dr. Elena Zambelli, MA

    20072020

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    Since November 2017 I have been working on a multi-sited ethnographic research exploring the implication of law in race-making in contemporary Europe through the lens of the regulation of ‘mixed (race) couples’, as part of the ERC-funded project ‘EUROMIX – Regulating Mixed Intimacies in Europe’ led by Prof. Betty de Hart. While looking at whether and how couples experience forms of racial discrimination in different domains (housing, education, mobility, and safety), I also explore how partners’ differently racialised subjectivities reflect or challenge the enduring legacy of Western colonialism and imperialism. I conducted fieldwork in England, the Netherlands, and Italy, which are countries where race, as a category, is attributed different social and legal value, despite producing quite similar real-life effects. Currently I’m beginning to publish my emerging analyses in different peer-reviewed journals, and to draft a monograph book proposal.

    My ongoing research builds on my earlier work on the intersection of gender, race, and class in processes of women’s subjectification, and on gender, the nation and politics. For my doctoral research I examined the ways in which sexuality, pleasure and work interrogate each other and differently impinge on women’s subjectification and agency according to class and race. To this purpose I undertook ethnographic fieldwork across a continuum of spaces of unstable boundaries between intimacy and work – from pole dance schools to streets where sex is negotiated and sold. This work resulted so far in the publication of articles on Modern Italy, and on the Journal of Political Power. For my BA I wrote a dissertation on Palestinian women’s involvement in the national struggle against Israeli occupation, with a focus on a comparison between the first and the second intifada. Shortly after graduation I left for the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) to work in relief and development initiatives, and I have subsequently worked in this field and region for almost fifteen years (mostly in the oPt and Lebanon). In later years, this area knowledge allowed me to contribute to an EU-funded collaborative research project entitled ‘“Freedom, dignity and justice”: A comprehensive approach to the understanding of youth exclusion and the prospects for youth inclusion and overall change in the South and East Mediterranean (Power to Youth)’. This research led to my co-authoring in a series of publications, including two articles on race and intersectionality in Palestinian youth diasporic politics published on Ethnic and Racial Studies and Mediterranean Politics.

    Throughout the past ten years, I’ve also nurtured interest in feminist economics and specifically in the domain of care, as part of my broader, almost 15 years’ long involvement in gender and development initiatives on the ground and in academia. This experience led to my appointment in a research team at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, Brighton, UK), and my co-authoring of policy-oriented working papers addressing women’s economic empowerment and care in different sub-Saharan countries (Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania).

    At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, I have been coordinating and teaching courses part of the minor Law and Global Society, with lectures addressing marriage migration, sex work and trafficking, nationalism and processes of racialised othering. Besides, I am supervising the PhD researchers who are part of the EUROMIX research project team. In earlier years (2008-2010) I have delivered lectures in the Master level course ‘Gender, Conflicts and Cultures in the Mediterranean’.

    Academic qualification

    Gender Studies, PhD, SOAS University of London

    26 Sep 201130 Jun 2016

    Award Date: 30 Jun 2016

    Gender and Development, Master, University of Sussex

    3 Oct 200530 Sep 2006

    Award Date: 31 Jan 2007

    Political Science, Bachelor, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna

    Sep 199622 Nov 2002

    Award Date: 31 Jan 2003

    User created Keywords

    • critical race theory
    • intersectionality

    Keywords

    • H Social Sciences (General)
    • GN Anthropology
    • JA Political science (General)
    • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

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