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Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme

 

Dr Marlene Schäfers will be giving the prestigious Evans-Pritchard Lectures at the University of Oxford this year. The lecture series is titled ‘Voices that Matter: Kurdish Women and the Dilemmas of Representation in Contemporary Turkey’ and will take place at 5.00 pm, via the Teams platform, on 13 May, 20 May, 27 May and 3 June 2021. 

In 1998 All Souls College received a generous benefaction to establish an annual Lecturership in memory of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard, Professor of Social Anthropology and Fellow of All Souls (1946-70) in the disciplines (social anthropology, classical studies, archaeology, modern history, oriental studies) and the geographical areas (Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean) that most occupied him. Lecturers have included Dr Timothy Jenkins (Jesus, Cambridge), Dr Roy Dilley (St Andrews), Dr David M Anderson (St Antony's, Oxford), Dr David Zeitlyn (Kent), Dr Keith Brown (Watson Inst., Brown), Dr Kai Kresse (St Andrews), Dr Anna Baldinetti (Perugia), Dr Richard Vokes (Canterbury, NZ) and Dr Judith Scheele (Oxford).

Lecture series description

Kurdish women have captured unprecedented global attention as combatants deployed at frontlines in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. In much public discourse, these women are portrayed as unexpectedly yet courageously defying their own society’s putative attempts at silencing them. Kurdish women, it is alleged, are finally “raising their voices.” Rather than judging whether Kurdish women have finally acquired voice or are still being silenced, this series of lectures questions the commonplace association between silence and repression, voice and agency. Instead, the lectures ask how the voice has become such a central site for determining Middle Eastern women’s empowerment and agency, and how this animates the voice as a powerful nexus of governmental control and intervention, subaltern desire and resistance. Focusing on the struggles of Kurdish female singers, poets and women’s activists to raise their voices in eastern Turkey, the series investigates how these women’s voices shape subjects and assemble publics, circulate thanks to a variety of technologies, and become a site of governmental intervention and bureaucratic management. Bringing a material understanding of voice to bear on dominant figurative conceptions, the lectures critically reflect on the limits of the imperative advanced by contemporary politics of representation that one ought to “have a voice” in order to gain political agency. They demonstrate that one of the central postulates of liberal politics – that gaining a voice is inherently empowering – obscures how voices routinely draw the subjects emitting them into complex webs of political, moral and affective relations that do not stand apart from existing frames of hegemony.

 

Voicing Affect (Evans Pritchard Lectures 2021: Lecture 1)

13 May 2021, 17:00 (Thursday, 3rd week, Trinity 2021)

Further information and MS Teams joining link: www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/event/voicing-affect

 

Voicing the Self (Evans-Pritchard Lectures 2021: Lecture 2)

20 May 2021, 17:00 (Thursday, 4th week, Trinity 2021)

Further information and joining link: www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/event/voicing-the-self-evans-pritchard-lectures-2021-lecture-2

 

Claiming Voice (Evans-Pritchard Lectures 2021: Lecture 3)

27 May 2021, 17:00 (Thursday, 5th week, Trinity 2021)

Further information and joining link: www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/event/claiming-voice-evans-pritchard-lectures-2021-lecture-3

 

Public Voice (Evans-Pritchard Lectures 2021: Lecture 4)

3 June 2021, 17:00 (Thursday, 6th week, Trinity 2021)

Further information and joining link: www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/event/public-voice-evans-pritchard-lectures-2021-lecture-4

 

 

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