Conferences & Symposia

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

Background art source: Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949Background art source: Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949

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.

Free and open to the public.

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8 AM

Registration Opens

9 AM

Welcoming Remarks

Lizabeth Cohen, Dean, Radcliffe Institute, and Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies, Department of History, Harvard University

9:15 AM

Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities

  • Kari E. Hong, Assistant Professor of Law, Boston College Law School
  • Martha S. Jones, Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and 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, Columnist, Washington Post; Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; and Professor, Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy

10:45 AM


11 AM

Borders, Boundaries, and Belonging

  • Nilüfer Göle, Professor of Sociology, L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (France)
  • Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director, United We Dream Network
  • Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch

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

12:30 PM


2 PM

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)

3:15 PM


3:30 PM

The Gendered Politics of New Nationalisms

  • Jan Willem Duyvendak, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
  • Fatma Müge Göçek, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, University of Michigan
  • 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
  • Rina 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

5 PM

Closing Remarks

Daniel Carpenter, Faculty Director of Social Sciences Program, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Allie S. Freed Professor of Government, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences