Conference 22 – 23 October: The Entanglements of Race, Religion and Secularism

On 22 and 23 October the Race-Religion-Secularism network will organize its first conference in Amsterdam and Nijmegen. The conference aims to connect the innovative research on the race-religion constellation to recent academic discussions on the religio-secular paradigm. Both fields are rather new and the link between them is innovative and of international significance because of its political repercussions in terms of racism, anti-discrimination policy, integration debates, notions of European identity, the governance of religion in the public domain, and citizenship. The main scientific questions being asked aim to further explore a) the race-religion intersection (from a multiplicity of disciplines), b) the question of religio-secularism (with a geographical focus on Western Europe), and c) the entanglements between these two debates.

By bringing together scholars from several disciplines in the social sciences and humanities (i.e. sociology, anthropology, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, law, political science, cultural studies, theology, philosophy, etc.), the different research being done in each can be synthesized to help link and further these two academic debates. In doing so we aim to contribute to understanding the relationship between (contestations about) race, religion and the secular which is not only scientifically relevant but also has implications for society.

Monday 22 October University of Amsterdam

Venue: Universiteitstheater – room 3.01 (Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, 1012 CP Amsterdam)

Sarah Bracke (University of Amsterdam, Sociology) EnGendering Europe’s Muslim Question


Cengiz Barskanmaz (Max Plank Institute Berlin, Law) Framing Race and Law in Europe

This lecture will start with the following basic questions: 1) What is Race? 2) What is Law? and 3) What is Europe? In doing so, the historical, epistemological, sociological and legal connections among these three questions will be elaborated, without equating or reducing race to racism, without reifying law as a monolithic field, and without homogenising Europe. Furthermore, race will be discussed from an intersectional perspective, i.e. including gender, ethnicity, religion and sexuality. This lecture will conclude with a critical assessment of the potentials and pitfalls of race in today’s post-Holocaust and “secular” Europe.

Cengiz Barskanmaz has a PhD in Law. In his doctoral dissertation he analysed the race case law of the European Court of Human Rights and other High Courts. Currently, he works at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in the Department ‘Law and Anthropology’ in Halle/Saale. His field of research include: constitutional, European and international Law, particularly non-discrimination law, race and intersectionality and dispute resolution.

20:00 Public Panel Discussion on Entanglement of Race, Religion and Secularism @ Spui25

Tuesday 23 October Radboud University Nijmegen

Venue: Elinor Ostromgebouw (EOS), Heyendaalseweg 141, room 1.150

10:00-12:00: Falguni Sheth, Emory University, The Hijab, Neoliberalism, and the Production of Acceptable Muslim Women

For more information and contact, see the website of the Race, Religion, Secularism Network:

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