Feminist Legal Studies Queen's - Fall Term 2023 Lectures
Friday, November 24, 2023
Via Zoom: Register Here
Dr. Azadeh Akbari | Assistant Professor in Public Administration & digital Transformation | University of Twente
Topic: Why shutting down the internet is gender discrimination?: the case of Iran
This talk summarily introduces the histories of female resistance in Iran and focuses primarily on how Iranian women have used digital technologies to discuss taboo issues, disseminate information, and mobilise. Additionally, I will introduce a trajectory of digital governance in Iran, highlighting surveillance and oppressive aspects of digital development. Combining these two threads, the talk underlines the entanglements of gender-based discrimination and internet censorship and control. Finally, reflecting on the Woman, Life, Freedom movement in Iran, the talk discusses how digital development projects such as smart cities can pave the way for complex oppressive assemblages in authoritarian systems.
Dr. Azadeh Akbari is Assistant Professor in Public Administration and digital Transformation at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on authoritarian surveillance and critical studies of ICTs in development. She is a member of the board of directors at the International Surveillance Studies Network and has also founded Surveillance in the Global South Research Network to expand the scope of surveillance studies to include non-Western discourses and practices and create a place for exchange, collaboration, and activism against the undemocratic use of surveillance technologies.
Dr. Azadeh Akbari was a journalist for many years and worked as a communication manager and community outreach specialist at the UNHCR, UNICEF, and the British Council. She is a contributor to many leading media outlets, including The Guardian and CNN, commenting on Internet governance and surveillance technologies in authoritarian regimes.
She is the co-editor of two upcoming books on Critical ICT4D (Information & Communication Technology for Development) by Routledge with Silvia Masiero, and the International Handbook of Critical Surveillance Studies by Edward Elgar with Murakami Wood, van Brakel, & Bruno. Azadeh Akbari is also the digital editor for the journals Surveillance & Society and Territory, Politics, Governance.
Dr. Azadeh Akbari studied sociology (BA) and journalism in Iran and gender research (MSc) at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She obtained her PhD in human geography from the University of Heidelberg, studying surveillance as spatial injustice. Her postdoctoral work at the University of Münster’s political geography group focused on scrutinising the link between political systems and digital governance in authoritarian contexts.
Akbari, A. (2019). Spatial| Data Justice: Mapping and digitised strolling against moral police in Iran. Development Informatics Working Paper, (76).
Akbari, A. (2022). Authoritarian smart city: A research agenda. Surveillance & Society, 20(4), 441-449.
Monday, November 13, 2023
Dr. Kerri A. Froc | Associate Professor | Faculty of Law, UNB
Topic: I’m Afraid of Americans (But Not Originalism): What Dobbs Means for Reproductive Rights in Canada
In Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), a US Supreme Court majority overturned the nearly fifty-year-old precedent, Roe v Wade (1973), recognizing women’s reproductive rights as constitutionally enshrined. Dobbs has been described as an “originalist” decision, but in fact is better described as “traditionalist.” In this talk, Dr. Froc will argue that the threat to Canadian reproductive rights lies not in originalist interpretive methodologies migrating northward, but rather in U.S. social values influencing our culture and in turn judicial decision-making.
Dr. Froc received her Ph.D. from Queen’s University (2016), her Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa (2009); her Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School (1996);and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina (1993). Her research focus is women’s rights and constitutional interpretation.
A well-known media commentator, she has been quoted as a constitutional expert in regional, national and international media outlets. She recently completed her term as the Chair of the Canadian law reform organization, National Association of the Law.
Monday, September 25, 2023
Sarah Riley Case | Assistant Professor | McGill Faculty of Law
Topic: To Protest for Black Life During the Pandemic: Resistance and Freedom in a Settler State
This talk invites participants to engage in a conversation with the author on her recent article that explores qualities of protest for Black life during the early pandemic in Canada. Drawing on Black Studies, especially Black feminisms, the article (which will be presented) suggests that the protests for Black life both resisted Canadian laws and exceeded state jurisdiction in transitory moments of freedom. Forms of protest included taking back the streets, practicing an ethic of care, and calling for abolition, each of which opposed dominance and was momentarily freeing. The protests also gestured toward redress for Black dispossession, however incomplete.
Sarah Riley Case is an Assistant Professor at the McGill Faculty of Law whose research and teaching focus on slavery and the law, Critical Race Theory, Black life, Third World Approaches to International Law, settler colonialism, arts, and governing the natural world.
Before joining McGill, she was a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy. She served as a Special Advisor to the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity. She taught as well at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Sarah Riley Case’s work crosses over law, history, conceptions of justice, representations of nature, and the arts. Her publications include ‘Looking to the Horizon: The Meanings of Reparations for Unbearable Crises’, where she explores overlapping Caribbean reparations claims for slavery, colonialism, and climate change; ‘Homelands of Mary Ann Shadd’, where she explores the Black radical tradition, historical erasure, and the politics of recognition in international law’s narratives of Black women. Another publication, ‘Thoughts of Liberation’ in Canadian Art Magazine, curated with Nataleah Hunter-Young, put Black women poets, scholars, artists, and activists in conversation.
Sarah generally collaborates with people working toward racial, regional, and ecological justice in the UN system, academic communities, and legal clinics.