“Why Do We Still Need Women Studies?”

Irwin Hall, Conference Rooms, Beirut campus

The lecture is organized by LAU’s Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World and The Netherlands Institute for Academic Studies in Damascus. It will be given by Professor Willy Jansen from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Synopsis of the
The very low participation of women in higher education in the Netherlands was one of the reasons why women’s studies became very well developed in the Netherlands compared to other countries. In this lecture, Professor Jansen will explain this paradox. What were the reasons why women were so underrepresented in academia to the extent that scholars talked of "the Dutch case"? What effect did this have on the introduction of research on women? In the process of establishing a respectable place in science, two movements in women’s studies took place: from women to gender as main object of research, and from separate specialization to mainstreaming. What are the dangers or benefits of such movements? Why are women’s studies still there and why are they still necessary? To answer these questions, Prof. Jansen will make use of her long-time experience in both doing women’s studies and putting women’s studies on the academic and political agendas.

Profile of Dr. Willy Jansen:
Professor Willy Jansen is Director of the interdisciplinary Institute for Gender Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Trained as an anthropologist, she did research in Algeria and Jordan. She edited several books and published the monograph Women without Men. Gender and Marginality in an Algerian Town (1987 Brill), as well as a large number of scholarly and popular articles. Her interests range from religion, in particular pilgrimage, identity and health to education. She was co-founder of the National Research School of Women’s Studies and chair of the National Organization of Women’s Studies in the Netherlands. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.