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event • Conferences & Symposia

Who Belongs? Global Citizenship and Gender in the 21st Century

  • Friday, April 6, 2018
  • Knafel Center
    10 Garden Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
A screen that reads, "Who Belongs? Global Citizenship and Gender in the 21st Century."
Photo by Tony Rinaldo

The very meaning of citizenship at local, national, and global levels is in flux in most countries and continents. More than 65 million human beings are currently displaced from their homes, while even in countries where armed conflict is not prevalent, separatist and nationalist movements have reshaped policy. Gender—in all its forms—is essential to any analysis of these trends and to our understandings of citizenship around the world, although it is often overlooked in public debate.

Citizenship means more than just formal membership in nation-states; it means belonging in communities defined in part by gender. Our conference will explore these themes through three panels: In the first, policymakers and scholars will examine legal constructs and how laws and nations define and redefine gendered citizenship. The second panel will assemble human rights and immigration practitioners and activists to explore the balance and tension between the need for borders and security by individual nations and the gendered complexities of lives lived across those borders. A final panel will take stock of different expressions of gendered nationalism sweeping the globe.

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Event Videos

A screen that reads,

An Evening about Citizenship with Documentary Filmmakers


Lizabeth Cohen, dean, Radcliffe Institute, and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Cynthia López, former commissioner, City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment; former executive vice president and co–executive producer, American Documentary and POV

Heather Courtney, documentary filmmaker

María Agui Carter, writer/director; assistant professor, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College

Moderated by Claudia Puig, president, Los Angeles Film Critics Association; former lead film critic, USA Today

Martha S. Jones sits at a panel table speaking. Kari E. Hong sits next to Martha Jones listening.

Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities


Lizabeth Cohen, dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Kari E. Hong, assistant professor of law, Boston College Law School

Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

Tali Mendelberg, John Work Garrett Professor of Politics and director of the Program on Inequality at the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, Princeton University

Moderated by E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist, Washington Post; senior fellow in governance studies, Brookings Institution; and professor, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy

Samantha Power stands at a podium speaking. Sarah Leah Whitson and Nilüfer Göle sit at an adjacent panel table.

Borders, Boundaries, and Belonging

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

Nilüfer Göle, professor of sociology, L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (France)

Moderated by Samantha Power, 2017–2018 Perrin Moorhead Grayson and Bruns Grayson Fellow, Radcliffe Institute; Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; professor of practice, Harvard Law School

Jhumpa Lahiri and Celeste Ng sit on stage in conversation in the background. A camera projects the conversation onto a screen in the forefront of the image. The screen shows Jhumpa Lahiri.

Keynote Reading and Conversation

Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist, Interpreter of Maladies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999), and professor of creative writing, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University

Celeste Ng, New York Times best-selling author of Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Books, 2014) and Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin Press, 2017)

Joan C. Williams stands at a podium speaking. A screen above Williams shows the 2016 electoral college map.

The Gendered Politics of New Nationalisms

Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor of law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, and director of the Center for WorkLife Law, UC Hastings College of the Law

Jan Willem Duyvendak, distinguished research professor of sociology, University of Amsterdam

Fatma Müge Göçek, professor of sociology and women’s studies, University of Michigan

Rina Verma Williams, associate professor of political science and affiliate faculty in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and Asian studies, University of Cincinnati

Moderated by David Gergen, faculty director of the Center for Public Leadership and public service professor of public leadership, Harvard Kennedy School


Daniel Carpenter, faculty director of the social sciences program, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

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