Feminist Emergency – International Conference


Event Date: 22 – 24 June 2017
Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck Main Building
Torrington Square
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities  in collaboration with British Comparative Literature Association, Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS), the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, and Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MaMSIE) presents:

Feminist Emergency – International Conference

This major international feminist conference emerges out of a shared sense that feminism today is confronted with a set of acute challenges to which it urgently needs to bring new resources and critical insight. Austerity policies, increasing social inequality, the general assault on collective policies of social welfare, the changes imposed on health care, the needs of an ageing population, the increasing worldwide visibility of violence (domestic violence, rape as a weapon of war, ‘honour’ killing, female genital mutilation), all of these intensifying trends are placing women under renewed pressure and are heightening the need for women to reflect, speak and find new means of expression. At the same time, the rise of populism in the context of Brexit in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in the US, with the growing racism that has accompanied both, are contributing to a climate where bigotry and misogyny are granted new permission to parade themselves in the media and on the streets. Opening and closing the conference with poetry and literary readings by renowned creative writers from across the globe, our aim is to demonstrate the central role of cultural expression in representing, illuminating and resisting this new climate in which women find themselves today.

The conference aims to address these issues, and their implications for feminist thought, activism and creativity, and in relation to public policy in the UK and globally. To that end, we are especially committed to fostering a unique atmosphere of dialogue and exchange which will cross the boundaries between scholars, practitioners and literary writers, between generations of feminists, across different ethnic and cultural groups, between the trans-movement and feminism, and between critical thinking and the demand for social change. The Conference will therefore gather together academics, literary scholars and poets, professionals, policy makers and feminist activists in the realm of health care, education, domestic labour and sexual violence. It will also be interdisciplinary, working across sociology and social history, economics, politics, psychoanalysis, sexuality and gender studies, literature, film and culture. Internationally renowned writers and thinkers such as NourbeSe Philip, Jackie Kay, Leila Ahmed and Drucilla Cornell will bring to the conference voices out of which we will aim to establish the forward looking nature of modern feminist expression and thought.

Welcome to the conference by Jacqueline Rose (Birkbeck):

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Keynote 1:
M. NourbeSe Philip (Poet, Thinker, Activist) – Unspeakable Acts: The Tongues of M. NourbeSe Philip
AUDIO HERE
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Panels:
Trouble for girls: Growing up in rape culture
(with: Katherine Angel, Holly Bourne, Catherine Johnson)
AUDIO HERE
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Women and Power? Feminism and shifting gender patterns in neoliberal times
(with: Rahila Gupta, Patricia Lewis, Nina Power, Catherine Rottenberg)
AUDIO HERE
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Who cares? The care emergency and feminist responses
(with: Lisa Baraitser, Nisha Dogra, Debbie Field, Pat Oakley)
AUDIO HERE
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Gender, Brexit and Trump: Nationalism and Borders
(with: Anita Biressi, Nadine El-Enany, Sara Farris, Anne Marie Kramer)
AUDIO HERE
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Queer Milk
(with: Jeffrey Baker, Amber Jacobs, Melanie Jackson, Esther Leslie, Sharon Tugwell)
AUDIO HERE
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Sexual violence and coercion in the UK and across the world
(with: Sundari Anitha, Hannana Siddiqui, East End Sisters Uncut)
AUDIO HERE
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Gender, Brexit and Trump: Elections and populism
(with: Rosie Campbell, Erin Sanders McDonagh, Tony Perucci, Fintan Walsh)
AUDIO HERE
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Generations of women
(with: Fatemeh Ebtehaj, Chris MacDonald, Mathelinda Nabugodi, Tamara Novis, Jean Owen)
AUDIO HERE
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Keynote 2:
Leila Ahmed (Harvard University) – Women and Islam – Feminist Emergency: thoughts and themes
AUDIO HERE
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Keynote 3:
Drucilla Cornell (Rutgers University), Karin van Marle (University of Pretoria) – uBuntu feminism
AUDIO HERE
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Panels:
Feminism, racism, anti-racism
(with: Avtar Brah, Barby Asante, Ann Phoenix)
AUDIO HERE
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Sexual difference in the new millennium
(with: Juliet Jacques, Catherine Malabou, Juliet Mitchell, Jacqueline Rose)
AUDIO HERE
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Sex work
(with: Charity Ann, Angela Dimitrakaki, Maggie O’Neill, Laura Watson)
AUDIO HERE
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Radical transfeminist perspectives on justice
(with: Chryssy Hunter, Nat Raha, Kuchenga Shenje, Mijke van der Drift, Wail Qasim)
AUDIO HERE
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Gender, Brexit Trump: Breakout Session with Shaista Aziz (UCL), Ruth Pearson (Leeds), Victoria Sharkey (Immigration Lawyer)

Chair: Kate Maclean (Birkbeck, University of London)

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Closing remarks by Marina Warner (Birkbeck):

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Closing Poetry Readings

Introduction to the readings by Ursula Owen (Editor and Publisher):

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Denise Riley (Poet and Novelist):
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Patience Agbabi (Poet, Performer, Mentor and Fellow, Oxford Brookes University):
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