Beyond Genders. Intersectionality between theory and practice. Interdisciplinary gazes
Università degli Studi di Torino
Campus Luigi Einaudi - Lungo Dora Siena 100, Torino
Originating within the Anglo-American legal discourse - where it was coined by the U.S. jurist Kimberlé Crenshaw as a reaction to the blindness of law and anti-discrimination policies to interactions such as those affecting women of colour - the concept of intersectionality rejects the existence of clear-cut social hierarchies and promotes the breaking down of categories such as sex, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. Today, as a theoretical orientation, intersectionality is widely used in gender and women's studies to discuss the ways in which markers of difference intertwine with hegemonic structures. Over the years, it has extended beyond the afore-mentioned disciplines, including social, pedagogical, psychological, medical and linguistic studies, just to name a few examples. An increasing number of scholars working on inequalities, social justice and discrimination are showing awareness of the need to overcome binaries and dichotomies that oversimplify the complexity of multiple identities. Intersectionality constitutes the subject of epistemological and ideological controversies between those arguing about its nature as an ideological expression, which cannot be limited to a mere methodological approach, and those who support its analysis as class struggle, closely tied to social justice. Moreover, while in some disciplines, such as gender studies, intersectionality has been well-received both theoretically and analytically, in other fields it remains a blurred concept, especially in its concrete applications. Given the transdisciplinary nature of the debate and its applications, this conference aims to foster a multidisciplinary debate and to explore the state of the art of research and reflections on intersectionality. What are the perspectives through which intersectionality has developed over the years, and what are its applications? What makes its implementation complex, and what are the pitfalls to its effective applicability? Why do some areas of study seem to have a more fluid dialogue with this concept while others still prove refractory? What are the most effective research methods, and why? How is the concept of intersectionality being explored and debated in different disciplines? How can an intersectional perspective be developed in global contexts that necessarily have to come to terms with a past of colonialism and oppression?