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Feminism

DISSIDENT FEMINISMS

Announcing a New Series: Dissident Feminisms

Series Editor: Piya Chatterjee, University of California, Riverside

The University of Illinois Press is pleased to announce a new series, Dissident Feminisms, which seeks new feminist writing that traverses the fault lines of epistemology and power, particularly the relationship between social action, activism and theory. Featuring work by scholar-activists with critical and praxis-oriented methods, this interdisciplinary series seeks to intervene in conversations of critical import in a number of fields. We plan to foster rigorous feminist engagement with the enduring, intractable problems of our time: racisms; genocides; war and occupation; heteronormative, communitarian and state violence; militarism; and struggles for livelihood and basic human rights.

Dissident Feminisms seeks writing that breaks taboos. We will feature feminist analyses that combine radical critique with work towards progressive social change. The series is particularly interested in bridging the gaps between transnational and postcolonial feminist scholars, activists, and organizers and the work of U.S., immigrant, and native women of color. It will create space for radically plural critiques that combine analytic rigor with accessibility. The series will feature lucid and compelling academic monographs, edited collections that bring together a number of voices in focused, critical, and timely dialogue, and other writings that pointedly intervene in these urgent feminist conversations.

Please direct all questions and submissions to:

Larin McLaughlin
Senior Acquisitions Editor
University of Illinois Press
1325 South Oak St.
Champaign, IL 61820-6903
larinmc@uillinois.edu

 

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Feminism

DIMINISHING RETURNS? FEMINIST ENGAGEMENTS WITH THE RETURN TO ‘THE COMMONS’

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An international workshop hosted by the Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality and Kent Law School

Wednesday 23 March 2011
Kent Law School
Canterbury, UK*
12-6pm

With presentations by:

Rosemary Coombe (York University, Canada)
Radhika Desai (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Denise Ferreira da Silva (Queen Mary, UK)
Nina Power (Roehampton, UK)

Discussed by:

Donatella Alessandrini (Kent, UK)
Brenna Bhandar (Kent, UK)

The day will consist of two sessions, broken up with a light lunch (provided) and followed by dinner (not provided). Please join us for part or all of the day. More information about the theme of the workshop can be found below.

The event is free but spaces are limited. To book a spot please register by emailing Stacy Douglas at: S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk before 1 March 2011.

*There are some funds available for postgraduate students who wish to travel to Kent for the workshop. If you are interested please email Stacy Douglas at S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk with a brief case for support as well as an estimated cost for your train travel. Information about traveling to Kent can be found here.

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Background:

Garrett Hardin’s now infamous essay “Tragedy of the Commons” (1968) stands as a Hobbesian analogy for what he claims are the inherent destructive capacities of human beings that perpetually stand in the way of realizing a free community of individuals with shared resources. Hardin’s essay suggests that, when faced with the responsibility of sharing the commons, individual human self-interest – or fear of it – will win out over practices of collectivity, sharing, and mutual aid.

More recently, there has been a resurgence in political theory and political philosophy in addressing the concept of “the commons”. Some of the most popularly cited references to the idea can be found in the work of Slavoj Žižek (2009) and Hardt and Negri (2009). This work has further been expounded upon in international conferences devoted to the “Idea of Communism” in London (2009) and Berlin (2010).  Steeped in the philosophy of Spinoza, Hardt and Negri use a notion of the common that “…does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care, and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting and detrimental forms of the common” (2009). For Žižek, the commons is comprised of culture (“primarily language, our means of communication and education, but also shared infrastructure such as public transport, electricity, post, etc…”), external nature (“from oil to forests and the natural habitat itself”), and internal nature (“the biogenetic inheritance of humanity”), and are all increasingly enclosed by the forces of global capital. It is the process of our exclusion from these commons (“our own substance”) that Žižek argues should effectively proletarianize us into fighting for something more than capitalist liberal democracy – a system whose laissez-faire violence is justified through the empty gesture of “universal inclusion” without any material bite. Žižek’s answer to this political conundrum is a call for communism.

And yet, the past century has seen vast and varied critical feminist engagements with historically changing concepts of communism and “the commons”. Struggles for universal suffrage, critiques of universality, denouncements of the hollowing out of the welfare state as a result of neoliberalisation, and challenges to the concept of the human, are all examples of a rich and diverse feminist tradition of engagement with the concept of “the commons”. Given the popular return to the idea of the commons, what more does feminist analysis have to give to this conversation? Does the concept still have potential for future feminist projects? If so, what is this potential and what do these projects look like? How do they resonate – or not – with those of the past? Further, given the broader theme of the workshop series, what role – if any – does the “the state” play in these imaginings?

The Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality (KCLGS) and Kent Law School invite you to participate in a workshop exploring the contemporary feminist work of Rosemary CoombeRadhika DesaiDenise Ferreira da Silva, and Nina Power as it resonates or clashes with these questions. For more information or to register, email S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk or visit www.kent.ac.uk/law/kentclgs/

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Judith Butler

FRAMES OF WAR – JUDITH BUTLER

NEW IN PAPERBACK

FRAMES OF WAR: WHEN IS LIFE GRIEVABLE?  

By JUDITH BUTLER

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“Judith Butler is the most creative and courageous social theorist writing today. FRAMES OF WAR is an intellectual masterpiece.” – Cornel West

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Judith Butler will be giving a lecture entitled ‘The Right to Appear: Towards an Arendtian Politics of the Street’ at the University of Westminster on 4th February 2011.

For more information visit http://instituteformodern.co.uk/2011/4th-february-judith-butler-at-university-of-westminster-london

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The most celebrated feminist in the world and founder of the Queer Theory movement returns with this powerful analysis of the role of the media in the ‘War on Terror’.

In this urgent response to violence, racism and increasingly aggressive methods of coercion, Judith Butler explores the media’s portrayal of armed conflicts, a process integral to how the West wages war. In doing so, she calls for a reconceptualization of the Left, one united in opposition and resistance to the illegitimate and arbitrary effects of interventionist military action.

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Praise for JUDITH BUTLER:

“Judith Butler is quite simply one of the most probing, challenging, and influential thinkers of our time.” J.M. Bernstein

Praise for FRAMES OF WAR:

“To propose that Judith Butler is one of the world’s leading thinkers, a feminist philosopher whose writing has impacted on a wide domain of disciplinary fields inside the academy, as well as on political culture in the outside world, is hardly contentious. We are, many of us, deeply indebted to this body of work which has illuminated issues that are at the very core of life, death, sexuality and existence.” Angela McRobbie, Times Higher Education Book of the Week http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=407098

“An impressive and challenging book from one of the leading intellectuals of our time” – DIVA

“Frames of War [is] an important contribution to what will no doubt be an ongoing philosophical and political discussion about the rights and wrongs of war.” Nina Power, THE PHILOSOPHERS’ MAGAZINE

http://www.philosophypress.co.uk/?p=714

“Judith Butler’s focus in this collection of five essays written and revised between 2004 and 2008 is the USA under George W. Bush, with Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay looming in the background. The questions she addresses… have a clear bearing on the cultural politics of grief beyond the USA.” Mark Fisher, FRIEZE

http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/frames_of_war_when_is_life_grievable

“A trenchant and brilliant book.” – UTNE READER

http://www.utne.com/Politics/Utne-Reader-Visionaries-Judith-Butler-Abu-Ghraib-Torture.aspx    

Praise for PRECARIOUS LIFE:

“It’s clear that its author is still interested in stirring up trouble—academic, political and otherwise.” – BOOKFORUM

“Hers is a unique voice of courage and conceptual ambition that addresses public life from the perspective of psychic reality, encouraging us to acknowledge the solidarity and the suffering through which we emerge as subjects of freedom.” Homi K. Bhabha

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JUDITH BUTLER is Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of many highly influential books, including GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF ONESELF, PRECARIOUS LIFE and GENDER TROUBLE.

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ISBN 978-1-84467-626-2 / $16.95 / £9.99 / $21.00 / Paperback / 224 pages

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For more information or to buy the book visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/460-460-frames-of-war

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Academics based outside North America may request an inspection copy – please contact: tamar@verso.co.uk

Academics based within North America may request an examination copy – please contact clara@versobooks.com  

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