SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT CONFERENCE 2015
FEMINISM & CRITICAL THEORY
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT CONFERENCE
UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX, JUNE 20-21, 2015
In the face of enforced austerity, rampant and increasing inequality, systemic crises of political, economic and environmental organisation, and violence and injustice on a global scale, there has been a resurgence of interest in both feminism and critical theory, as ways of understanding and criticising the world as it is. That such disasters disproportionately affect women is not, of course, new, nor are they differentiated solely through gender – race, sexuality, dis/ability, class and nationality also come into play. Yet many have detected an increase in violence, both (and often simultaneously) material and symbolic, directed against women and gender non-conformists across the world. Examples range from the ‘pornification’ of an increasingly misogynist popular culture (and equally misogynist ‘moral panics’ about the threat posed to society by deviant sexualities), to brutal cuts to already embattled women’s services, to continued institutional discrimination and institutionalised abuse (Yarl’s Wood is just one site).
This has been met with resistance in a variety of forms, on the ground in social movements and protests, and in many recent theoretical developments both scholarly and popular, including: the republication of many classic Marxist and socialist feminist texts of the 1970s and 80s; important contemporary debates, situated within both analytic and continental philosophy, on how to challenge the patriarchal nature of philosophy as a discipline and as disciplinary ideology; the emergence of innovative new journals such as the materialist feminist LIES; and scholarly reappraisals of radical twentieth-century figures like Shulamith Firestone, Claudia Jones and Rosa Luxemburg.
This year’s Social and Political Thought conference will investigate ? the relationship between feminism and other critical social theories in light of these developments. We begin by recognising that the different schools (and historical ‘waves’) of feminist thought are themselves often divergent and opposed. Furthermore, we recognise that there is a certain level of ambivalence attached to the term ‘critical theory’. In the narrow sense, it can refer to theory influenced by the Frankfurt School and the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, and Marcuse (and, on some interpretations, Habermas and Honneth). In the broad sense, on the other hand, it can refer to a group of interrelated, sometimes competing, social theories directed against the status quo, of which feminist thought is one strand. We view this ambivalence and its relationship to feminist theory and practice as potentially productive, and encourage submissions that deal with all kinds of feminism and their relationship to critical theory in both the narrow and broad senses of the term, including feminism as critical theory.
Possible approaches include but are not limited to: Marxist feminism or feminist thought engaging with Marxism; feminism, materiality, and ‘new materialisms’; feminist social movements and the politics of popular protest; feminism, police, and prisons; feminism and problems of universality; feminism and psychoanalysis; feminism and autonomism; anarchist feminism; post-crisis masculinities and feminism; postcolonialism and feminism; black British feminism; sexual, racial and social contracts; feminism and the politics and theory of intersectionality; feminism and nationalism; feminism and orientalism in the war on terror; ‘third wave’ feminism; feminism and new forms of slavery; feminism in the global South; feminism and poststructuralism; feminism and communisation theory; feminism and LGBTQI struggles; feminism and sex-work; feminism and social reproduction; feminism and revolution.
Stella Sandford (Kingston University)
Lorna Finlayson (University of Cambridge)
We encourage submissions for both individual and full-panel presentations. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15 2015. In order to facilitate a double-blind review process, please send two separate attachments, one containing a short biographical note, and another containing your abstract with no identifying information.
‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs
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Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski
‘Time and Space in the Social Universe of Capital’ – by Michael Neary and Glenn Rikowski, now at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/10545768/Time_and_Speed_in_the_Social_Universe_of_Capital