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Social Justice

MATERIALIST FEMINISMS IN AN AGE OF NEOLIBERALISM

Materialist Feminisms in an age of Neoliberalism; or, Would the critique of patriarchal capitalism please stand up?

A special issue of the online journal Politics and Culture (http://www.politicsandculture.org)

***Please Note: In addition to article-length contributions, we also solicit shorter interventions, provocations, or position papers (1500-2000 words) for two themed discussions 1) experiences and direction from elders in this work and 2) experiences and demands from junior scholars.

Liberal inclusion. Globalization and neoliberal crisis. Neoconservative backlash. We know that feminism has had many lives. We are especially attuned to the forms of imperialist, settler and liberal “feminism” that have motivated a great many social projects, most recently the ostensible concern over the status of women in Afghanistan that has played so well as a rationale for war. And yet, we live amidst a rapidly accelerating culture of neoliberal individualism, combined with the virulent cult of persecuted white masculinity that marks the neoconservative shift, the backlash against supposed minority gains, and the dogged attack by the state and corporate elite on the material and social protections won through decades of struggle. The need for anti-capitalist feminist foment has never been so dire.

From early noted thinkers such as Lucy B. Parsons, Rosa Luxembourg and Emma Goldman, to Marxist Feminist scholars such as Maria Mies, Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Giovanna Dalla Costa, Angela Davis and Sylvia Federici, to anti-racist and anti-colonialist scholars such as bell hooks, Himani Bannerji, Patricia Monture Angus, Vandana Shiva, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Andrea Smith, to theorists such as Zillah Eisenstein, Wendy Brown, and Nancy Fraser, “structuralist” or “materialist” feminisms draw a lineage that views economics, capitalism and political struggles specifically through the lenses of gender, race and class, and anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal, anti-heteronormative and anti-racist agendas. While the distinctions are far too subtle and complex to enumerate here, critical to Marxist, socialist, anarchist, materialist and other kinds of structuralist feminism is the notion that ending gender-based oppression requires (among other things) a reckoning of capitalist, colonial and patriarchal histories and organizations of power. We invite a forward-looking conversation that draws trajectories in the body of work we might broadly think of as structural or materialist feminisms.

Topics for consideration may include:
* In a neoliberal age in which the ecological collapse wreaked by capitalism’s rapacious appetite appears as an urgent horizon framing cultural politics, what is to be gained or lost by prioritizing gender as a category of analysis? What is the task ahead for materialist feminism?
* The contemporary backlash
* Where is the work of structural feminism taking place? Do you observe or practice it in the university, in the streets, in your creative work, in your everyday life relations and survival?
* Identity politics vs. anti-capitalist struggle: whose schism?
* Women and the gift, women for the land, women and the spirit
* Queer materialisms
* Is there a materialist feminism outside of struggle? And is there a struggle?
* From “Marxist feminism” to transnational, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-colonial feminist?  There is a story that has been told many ways many times and yet not told nearly enough: history and future of structural feminisms? Revisiting feminist theory, women’s studies, institutionalization, ghettoization, backlash, disciplinarity

****In addition to article-length contributions, we also solicit shorter interventions or provocations (1500-2000 words) for two themed discussions 1) experiences and direction from elders in this work and 2) experiences and demands from junior scholars.

Please send 200 word abstracts and/or short queries to Alyson McCready (alyson.mccready@gmail.com) or Mary Ellen Campbell (campbeme@mcmaster.ca) by April 1st, 2011.

Submissions will be expected May 15th, 2011.
 
Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Feminism

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/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Critical Pedagogy

EDUCATIONAL SPACES OF ALTERITY

CALL FOR PAPERS

Educational Spaces of Alterity
University of Nottingham, Tuesday 26th April 2010

Nottingham Critical Pedagogy invites contributions for a day of workshops considering spaces (both inside and outside the academy) that may help challenge the dominance of neoliberal logics, alienated practices and Eurocentric hegemony in contemporary educational practice, and in so doing contribute to radical social change. We are pleased to announce that John Holloway will be hosting a keynote workshop at the event.

We hope to welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines and from inside and outside the academy. These can be in any format, but we especially encourage those that break from traditional conference paper models: workshops, artistic engagements, poster presentations and performances would all be welcomed. We welcome suggestions for entire workshop sessions (90 minutes), or single contributions, which we will group into workshops.

Our event partners Spaces of Alterity: a conference hosted by the University of Nottingham’s Department of Culture, Film and Media on Wed 27th-Thurs 28th April, with keynote addresses by China Miéville and Alberto Toscano. Both events are designed to work on their own, but participants are more than welcome to attend both should they wish, and we will be co-curating an Annexinema film night with Spaces of Alterity (details tbc) to show short films which touch upon the themes of the two events.

A non-exhaustive list of themes you may wish to consider is offered over the page. Please do not feel these are mutually exclusive:

Critical Education and ‘The Crisis’

  • How can critical education respond to the crisis in higher education and wider societal crises?
  • Do these crises close down or create spaces of hope for critical education?
  • Defending the university? Transforming the university? Abandoning the university?

 

Education and the Affective

  • Emotional epistemologies and pedagogies.
  • The role of hope in critical education.
  • ‘Radical love’.

 

Community Education

  • Skillshare workshops.
  • Social movements/community politics.
  • Challenging the borders between HE and community.
  • The role of non-traditional educational spaces (art galleries, social centres, etc).

 

Border Thinking and Hybridity

  • The importance of identity and difference for critical education.
  • Challenging hegemonic and Eurocentric perspectives.
  • How can we introduce the subaltern into the classroom?

 

Reflections on Practice

  • Experiences of critical education.
  • What can we learn from past experiences, experiments and struggle?

 

Art, Music and Critical Education

  • The role of art and music in critical education.
  • Resonances between critical education and contemporary theory and practice in art and music.
  • Problems of assessment in critical and artistic education: or is assessment the problem?

 

Please send abstracts and information on the format you wish your presentation to take to nottinghamcriticalpedagogy@gmail.com no later than Tuesday 8th February. These should be no more than 300 words, but may contain links to further reading regarding your chosen method of presentation.

Registration is free for Educational Spaces of Alterity but there are fees for Spaces of Alterity: attendance for one day is £25/£35; for both days it’s £45/55 (cheaper price for students and unwaged).

We have a limited amount of money to help cover the travel and accommodation costs of participants who would not otherwise be able to attend, or to help with fees for those who wish to stay for Spaces of Alterity. Details will be announced once abstracts have been received. Food and drink will be provided for all.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MICHELE ROBERTS: NOVELIST AND RADICAL FEMINIST

By Ruth Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski has written an article on Michele Roberts: Novelist and Radical Feminist which can now be viewed at The Flow of Ideas web site (the Rikowski family web site). In this article, Ruth indicates how she first experienced Michele Roberts and her writings at the CILIP Members’ Day, and goes on to draw parallels between Roberts’ life, social and political views and her own. For both Michele Roberts and Ruth Rikowski, the love of writing shines through and throughout their lives. 

You can see Ruth’s article at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Michele%20Roberts

 

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk