Feminism and (Political) Progress
Fifth Oxford Graduate Political Theory Conference
University of Oxford | May 13 & 14 2015
Keynote speaker: Lorna Finlayson (University of Essex)
The development of Western feminist thought is typically framed in terms of ‘waves’, implying progression within the movement. At the moment, because of a resurgence in feminist politics and activism some are arguing that a new wave of feminism is emerging. Yet, this so-called ‘Fourth Wave’ has been difficult to define. Proponents of Fourth Wave Feminism argue that this framing is necessitated by radical disagreements over what the aims of feminism, as a movement, should be. It is clear that a new intellectual configuration is emerging insofar as ‘Fourth Wave Feminism’ can be seen as an umbrella for the responses to both Second and Third Wave problematics – both in activism and the academy.
How can today’s feminist movement incorporate and respond to both the materialist concerns of the Second Wave and the ideological concerns of the Third Wave while not simultaneously assuming their political baggage?
Despite the progress implied by a new feminist wave, it is far less clear what exactly feminism is now progressing towards. This revival in feminism seems to know what it is against, but what it is forremains highly contested. The current inability to present a positive definition can be seen as an opportunity to critically reflect on the aims and methods of the feminist project, how we should characterise political progress, and what exactly we must fight for.
Papers are welcome from across the discipline and may address, without being limited to, the following:
- Feminism and Historical Injustice: Decolonial and postcolonial feminism, feminist perspectives on colonisation and occupation
- Intersectionality and Exclusion: Queer issues, feminism and race, women and religion
- Feminism and the Self: feminism and the body (embodiment), identity politics, anti-essentialism
- New Areas of Feminism Concern: Cyberfeminism, ecofeminism, development
- Feminist Revivals: Waves of feminism, Marxist feminism and social reproduction, issues of suffrage
- Women and Political Violence: Feminism and war, protest and civil disobedience, women and terrorism
- Feminist Interpretations of the State: Rights, redistribution, women’s interactions with the state
- Feminist Methods/Modes of Critique: Consciousness raising, emotionality, linguistics
We invite submissions of abstracts of no more than 500 words by March 6, 2016. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and have them formatted for blind review so that your name does not appear with the abstract. Please note, only graduate students, postdocs, and those still seeking full-time academic lectureships may apply.
Successful applicants will be notified by March 18, and full papers (for a 15-20 minute talk) should be submitted to the committee by May 6 for pre-conference circulation.