Wednesday, 26 August 2015

VPW/DSh seminar on 'Ethical issues in research and teaching on historically disadvantaged groups'

 Dear colleagues,


The VPW working group on Diversity & Equality, in collaboration with the VUB Doctoral School in Humanities, warmly invites you to an inter-university seminar on Ethical Issues in Research and Teaching on Historically Disadvantaged Groups.

This interdisciplinary seminar builds from the recent practice of establishing ethical committees in the humanities to reflect on ethical concerns in research and teaching on historically disadvantaged groups (such as women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI groups, etc…). The seminar will provide theoretical reflections on the meaning of research ethics and social scientists' moral responsibilities towards the groups they research and present as subjects of study in their classroom teaching. For instance, do social scientists have a specific emancipatory duty to perform? Should they help overcome taboos? Or, should their ethical responsibilities be limited to the 'do no harm' principle? How to transfer scientific knowledge on historically disadvantaged groups to students? Which role can or should a lecturer's social identity play in teaching? And how do lecturers create a safe learning environment? The invited speakers will also provide hands-on advice on how to deal with, among others, issues of asymmetrical power relations, disclosure of research objectives to participants, protection of participants' anonymity, and participants' safety.    

The seminar will take place on Thursday October 8 2015, 9h30-16h, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 


Guest speakers are Soumia Akachar (VUB), Jenneke Christiaens (VUB), Liesbeth De Donder (VUB), Henk de Smaele (UA), Dimo Kavadias (VUB), Petra Meier (UA), Eline Severs (VUB/UA), Thomas Swerts (KULeuven/UA), Alison Woodward (VUB) and Sami Zemni (UGent).


Detailed information on the programme and the speakers can be found in the attached document.


Participation is free but registration is required. Please confirm your participation by sending an email to the organizers Silvia Erzeel ( and Eline Severs ( before October 2nd 2015.


We hope to see many of you there!


Very best wishes,

Eline Severs & Silvia Erzeel 


Convenors of the VPW Working Group on Diversity and Equality


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