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Session 11 (October 5): Faith in Secular Human Rights and the Subaltern

This session offers reflections on the implications of ‘faith’ on progressive, leftist politics and critical thought through a postcolonial, feminist perspective.

Published onSep 22, 2023
Session 11 (October 5): Faith in Secular Human Rights and the Subaltern

“Faith” in Human Rights and the Subaltern: Reflections of a Postcolonial Feminist

This session offers reflections on the implications of ‘faith’ on progressive, leftist politics and critical thought through a postcolonial, feminist perspective. Foregrounding the role of faith and secularism in human rights encounters with the religious ‘Other,’ the presentation prompts a host of challenging questions: What is the work that faith does in progressive, left, secular human rights advocacy and critical scholarship? How does a ‘secular’ position reproduce the us and them/civilized and uncivilized/global south and global north divides? What are the epistemological implications of a political position based on freedom from religion for a subaltern sensibility based on freedom through religion and alternative lifeworlds? What new labour of thought is required to be undertaken once the orthodoxies and exclusions present in secular human rights and progressive politics have been exposed?

For seminar materials, see the Globinar Cloud. Please note that readings will be available in the week preceding the event and access is restricted to registered participants only.

  • Wendy Brown, "Religious Freedom's Oxymoronic Edge”. In: Winnifred Sullivan, Elizabeth Shackman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter Danchin, The Politics of Religious Freedom, 325-334 (2015) (excerpts)

  • Saba Mahmood and Charles Hirschkind, ‘Feminism, the Taliban and the Politics of Counterinsurgency, Fathom Archives, University of Chicago Digital Collections, 2002, (excerpts)

See also

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