3 November 2006

CONFERENCE - Not another hijab row: New conversations on gender, race, religion and the making of communities (9-10 Dec 2006; Sydney, NSW)

Conference WEBSITE

Despite a decade of 'race debates' in Australia, analyses of the intersections between gender, race and religion remain all but absent in the public sphere. In recent years Muslim women in particular have been subjected to intense public scrutiny, yet these controversies have largely been limited to provocative comments on the hijab and sharia law. Such narrow debates have served to silence the experiences and the concerns of Muslim women and of scholars and community workers who engage the intersections of gender, race and religion.

This conference seeks to establish a space for constructive dialogue around the perspectives which are marginalised in public discussions, focusing on how gender, race and religion have long been deployed in the construction of Australian national identity, and are particularly evident in current representations of 'aggressive' and 'misogynistic' Islam as the ultmate alien other in 'tolerant' Judeo-Christian Australia. In minority communities, questions over community leadership, representation, and responses to racism have often revolved around constructions of culture, faith and gender roles.

The conference will provide a forum for papers and presentations from all disciplinary perspectives in order to build a conversation across spectra of belief, scholarship and community. Rather than another 'hijab debate', the conference will explore the intersections of gender, race and religion in regards to:
  • public space and public safety
  • health, housing and education
  • security and belonging
  • employment and unemployment
  • social inclusion and exclusion
  • media and public debate
  • the dynamics of community
  • the politics of representation
  • advocacy and activism
  • feminisms
  • nationalism and national identity
  • 'law and order' and representations of crime
Registration is now open.

For more information contact:
Dr. Tanja Dreher: tanja.dreher@uts.edu.au, 02 9514 2757 or
Dr. Christina Ho: christina.ho@uts.edu.au, 02 9514 1946.

Following "Not another hijab row" is The Borderpolitics of Whiteness, 11th - 13th December, 2006.