DONDENA Seminar - Sara Garbagnoli

Sara Garbagnoli
Remote video URL
The War Against “Gender Ideology”. Origins, Forms and Stakes of a Transnational Reactionary Crusade (2003-2023)

“The War Against “Gender Ideology”. Origins, Forms and Stakes of a Transnational Reactionary Crusade (2003-2023)”

SPEAKER: Sara Garbagnoli (Università di Verona)


Since the mid-2000’s, the Vatican launched a war against the use of the feminist concept of gender in the political and in the intellectual fields. The notion, deformed under the label “gender ideology”, has been presented by the Catholic Church as a “Trojan horse” destroying the fundament of “human anthropology”. Ten years later, waves of protest sharing the same discursive matrix and a similar set of actions have been organised in many countries by a vast and heterogeneous galaxy of actors targeting gender and sexuality equality. These campaigns, partly disengaged from their creator - the Catholic Church - constitute a new significant transnational political phenomenon. Who are these actors? Why and how do they attack the analytical category of gender? How can we understand the gradual globalisation of these campaigns? Following the historical unfolding of these protests, this intervention explores the structure of the anti-gender rhetoric and the main sites crucial to these campaigns (churches, anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQI+ associations, political parties, States), assessing their political achievements.


Sara Garbagnoli is a researcher in Gender and Sexuality Studies associated to the Research Centers PoliTeSse (Università di Verona) and LEGS (C.N.R.S. France). Her research interests lie at the intersections of feminist theory, discourse analysis and antigender campaigns. With Eva Feole she is the author of Monique Wittig (DeriveApprodi 2023) and with Massimo Prearo she wrote La croisade « anti-gender » (Textuel 2017). She coedited Le rivoluzioni del desiderio (Fandango 2023) and Non si nasce donna (Alegre 2013, with Vincenza Perilli). She has participated to the books Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe, edited by R. Kuhar and D. Paternotte (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) and Antiféminismes et masculinismes d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, edited by C. Bard, M. Blais and F. Dupuis-Déri (Presses Universitaires de France, 2019). Her publications include articles in academic journals such as «Nouvelles Questions Féministes», «Religion & Gender», «Les Cahiers du Genre», «Genesis», «About Gender». For her research work, she has been awarded the Emma Goldman Award by the Flax Foundation.


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