News & Events

Cosmopolis lunch seminar with Valerie De Craene (KULeuven): Disclosing intimate information? On the importance of reflexivity and positionality in research output

1 February 2018 , 12.00h-13.00h VUB - Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Building F, Room F 4.66

Feminist scholarship has taught us the importance of reflexivity as a strategy to situate geographical knowledges and avoid a false claim of neutrality and universality, for the sort of knowledge that is created depends on who its makers are. Researchers, therefore, have become used to reflecting upon their social location and background, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, class, religion, political beliefs, etc, and how this influences various aspects of the research process. Yet, what do we do when our research becomes intertwined with personal and intimate aspects of our private lives? What are the gains and risks of fully acknowledging the blurred lines between research and personal space in the shared production of knowledge? During this presentation, I will give some examples from my personal research trajectory as a researcher working on geographies of sexualities, an intimate (and stigmatized) topic par excellence. I will connect these to some urgent questions of why it might not always be safe to disclose certain intimate information, also for research with at first sight less intimate research topics, as reflexive writing might reinforce already-existing forms of exclusions including patriarchy, classism, ableism, racism.

Speaker: Valerie De Craene - KULeuven

Valerie De Craene works on geographies of sexualities at the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven, in the division of Geography and Tourism. Her PhD research investigates performances of gender and sexuality in Flemish student nightlife. She is also editor of AGORA.