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CRCPD jubilee conference - ‘Reimagining difference. Being, thinking and practicing beyond essentialism’

Wanneer:wo 13-09-2017 09:30 - 17:00
Waar:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies

We are very excited to announce that the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain will celebrate it’s 5th anniversary this September! To celebrate the Centre will host a jubilee conference from the 13th until the 15th of September 2017 titled ‘Reimagining difference. Being, thinking and practicing beyond essentialism’.

The conference includes panels that explore ‘otherness’/’being different’ across different domains of public life, including conflict and peacebuilding, law and human rights, gender and sexuality, migration and political belonging, global institutions and development. ‘Being different’ or ‘difference’ is a fact of existence, that is neither good nor bad in or by itself, yet it is also the site where meaning emerges. Being different or difference can arguably be natural or cultivated, thus some people may belong to a particular category or identity by nature, while others choose to be different or not to conform to established and dominant creeds, tenets and conventions at various levels such as gender/class/race/religious stereotypes. However, difference can also be something that is imposed on others, through the application of labels and stigmatization resulting in the treatment of those who do not identify or are not identified with the dominant and powerful, as ‘othered’, excluded, marginalised, sanctioned and persecuted because they are perceived to violate and/or fall outside accepted boundaries of identity and belonging. Thus, difference in thought and practice involves questions of power and agency.

The conference will encompass both interdisciplinary academic reflection and societal engagement, bringing together scholars, policymakers, journalists and practitioners to engage and think together about how to be, think and practice difference across education, media, government and civil society.


Wednesday 13 September
9.30 Welcome - Prof Elmer Sterken, Rector Magnificus, University of Groningen
9.40 - 10.45 a.m.

Studying Religion in Context, the Groningen Approach
Speakers: Kim Knibbe, Brenda Bartelink, Joram Tarusarira, Erin Wilson, Christoph Gruell and Nikki Haze - Universiyty of Groningen

10.45 - 11.00 a.m. Coffee & Tea
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Conflict and Peacebuilding

Chair: Joram Tarusarira, University of Groningen
Speakers: Gladys Ganiel – Queens University Belfast, Ezra Chitando - University of Zimbabwe, Annette Jansen – Humanitarian Practitioner and Academic, Jansen Consultancy.

1  - 2 p.m. Lunch
2  - 4 p.m.

Secularity, Religion, Embodiment

Chair: Kim Knibbe, University of Groningen
Speakers: Nadia Fadil – University of Leuven, Ebenezer Obadare – University of Kansas, Heleen Joziasse - Stichting Mara

4.30 - 5 p.m. Closing conversation day one
6 - 8 p.m.

Keynote address – Prof Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Northwestern University

Response: Merete Bilde, Policy Adviser, European External Action Service

Thursday 14 September
9.30 - 10 a.m. Coffee & Tea
10 - 12 a.m.

Displacement, Identity and Belonging

Chair: Erin Wilson, University of Groningen
Speakers: Atalia Omer - University of Notre Dame, Luca Mavelli – University of Kent, Jose Riera – UN University of Peace and former policy advisor, UNHCR.

12 - 1.30 p.m. Lunch
1.30 - 3.30 p.m.

Global Institutions

Chair: Erin Wilson, University of Groningen
Speakers: John Rees – University of Notre Dame Australia, Iselin Frydenlund – Peace Research Institute Oslo, Tim Dixon – Purpose International

3.30 - 4 p.m. Coffee & Tea
4 - 6 p.m.

Law and Human Rights

Chair: Meadhbh McIvor, University of Groningen
Speakers: Helge Arsheim - University of Oslo, Maria de Lourdes Peroni Manzoni – University of Ghent, Gary McLelland – International Humanist and Ethical Union

6 - 6.30 p.m.

closing conversation day two

Friday 15 September
8.30 - 9 a.m. Coffee & Tea
9 - 11 a.m. Development

Chair: Brenda Bartelink - University of Groningen
Speakers: Marie Juul Petersen - Danish Institute for Human Rights, Lisa LeRoux – Stellenbosch University, Ezra Chitando – University of Zimbabwe

11 - 11.30 a.m. Coffee & Tea
11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Public Panel Session ‘Religion, Secularism and the Politics of Difference’

Moderator: Brenda Bartelink, University of Groningen
Panel: Elisa di Benedetto -International Association of Religion Journalists, Gabrielle Bustamante - The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Yolande Jansen - University of Amsterdam, Joram Tarusarira - University of Groningen

1.30 - 3 p.m. Lunch and Close

Registration & Costs

  • 3 days of the conference 90 euros regular/45 euros for students
  • 2 days 60 euros regular/30 euros student
  • 1 day 30 euros regular/15 euros student

Registration includes lunch and tea and coffee breaks.

Students of the faculty of Theology and Religious Studies from the UG can register for free. Please send an email to crcpd.ggw to receive a code for free registration.