Keynote Speakers


PROFESSOR NADJE AL-ALI

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction’ art & cultural studies and food. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press). Professor Al-Ali was President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) from 2009-2011. She is also a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq (www.acttogether.org). She is currently involved in several projects with Iraqi academics and women’s rights activists with the aim to facilitate the introduction of women and gender studies and increase evidence-based research capacity in Iraq. 

Professor Diane Elson

Diane Elson is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK, and is a member of the university’s Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation and the Essex Human Rights Centre. She is chair of the UK Women’s Budget Group, an independent network which analyses and campaigns on the impact of tax and expenditure policies on gender equality. She has acted as advisor to UNIFEM, UNDP, Oxfam and other development agencies; and is a past Vice President of the International Association for Feminist Economics. Her recent publications include:  (with R. Balakrishnan) ‘Auditing Economic Policy in the Light of Obligations on Economic and Social Rights’, Essex Human Rights Review, Vol. No 5. No. 1 , 2008;  ‘Gender Equality and Economic Growth in the World Bank World Development Report 2006 , Feminist Economics 15(3) 2009; (ed. with B. Young and I. Bakker) Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective, Routledge, London, 2011;(ed. with R. Balakrishnan) Economic Policy and Human Rights Obligations, Zed Press, London, 2011;  (ed. with D. Jain) Harvesting Feminist Knowledge for Public Policy, Sage, Delhi, 2011;  ‘Social Reproduction in the Global Crisis: Rapid Recovery or Long-Lasting Depletion?’ in The Global Crisis and Transformative Social Change, edited by Peter Utting, Shahra Razavi and Rebecca Buchholz , Palgrave, London,  2012. In 2006, she was honoured by the inclusion of a chapter on her research in D. Simon (ed). Fifty Key Thinkers in Development, Routledge. Professor Elson’s current research and activism focuses on austerity policies and the realisation of human rights with a particular focus on gender inequality and economic and social rights.

Dr Nirmal Puwar

Nirmal Puwar is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths. Her work draws on multiple methods from inter-disciplinary sources to consider the encounters of bodies and space. She has co-ordinated a number of research projects on politics, space and inventive methods. She is keen to initiate and build on a form of creative and critical public sociology to be considered ‘Curating Sociology’. She is Director of the Methods Lab and the author of Space Invaders: race, gender and bodies out of place (Berg, 2003). She has co-edited a number of collections including: South Asian Women in the Diaspora (2003) with Parvati Raghuram; ‘Post-Colonial Bourdieu’ for Sociological Review (2009); ‘Intimacy in Research’ in The History of the Human Sciences (2008) with Mariam Fraser; ‘Noise of the Past’ for Senses and Society (2011) with Sanjay Sharma; as well as ten issues of the international journal Feminist Review, including Issue 100.

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