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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.
 
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Feminism

SPARKING A WORLDWIDE ENERGY REVOLUTION

Announcing a new book:

Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-petrol World

Edited by Kolya Abramsky, Published by AK Press

“A vital anthology for anyone who wants to understand both the roots of the energy crisis, and the flourishing radical resistance that offers a sustainable future beyond capitalism.”—Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved

“Gas flaring in Nigeria, wind farms in Schleswig-Holstein, mountain top removal in Appalachia, tar sands in Alberta, geothermal energy in Iceland, the toxic cycle of uranium, the slaughter in the coal-mines of China, the transgenic soya monocultures, the ‘caliph’ of oil in Iraq, jatropha production in Tanzania, exploration in the Tehuantepec winds: every power under the sun is here except horse-power, and everywhere on earth—China, Europe, North America, the Mideast, Africa, India, and Latin America. Kolya Abramsky has composed, a symphonic compendium of five sections, fourteen parts, sixty chapters by forty-six individual authors and eighteen organizational authors in nearly seven hundred pages all arranged with intelligence and point. There are no technofixes. Neither ‘clean’ energy nor ‘green’ capitalism will preserve our lands, rivers, oceans, health, and lives. Neither governments nor corporations nor ‘the market’ can bring us out of the nether world they themselves have created. Mother Earth calls to the grass-roots for entirely new social relations, human and less hellish. This sober and serious book heeds that call.”—Peter Linebaugh, author of The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All

“Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution” is a major contribution to the movement working for a transition from carbon capitalism to an ecologically sound energy system. Its sixty chapters document the present energy crisis, describe alternative technologies, and introduces us to the people who worldwide are fighting for a healthy planet and the recreation of the earth’s commons. Rich in detail and written by activists and scholars who have taken part in the struggles, Sparking is an indispensable volume for the just energy transition movement. It will be referred to for years to come.”—Sylvia Federici, author of Caliban and the Witch

As the world’s energy system faces a period of unprecedented change, a global struggle over who controls the sector, and for what purposes, is intensifying. The question of “green capitalism” is now unavoidable, for capitalist planners and anti-capitalist struggles alike. From all sides we hear that it’s time to save the planet in order to save the economy, but in reality what lies before us is the next round of global class struggle with energy at the center, as the key means of production and subsistence.

There are no easy answers in this battle for control of the world’s energy system. Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution is not a book of sound bites. It unpacks the seemingly innocent terms “energy sector” and “energy system” by situating the current energy crisis, peak oil, and the transition to a post-petrol future within a historical understanding of the global, social, economic, political, financial, military, and ecological relations of which energy and technology are parts. The authors probe the systemic relationships between energy production and consumption and the worldwide division of labor on which capitalism itself is based, its conflicts and hierarchies, its crisis and class struggles.

With over fifty chapters written by contributors from approximately twenty countries, Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution forms a collective map of the most dynamic struggles within the energy sector.

Kolya Abramsky is a former visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science, Technology and Society, in Graz, Austria, where he received the Manfred-Heindler Award for Energy and Climate Change Research, and in 2006 was coordinator of the Danish-based World Wind Energy Institute, an international effort in non-commercial renewable energy education, involving different renewable energy centers from around the world.

This title is now available at: http://www.akpress.org/2009/items/sparkingaworldwideenergyrevolution

Order now to get 25% off the regular list price of $21.95!

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