Please join the Comparative Politics Workshop for our first session of 2017! Our very own Sumru Atuk will be presenting her paper, “Femicide in Turkey and Mexico” on Wednesday, February 22 from 6:30-8:30pm. The abstract is below and the paper is attached. Come to support your peer, engage in a lively discussion, share free wine and snacks, and network with your department.


Feminist anthropologist and politician Marcela Lagarde defines feminicide as “murder or women because they are women and with impunity” (Lagarde y de los Rios 2010). Following Lagarde other Latin American scholars have begun integrating the state into discussions of feminicide as a form of violence against women (hereafter VAW) that occurs at the intersection of private and structural violence (Brems 2003). This working paper builds upon this mode of analysis and adds to its rather institutional framework an analysis of discursive politics, which is centered on an understanding of propriety and disposability of women that provides legitimacy to problematic official practices. More specifically, I scrutinize two major elements of the aforementioned definition based on the interviews I conducted with lawyers and activists from Mexico and Turkey: the category of “women” and the notion of impunity. I argue that the variables that define “womanhood” in a given context are also the ones that allow killing women with impunity since the state institutions and agents adopt the same definition of the category of “women.” Thus, in order to understand why feminicide happens in a certain context and how it is normalized one needs to understand the dominant gender discourses that attribute meanings to certain bodies and performances.

Please e-mail gccomparative@gmail.com if you would like a copy of the paper in advance.