights discourse beyond narrow notions of 'identities'? How to critically address dominant modes of sexuality, which are normally taken for granted?
The panel invites papers which - based on empirical material in any of the abovementioned fields - debate conceptual issues regarding culture, rights and identities, as related to sexuality.