The CRG Welcomes New Research Initiative: The Political Conflict, Gender, and People’s Rights Project

Angana Chatterji

The Center for Race & Gender is thrilled to welcome the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project as our newest major research initiative.  An exemplar of critical intersectional research, Sociologist and Gender Studies scholar Professor Paola Bacchetta and Anthropologist and scholar of Gender and Political Conflict, Professor Angana P. Chatterji, lead this initiative focusing on political conflict and gendered and sexualized violence at the intersections of minoritization, majoritarianism, the racialization of difference, and decolonial movements. Beginning with a particular emphasis on South Asia, this research endeavor focuses on the centrality of political and foundational violence in nation-states of the (post)colony, and seeks to understand how those who are “Othered” live with social suffering and death-bound conditions,and how survivors of these conditions ameliorate their effects and define mechanisms for transitional, transformative, and reparatory justice. Completing its first and successful phase at the Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business, where it was first instituted in April 2012, the project transitioned to the CRG to further enable the interdisciplinary commitments of the project in the next phase of its work.

Prof. Bacchetta commends the partnership, stating,

Paola Bacchetta

“The CRG is uniquely positioned to support the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights project. The CRG is globally renowned as a top tier, cutting edge research center that is always open to innovations. The CRG is home to two other very dynamic national and transnational research projects, along with a wide array of working groups, speakers’ series, visiting scholar possibilities, student granting opportunities and other activities. The CRG is the only such research center at Berkeley, in California, and possibly across the U.S. and the world, that is specifically organized around intersectionality, that is, race and gender, while being equally concerned with other relations of power too, such as religion, sexuality, class, caste, coloniality, nationalism, regionalism, etc. Research at the CRG is oriented to radical social justice and serves multiple communities. All of these aspects of CRG make it a perfect home for the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights.”

The Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project features multimedia documentation strategies to lay bare the rich and complex knowledges and stories of victimized-survivors that the research engages.  In 2015, the project published Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal, an incisive research monograph authored by an interdisciplinary and global collective of experts that draws on work with women victimized-survivors of conflict and mass violence in defining redress. During its next phase a

t the CRG, the project will undertake research on the politics of violence and memory and develop the Archive on the Legacy of Conflict in South Asiaa collaborative initiative with Columbia University Libraries’ Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research (CHRDR) and the Columbia Institute for the Study of Human Rights.  The Archive will serve as a repository for documentation of gross violations of human rights and conflict in South Asia, with a focus on political conflicts in the latter half of the 20th century and 21st century. This pilot documentation project seeks to improve access to unique and primary source materials, especially those that are currently inaccessible or at risk of disappearing.

This exciting research initiative deeply resonates with the political heritage and intellectual vision of the CRG. Prof. Angana Chatterji reflects on this resonance, stating,

“CRG serves as a critical abode for the scholarship of counter-memory. CRG facilitates interdisciplinary inquiry into colonial, (post)colonial, and decolonial relations of power and the imbrications of race, gender, and nation in the historical present. CRG’s illustrious history, pre-eminent scholarly advisory body, and capacity to generate meaningful dialogue between the Academy and the public sphere provide a formidable and enabling environment in which the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project may continue to thrive. As we excavate gendered violence that conditions the racialization of difference across political conflicts endemic to nation-making in South Asia, CRG’s hospitality is invaluable to the project’s ongoing growth and success.”

The Center for Race & Gender looks forward to continuing to cultivate this vibrant and innovative project. Learn more on the Political Conflict Research page.