Gender Trouble in Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: An Invitation to Rethink the Future of the Field
Nadia Kaneva, PhD, Associate Professor,Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, University of Denver
How can scholars, grounded in a feminist perspective, trouble conventional ways of thinking about public diplomacy and nation branding as “soft power” tools of the state? And why is it necessary to trouble this mode of thinking? In this presentation, I will argue that a feminist re-thinking of the soft/hard power metaphor reveals its implicit masculinist logic and invites a critical exploration of the gendering of geopolitical contestations. I will draw on a recent Special Issue, co-edited with Dr. Cecilia Cassinger, on gender dynamics in public diplomacy and nation branding and will address three broad themes. First, I will summarize how gender is currently discussed in public diplomacy and nation branding research. Second, I will outline several social and geopolitical trends that contextualize the need for a greater engagement with questions of gender in public diplomacy and nation branding. Finally, I will sketch out some directions for future research, organized around the concepts of performativity, relationality, and ethics of care.
The seminar will be held in hybrid format, both streamed online via Zoom and onsite in Room B340, Lilla Skansen.