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Reversing the Gaze: Using Concepts Across Borders



The conference brings together reflections on the use of concepts across borders in social sciences. Its first aim is to share and discuss the results of the SNSF Sinergia project "Reversing the Gaze", and to examine other cases of applying socio-scientific concepts across regional or historical contexts. Its second aim is to explore the epistemological and methodological implications of turning the gaze traditionally directed at the Rest towards the West.

reversing the gaze

The conference takes place on 12 and 13 September in Basel and is co-organized by the Universities of Basel, Zurich, and Edinburgh as well as the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva) in the framework of the research project “Reversing the Gaze: Towards Post-Comparative Area Studies”.

Call for papers

The organizers welcome contributions exploring theoretical and/or empirical questions related to:

  • The functions and performativity of social-scientific concepts of specific social and institutional phenomena, i.e. whether they produce descriptions, or whether the deployment of concepts itself produces the objects which concepts describe.
  • Conceptual change in such concepts, i.e. whether (and how) concept use, scope and meaning change fundamentally according to where, why and by whom they are deployed.
  • Theoretical and political aspects of the use of such concepts across borders, i.e. whether the use of some concepts can be inappropriate for the study of particular contexts due to some properties of the concepts and/or studied contexts.

Deadline for paper submissions: 15.03.2024 - further information and submission


Languages: English