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OADH 4135 - Researching Sexual & Gender-Based Violence in Conflict Zones: Methodological and Ethical Principles

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2020-2021

Number of hours : 28

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The aim of the course is to explore multidisciplinary research methods and evidence-gathering techniques of gendered experience of violence in the context of war, displacement and migration, focusing on the Middle East and Middle Eastern diaspora.
The course will introduce students to the concept of gender-based violence (GBV), its dynamics, manifestations and forms in normal settings and among war-affected populations. It will explore the concept of intersectionality, and how gender is interconnected and played out with race, ethnicity, religion, class, social status, age, etc. Notions of ‘masculinity' and ‘femininity' will be discussed in an effort to capture and analyse gender identity as constructed and modified through social behaviour, war and displacement, and how intersectional identity categories shape peoples' experiences of GBV, including domestic violence, honour-based violence, sexual violence, rape and sex slavery. Examples of art-based and co-produced knowledge along with case studies will be used to support these theoretical approaches and analyses.
The course will also explore the role of the media and culture in relation to GBV. It will highlight the representation of GBV and traditional cultural norms in the media and how different media channels, in the context of information and communication technologies, play around and reproduce hegemonic ideologies in terms of race, religion and masculinity in opposition to migrant, refugee and female vulnerabilities. Here, notions of cultural relativism and universalism will be discussed.
The course will also discuss the impact of GBV on public health and its implications for women's lives. It will also highlight the human rights dimension of domestic and gender-based violence, with the aim of educating students and expanding their knowledge and awareness of intervention strategies, legal reforms, social policies and various European, international and UN conventions to tackle gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict settings.


Begikhani, Nazand (Senior Research Fellow Chaire V Wright)

Pedagogical format

Combining lectures, interactive debates, practical exercises and presentations of written essays.

Course validation

1. Combining lectures, interactive debates, practical exercises and presentations of written essays.
3. Students are expected to participate and contribute to debates actively during class.
4. Students are expected to be on time, be present, be prepared and be enthusiastic.
5. They are also encouraged to read the recommended texts and, most importantly, be curious, creative and positive.
Participating in debates throughout the semester (10%); 2-4 pages' paper & oral presentation (40%); collective paper (2-4) 15-20 pages (50%)/End of semester peer review.

Required reading

  • • Westmarland, Nicole and Hannah Bows, Researching Gender, Violence and Abuse: Theory, Methods, Action, 2019. Taylor & Francis
  • • Davies E Sara; True Jacquie, “Reframing conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence: Bringing gender analysis back in”, Security Journal, Volume: 46 issue: 6, page(s): 495-512, December 2015.
  • • Ferrales Gabrielle & McElrath M. Suzy, “Beyond Rape: Reconceptualizing Gender-Based Violence During Warfare”, in The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime
  • • Begikhani, Nazand, Gill, Aisha & Hauge, Gill, Hounour-based Violence: Experiences and Counter Strategies in Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the UK Kurdish Diaspora, Ashgate, 2015.
  • • Ghafournia, Nafisah, ‘Culture, Domestic Violence and Intersectionality: Beyond the Dilemma of Cultural Relativism and Universalism', in International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 11(2) · March 2014 , pp: 23-29.

Additional required reading

  • • Crenshaw, Kimberle, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color”, Stanford Law Review, Vol. 43, No. 6 (Jul., 1991), pp. 1241-1299.
  • • Begikhani, Nazand; Hamelink Wendelmoet & Nerina Weiss, “Theorising Women and War in Kurdistan. A feminist and critical perspective”, Kurdish Studies Journal. Vol: 6, N0 1, pp 1-10. May 2018.