Meet our keynote speakers!

Our Keynote Speakers bring unique insights and aspects to the annual HEPP Conference. And 2023 is no different, HEPP4 will host fascinating lecturers. Take a look below!
We are happy to announce the following Keynote Speakers:

Hande Eslen-Ziya is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Stavanger, director of the Populism, Anti-Gender and Democracy Research Group at the same institution. The research group gathers researchers across disciplines to study both right-wing and left-wing populism, anti-gender developments and its effects on democracy.

Prof. Eslen-Ziya holds a PhD in Sociology from Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, an MA in Social Psychology from Bogazici University, Istanbul Turkey, and a Gender Specialization from Central European University, Budapest Hungary. She was awarded Associate Professorship in Sociology by the Turkish Higher Education Council (2015) and Young Outstanding Researcher award by the University of Stavanger (2020).

She has an established interest in gender and social inequalities, transnational organizations and social activism, and has a substantial portfolio of research in this field. Her research has been published in Gender, Work and Organisation, Emotion, Space and Society, Social Movement Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Leadership, Men and Masculinities, and Social Politics, as well as in other internationally recognized journals. Currently, with Dr. Alberta Giorgi she is working on academics facing trolling and online harassment in Europe, focusing on academics’ coping strategies. The objective of this research is to explore online harassment addressing academics and find ways to increase scholars’ resilience by gathering best practices and unsuccessful experiences and drafting tentative guidelines to start dealing with this issue. This research is funded by the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS).

Prof. Eslen-Ziya has also authored a book that investigates how men construct their identities throughout their developmental trajectories –titled The Social Construction and Developmental Trajectories of Masculinities—published at Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi Yayınları (2017) and another one entitled Politics and Gender Identity in Turkey: Centralized Islam for Socio-Economic Control and published at Routledge, that looked at how illiberal regimes use discursive tools and governmentalities rather than actual public policies to foster human capital. Currently she co-edited the book titled The Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication published at Amsterdam University Press. She recently co-edited Populism and Science in Europe (2022, Palgrave Macmillan) which provides a  systematic and comparative analysis of the intersections of populism and science in Europe, from the perspective of political sociology.

Published Papers (2022 -2023):

  • Hande Eslen-Ziya, and Kazanoglu, N. (2023). “Turning Counterhegemony into Hegemony
  • The Creation of “New Turkey” through Discursive Governance” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. 19:2 July 2023
  • Sumer, S., and Eslen-Ziya, H. (2023).  Academic women’s voices on gendered divisions of work and care: ‘Working till I drop . . . then dropping.’ European Journal of Women’s Studies30(1), 49–65.
  • Yalcinoz-Ucan and Eslen-Ziya, H. (2023). Yalcinoz-Ucan, B., & Eslen-Ziya, H. (2023). Online disclosure, a mechanism for seeking informal justice?. Crime, Media, Culture, 1-20.
  • Donato, S., Eslen-Ziya, H., & Mangone, E.  (2022). From offline to online violence: new challenges for the contemporary society, International Review of Sociology. 11-25.
  • Eslen-Ziya. H. and Pehlivanli, E. (2022). The search for alternative knowledge in the post-truth era: Anti-vaccine mobilization during the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey. Cogent Social Sciences, 8:1.
  • Eslen-Ziya, H. and Bjørnholt, M. (2022). Men’s rights activism and anti-feminist resistance in Turkey and Norway. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society.
  • Eslen-Ziya, H. (2022). Establishing networked misogyny as a counter movement: The analysis of the online anti-Istanbul Convention presence. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. 1-17.
  • Eslen-Ziya, H. (2022). Humour and sarcasm: expressions of global warming on Twitter. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications9(1), 1-8.
  • Gjerald, O., and Eslen-Ziya, H. (2022). From discontent to action: #quarantinehotel as not just a hashtag, Cogent Social Sciences, 8: 1-20.
  • Arora, S., Bø, B., Tjoflåt, I., and Eslen-Ziya, H. (2022). Immigrants in Norway: Resilience, challenges and vulnerabilities in times of COVID-19. Journal of Migration and Health, 1-22.
  • Arora, S., Debesay, J. Eslen-Ziya, H. (2022). Persuasive narrative during the COVID-19 pandemic: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s posts on Facebook. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. 1-10.

Benjamin De Cleen is an associate professor at the VUB Communication Studies Department. He is the co-director of the ECHO - Media, Culture & Politics Research Group and the international chair of the Centre for Democracy, Signification and Resistance (DESIRE), an international joint research group that brings together researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Ljubljana, University of Essex, Charles University in Prague, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Benjamin’s work has mainly been focused on populist radical right discourse, on the relation between populism and nationalism, and on critical reflections on the study of populism.

Mercedes Barros holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex, UK. She was a Chevening Awards Fellow, a Leche Trust Fellow, and Fundación Estenssoro Fellow. She is currently a researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research). She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and the Universidad Nacional de Río Negro. She has been invited to give courses and seminars at the University of Essex (UK), the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, the Universidad Católica de Córdoba, the Universidad Nacional de La Rioja, and the Universidad Nacional de Chaco. Throughout her career as a researcher, she has directed several projects funded by agencies of the Argentinean scientific-technological system. Since 2020 she co-directs the research project "Populismo, democracia y estado de derecho: un estudio sobre las reconfiguraciones de los derechos en las experiencias políticas en Argentina" and since 2021, the project "Reconfiguraciones y nuevas emergencias memoriales sobre el pasado reciente: disputas, narrativas, actores y políticas durante los años del ascenso de la derecha en Argentina (2008 -2019)". Her current line of research focuses on the study of the specific ways in which the language of rights is articulated in political discourse. Her most recent publications include the book Discourse and Human Rights Movement in Argentina (2012); and the co-edited volume Ideología, Estado, Universidad. Pensamiento Crítico desde el Sur, (2019) and Métodos. Aproximaciones a un campo problemático (2017) and several articles in national and international scientific journals. The following stand out: 



  • Barros, Mercedes. (2022) Ecos de una década: sobre experiencias, trayectorias y derivas de la lucha de los activismos femeninos / feministas en los años ochenta. Coordenadas. Revista de historia local y regional. Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto. Año: 2022 vol. 9 
  • Barros, Mercedes., y Salvi, Valentina (2022). Nuevas derechas y disputas memoriales: desafíos de un objeto de estudio en ciernes. Clepsidra. Revista interdisciplinaria de estudios sobre memoria, 9(17), 6–11.  
  • Barros, Mercedes y Martinez, Natalia (2022) ¿Feminismo populista? Reflexiones en torno de los proyectos emancipatorios de nuestro tiempo., #lacanemancipa Revista de la izquierda lacaniana. 
  • Barros, Mercedes y Martinez Prado, Natalia (2021) “Los feminismos argentinos y el campo popular: apuntes de una historia por contar”. Dossier Feminismos populares. Reporte Sexto Piso. México. Disponible en linea: (divulgacion) 
  • Barros, Mercedes (2021). “Los derechos humanos ante nuevos escenarios de contienda. Una aproximación a Cambiemos y su misión de “unir a todos los argentinos”. Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política. Vol. 1. Núm. 27.  29-55.  
  • Barros, Mercedes (2021) “Sobre lo irruptivo/instituyente de la política y el campo de los estudios político-discursivos”. Reseña Bibliográfica. Revista Identidades. Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Políticos de la Patagonia, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, pp. 1-8. ISSN 2250-5369. 
  • Barros, Mercedes y Martinez Prado, Natalia (2020) “Let´s not talk about it. Feminism and populism in Argentina” en Baltic Worlds, Vol XIII, n°1. Editada por el Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Pp. 77-84. e-ISSN: 2001-7308.  
  • Barros, Mercedes - Martinez Prado, Natalia (2020) “Populismo y derechos humanos en el devenir masivo de los feminismos argentinos”. La Aljaba, Segunda Época, Revista de Estudios de la Mujer, Editada por las Universidades de La Pampa, Luján y Comahue. Segunda época, Volumen XXIII, 2019, 33-57. 
  • Barros, Mercedes y Reynares, Juan Manuel (2018) “Tras las huellas del problema. Notas sobre el devenir analítico de la teoría política del discurso.” en Emmanuel Biset y Roque Farrán, (comps) Método. Aproximaciones a un campo problemático. Editorial Prometeo, Buenos Aires.  
  • Barros, Mercedes - Morales, Virginia, (2018): “Populismo y derechos ciudadanos: anotaciones sobre un vínculo errante” . Latinoamérica. Revista de Estudios Latinoamericanos; Centro de Investigaciones sobre América Latina y el Caribe. Ciudad de México. ISSN: 2448-6914.