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School of Politics and International Relations

GPU In Conversation with Razan Ghazzawi, Laleh Khalili and Olivia Rutazibwa: "On Stuckness"

When: Monday, January 23, 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: Arts Two Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London Mile End Road London E1 4NS, Mile End Campus

What does it mean to think with and against stuckness?

It has become a trope to talk about 2020 onwards as learning how to live with ‘stuckness’, as conceptual, emotional and physical blockages have come to shape everyday life. Yet, being stuck – fixed, immobilised, unmoving – has long been unevenly raced, classed and gendered, across space and time. Being in conversation with stuckness, allows us to open our lenses to histories of containment and containerisation, in the wake of colonial conquests, capitalist extractions and epistemic erasures that continue to haunt the present. It allows us to think with the overloading (and vulnerability) of capitalist circuits and supply chains, leading to spectacles like ‘the Evergiven’ ship stuck in the Suez Canal for a week in 2021. It also forces us to consider those for whom carcerality is bare and raw, as coercive state practices translate to occupation, imprisonment, suffering and death. Which then also pushes us to consider how to get ‘unstuck’, alongside/with (abolitionist? Anti-racist? Anti-capitalist? Anti-colonial) struggles, practices and concepts that generate hope, care, love and presence against the prison, against violence, against devastation and against premature death.

GPU will be in conversation with...

Razan Ghazzawi (they/she) is a postdoctoral fellow at the Forum Transegionale Studien in the academic year 2022/23. They hold an MA in Gender, Sexuality, and the Body from the University of Leeds, UK, and an MA in Comparative Literature from Balamand University in Lebanon. They also received their PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Sussex, Brighton. In their thesis “Pedagogies of Everyday Queer Protests: Rethinking Political Subjectivity and Violence in Syria and Lebanon 2011-2021,” they examine everyday queer and trans encounters at checkpoints, prisons, and queer asylum in the contexts of “war on terror” and the “refugee crisis.” They are a former prisoner from the Syrian state and an award winner of Frontline Defender in 2012.

Laleh Khalili (Professor of International Politics, SPIR/QMUL) is the author of books about Palestinian commemorative practices, lineages of liberal counterinsurgencies and the politics of maritime trade infrastructures. She is a magpie in her interests and catholic in her methods.

Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa (Assistant Professor in Human Rights and Politics, Department of Sociology, LSE) is a Belgian/Rwandan International Relations scholar and former journalist and Senior Research Fellow of the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies (JIAS), South Africa. Her research and teaching focuses on ways to decolonise (international) solidarity. Building on epistemic Blackness as methodology, she turns to recovering and reconnecting philosophies and practices of dignity and repair and retreat in the postcolony to theorise solidarity anticolonially.

Global Politics Unbound is a research group within Queen Mary University of London’s School of Politics and International Relations. It invites research on the uneven and entangled nature of international politics, the continuities and frictions of colonial and capitalist relations, the race, classed and gendered structures that undergird our everyday practices and the different struggles that seek to transform them. Overall, the idea behind our collective work is to see the world as connected and the explore what that means to the study of global politics.

For further information, contact: 

Global Politics Unbound

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