News and Events

Spring 2024 Colloquium Series

January 11, 2024

Join us for the Spring 2024 Colloquium Series Part III - The International Obligation to Counter Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan

Guest Speaker: Professor Karima Bennoune, Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School

Date & Time: March 12, 2024 (Tuesday) | 1PM - 2:30PM Pacific Time

Location: Online via Zoom

In her remarks, Professor Karima Bennoune will address the imperative to respond to calls by many Afghan women human rights defenders for recognizing that gender apartheid is being practiced in Afghanistan, as well as the added value of the gender apartheid concept, its history, examples of its increasing use, and suggestions for ways forward.

About the Speaker:
Professor Karima Bennoune is the Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. She served as the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights from 2015-2021. Bennoune was also appointed as an expert for the International Criminal Court in 2017 during the reparations phase of the groundbreaking case The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, concerning intentional destruction of cultural heritage sites by extremists in Mali. A former legal advisor for Amnesty International, she has carried out human rights missions in most regions of the world.  She has been on three missions to Afghanistan, visiting different regions of the country: in 1995, 2005 and 2011, and has worked closely with Afghan women human rights defenders for many years, including during the 2021 evacuations.

Karima is the author of “The International Obligation to Counter Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan” which appeared in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review in December 2022 and has been translated into Farsi by the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies. In September 2023, she spoke in the UN Security Council about gender apartheid in Afghanistan. Subsequently, she travelled to South Africa with Malala Yousafzai to take part in a panel on gender apartheid with the Nobel laureate after her December 2023 Nelson Mandela lecture.

Join us for the Spring 2024 Colloquium Series Part II - Fat Political Economy: Left Critical Analysis and Fat Studies

Guest Speaker: Dr. Tina Sikka, Reader in Technoscience and Intersectional Justice at Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Date & Time: February 13, 2024 (Tuesday) | 1pm - 2:30pm Pacific Time

Location: Online via Zoom

In this talk, Dr. Tina Sikka critically examines the nuances and various strands of left socialist approach to fatness (or as they term it ‘obesity’). Drawing on the rise of semaglutide drugs like Ozempic as a case study, she proposes a framework that retains the criticality of this approach supplemented by the work of fat scholars whose myriad contributions have cultivated a space for non-normative bodies and subjectivities to flourish as well as making space for an understanding of fat bodies as good bodies.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Tina Sikka is Reader in Technoscience and Intersectional Justice at Newcastle University, UK. Her current research includes the critical and intersectional study of science, applied to climate change, bodies, and health, as well as research on consent, sexuality, and restorative justice.

Join us for the Spring 2024 Colloquium Series Part I - Corporate Governance and the ‘New Sustainable Yanahuara’: minerals, desires, and neoliberalism in the southern Andes of Peru

Guest Speaker: Kieran Gilfoy, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU

Date & Time: January 16, 2024 (Tuesday) | 1pm - 2:30pm Pacific Time

Location: Hybrid - AQ 5067, Ellen Gee Room, Burnaby Campus & on Zoom

Today the production and consumption of minerals has reached historic levels as states and companies attempt to deliver ongoing prosperity to citizens and shareholders. The contemporary demand for resources has seen extractive industries delve further and further into rural regions on the margins of global capitalism. More often than not, corporations are entering into quasi-governance roles, where historical isolation and neglect infuse and complicate relations between industry and local communities.

In the highlands of eastern Apurímac, Peru, the Chinese mining consortium MMG has charted these precarious tensions for years. The Bambas copper mine, which commenced production in 2015, promised an end to endemic poverty amidst the forgotten province of Cotabambas. And while the company has proudly bandied about promotional materials and statistics on its contributions to local development – often couched under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) banner of ‘mining for progress’ – conflicts have flared throughout the region, challenging narratives of responsible mining. Indeed, the fostering and support of ‘Yanahuara’ peoples and cultures masks notions of historical redress and social progress for campesino communities that surround the Bambas mine.

Moving beyond the public presentation of ‘mining for progress’, this presentation will show what sustainable ‘gifts’ and cultural revival events – the dualistic concoction of a ‘new sustainable Yanahuara’ – do within Cotabambas. It is argued that the corporate ‘fantasy of frictionless profits’ forces MMG to use CSR norms and practices to shape, blunt, and direct excess desires emanating from local communities, delineating what can and cannot be expected of a corporation operating within a state governance vacuum. Ultimately, the corporation attempts to channel community demands towards the predictable ‘canon pay-off’ but retains the right to violence and police intervention should unruly populations – and entanglements with them – risk the smooth extraction and transportation of copper.

About the Speaker:
Kieran Gilfoy is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU. His research focuses on the entanglements of resources and peoples, in particular, using minerals as an ethnographic vehicle to explore questions on labor and life. He completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford, investigating the stark discordances of extractive development for local peoples in the Apurímac region of southern Peru. His current research project looks at the local lifeworlds of garimpeiros (wildcat gold miners) in the eastern Amazon of Brazil, exploring the social histories and existential imperatives which inform their perennial wandering in search of gold.