Feminism and the S-Word event: 4th March
Wednesday 4th March 5-7pm
Room BG03, University Building, City University London, Northampton Square, EC1V 0HB, London UK
Speakers: Deborah Grayson, Mandy Merck, Hilary Wainwright, Nira Yuval-Davis
Chair: Jo Littler
A large proportion of second-wave feminism from the 1960s and 1970s onward loudly proclaimed itself to be practising ‘socialist feminism’; and many influential feminist academics and activists have, for a long time, used and claimed the designation for both their position and the kind of society they would like to see. In the UK, in the Thatcher and Blair years, though, it became a term that was somewhat less used. In part this mirrored a more general shift under neoliberal culture in which ‘socialism’ moved from being a living part of national political discourse — its practices palpable in the Welfare State and the NHS – to being re-oriented as an ‘ideological’ position shunted outside the centre. This seminar reconsiders the influential currents of socialist feminism. It asks: how is socialist feminism being rediscovered and reinvented by a new generation? Does it encompass a diverse set of positions or has it been colonised by particular political groups? Is socialist feminism still a politically or strategically useful term? What does it mean?
Deborah Grayson is an activist, PhD candidate and ghost-writer of popular books on politics. She previously worked for the Yes to AV campaign and the Media Reform Coalition, has been an organizer for Climate Rush and the Spartans, founded The Cuts Won’t Work and is part of the Soundings editorial board and the False Economy working group.
Mandy Merck is Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway University of London. Her books include Perversions: Deviant Readings, Virago 1993; Coming Out of Feminism? (co-edited with Naomi Segal and Elizabeth Wright), Blackwell 1998,;In Your Face: Nine Sexual Studies, NYU Press, 2000; and Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex (co-edited with Stella Sandford) Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Hilary Wainwright is a founder and member of the editorial collective of Red Pepper. The book originally published in 1980 that she co-wrote with Sheila Rowbotham and Lynne Segal, Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Remaking of Socialism, was recently republished by Merlin Press (2013). She is research director of the Transnational Institute’s New Politics Programme.
Nira Yuval-Davis is Professor and Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) at the University of East London. She is a founder of Women Against Fundamentalism and editor of Palgrave’s book series ‘The Politics of Intersectionality’. Her books include Woman-Nation-State, 1989, Racialized Boundaries, 1992, Unsettling Settler Societies, 1995, Gender and Nation, 1997, Warning Signs of Fundamentalisms, 2004, The Politics of Belonging: Intersectional Contestations, 2011.
Free, all welcome, no need to book