RINCE Seminar Series

RINCE Seminar Series 2021/2022

RINCE Seminar Series

RINCE Seminar Series 2021/2022

Perspectives on Intersectional Change: Challenges and Possibilities

The concept of intersectionality has become a mainstay within academic and activist work committed to inclusive and equitable change. The term was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989) to describe the multidimensional nature of social experience, the notion that structural inequities are compounded by the interconnections between experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, social class, etc. Intersectionality has been identified as a helpful concept for achieving inclusive and equitable change because of its ability to highlight and interrogate inequities of power and privilege between and within different social groups (Crenshaw, 1991; Severs et al., 2016). More recently, however, some have drawn attention to the ambiguous nature of the concept for achieving social justice (Zack, 2005), while others have indicated the disconnect between the concept and the lived experiences of multiple identities (Nash, 2008).

A number of questions emerge from this context, including:

  • What does it mean to engage in an intersectional approach to social justice?
  • What does an intersectional approach bring to the work of academics and practitioners across contexts?
  • Are there limits to framing social justice in intersectional terms? If so, what other frameworks are available to us?

With these questions in mind, the purpose of this year’s RINCE Seminar Series is to provide a space for researchers, practitioners, and other professionals to come together to progress how we think about, and enact, intersectional change across various organisational and wider contexts.

Seminar Programme

Tues 7 December 2021, 17.00-18.30

Perspectives on intersectionality, disability, and workplace culture: A panel discussion

Confirmed Speakers: Fiona Ferris (AsIAm), Caroline McGrotty (AHEAD), Sinéad Matson (MU), Kevin Cahill (UCC), Christabelle Feeney (Employers for Change, Open Doors).

Chair: Seán Henry

Tues 8 February 2022, 14.00-15.30 (Zoom, register here)

Affective Inequalities & Theories of Justice: The Limits of Liberalism

Confirmed speaker: Prof. Kathleen Lynch, UCD

Discussant: Dr Sara Clavero


The relationship between care and neoliberalism (new liberalism) cannot be determined without examining how care is defined within classical liberalism. Because liberals tend to see care and love as private matters, they do not regard care as an issue of public judicial concern. Care is defined as a problem of ethics rather than a matter of justice. Though this position has been strongly critiqued for failing to take account of how care and love are social goods without which people (or indeed the world and all other species) can neither survive nor flourish, it remains a part of the mainstream liberal position.

While liberalism as a political philosophy has enabled minorities and women in Western and European countries to make some gains politically and legally over the past hundred years, many of these gains were about giving minorities and women chances to compete with men in what remained White-male-controlled worlds of politics, employment and social and cultural life. Achieving equality of respect for care work and for carers was not part of the liberal ideal, as care was not seen as work; rather it was a private ethical matter. Neoliberal politics builds on this prior disregard for care in the liberal tradition.

This talk is based on one of the major themes in Kathleen Lynch's new book, Care and Capitalism (2022) Cambridge: Polity Press. It is available in paperback from a number of Irish bookshops including https://www.universitybooks.ie/ and and Waterstones, Hodges Figgis https://www.waterstones.com/book/care-and-capitalism/kathleen-lynch/9781509543847

Tues 8 March 2022, 17.00-18.30 (Zoom, register here)

Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy

Confirmed speaker: Prof. Jennie Stephens, Northeastern University, Boston.

Discussant: Dr Seán Henry


In her recent book, Jennie Stephens argues that effectively addressing climate change requires diversifying leadership, redistributing wealth and power, and moving beyond mainstream male-dominated technocratic solutions to climate change. As the climate crisis worsens, innovative approaches have to link climate action with societal transformation toward a more just and equitable future.  “We need more bold leaders committed to social justice who recognize how the biggest challenges facing society are linked and that the best opportunities for change are when these challenges are addressed together”

Tues 5 April 2022, 14.00-15.30 (Zoom, link below)

The importance of intersectionality in research
Confirmed speaker: Dr Victoria Showunmi, UCL


One of the methodological approaches I use is intersectionality which is presented as biographical research to illustrate the complexities of racism, sexism and class differences in modern society. Biographical research is an exciting, stimulating and fast-moving field which seeks to understand the changing experiences and outlooks of individuals in their everyday lives. Intersectional discussions examine how both the formal and informal systems of power are deployed maintained and reinforced through notions of race, class and gender (Collins 1998).
Eventbrite registration form for Zoom

Tues 24 May 2022, 14.00-15.30 

COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland from gender+ perspective: lockdown policies, employment, and care.  

Bobek, 2022, RESISTIRÉ presentation, RINCE seminar series

Speaker: Dr Alicja Bobek, TU Dublin

Discussant: Dr Mags Crean, UCD

Registration link


This paper will explore the impact of COVID-19 policies on the relationship between paid employment and care work in Ireland, with a particular focus on gender and intersectionality. As we argue, these two perspectives were often missing from policies aimed at combating the public health crisis, as well as from the measures implemented to mitigate the consequences of public health policies. As this paper will discuss, the lack of gender+ perspective in these policies can be explained by the overall approach towards gender roles and care, which pre-date the pandemic.  

Thurs 2 June 2022, 14.00-15.30 

Why does science today need to be feminist?  

Speaker: Valentina Carlone, TU Dublin

Discussant: Dr Nóirín McNamara, TU Dublin

Registration link


This contribution offers a critical analysis of feminist epistemological thought to allow for a proposal of positioning it within contemporary philosophy of science. This presentation aims to address some of the central issues under consideration in contemporary feminist literature and some of the classic problems of traditional epistemology. In particular, it will be noted that individual background assumptions, values and interests can introduce subjectivistic elements into the cognitive process. The knowing subject must deal not only with the world but also with other knowing subjects to defend, modify or reject their own beliefs through a confrontation with the views of others. Finally, there will be an attempt to answer the following question: can there be a feminist science, or is this expression an oxymoron linking non-epistemic values with the idea of impersonal and objective enquiry?