Call for Papers for the Marxist Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Stream
Historical Materialism Athens Conference 2023 Call for abstracts
20-23 April 2023, Panteion University, Athens
Deadline for abstracts: 31 December 2022
For all inquiries, please contact: [email protected]
Marxist feminism has been making important contributions to the critical analysis of social, political and cultural forms throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Its strength and potential became manifest even more emphatically since the global financial crisis of 2007-08 and the struggles that followed. Marxist feminism has produced theoretical work that has resonated in these struggles, including on questions of labour and social reproduction, on gender violence, and on challenging the illusions of so called ‘liberal’ feminism. It has also been critical of positions within Marxism that refuse to acknowledge the role of gender in perpetuating exploitation and oppression and in serving accumulation in fairly specific ways. Marxist feminism does not constitute a unified field but proceeds through discussion and debate – including about its own tools, concepts and perspectives.
As the first quarter of the 21st century is drawing to a close, Marxist feminism is faced with capital waging an intense – and indeed intensifying – class war from above in ways that affect negatively most women’s lives, roll back rights, undermine efforts to curb environmental destruction, move even more social wealth towards securitisation and militarisation, raise the nuclear threat, suppress and criminalise both solidarity and dissent. The Marxist feminist stream on gender and sexuality is intended as an opportunity for sharing critical thinking on how to resist all the above.
We welcome papers and panels on the following themes
Production and reproduction
● Gender and class through Marxist feminism: political strategies
● Social reproduction and its connection with the organisation of capitalist production: women’s ‘working day’ in contemporary capitalism (including the platform economy and other developments)
● Accumulation through the exploitation and deepening of gender inequality; the valorisation of gender in the capitalist economy; the role of sexuality and gender in the crisis of neoliberalism
● The role of gender and sexual violence, from rape to femicides, in the reproduction of capitalism
Conflict and violence
● Capitalism and growth against climate and life: Marxist feminist perspectives
● The gendered realities of borders, geopolitics, migration
● Inter-imperialism, nationalism, militarism, patriotism, and the role of gender in generating social consent or dissent
● Marxist feminism on war and peace, in history and today, imperialism, debates on pacificism, anti-nuclear movements
● The capitalist state, the police apparatus, and the role (and rule) of law in gender, class and racial oppression
● The future, present and past of women’s strikes
● Suppressed and reclaimed histories of women’s anticapitalist struggles, including through culture
● Mass media and social media in relation to feminist struggles, their advancement or containment
● Gender, sexuality, capitalism, fascism and the alt right
● Feminism and the commons / feminism and the communist imaginary
● Techno-futurism and gender politics
● Gender and the student movements
● Religion as the ‘opium of the people’ and the biopolitics of gender
Resistance, alliances, debates
● Queer Marxism and Marxist feminism: expanding the alliance of feminism and queer and broader LBTQI movements
● Epistemologies and concepts: what is the relationship of contemporary Marxist feminism to post-sructuralism and psychoanalsis, given their impact on second-wave feminism? How is intersectionality interpreted from a Marxist feminist perspective? What is decolonial feminism and where does it align with Marxist feminism? How can concepts like the ‘data-driven economy’ be approached through Marxist feminism?
● Feminism ‘on the left’: alignments, discussions, rifts
● Marxist feminism and identity politics
● Debates on ‘feminist economy’: the concept’s history and its relationship to Marxist concepts
● The means of resistance: from theory to practice or from practice to theory for feminist activism and anticapitalist political agency?
The above list of the themes we hope to address is far from exhaustive and we welcome your own ideas about the priorities of Marxist feminism in the age of extreme, life-threatening, intersecting crises and emergencies. Our hope is that papers will address the dismal reality and resistance to it, but that they will also examine the prospects of alliances and solidarity towards an exodus from the current impasse. Ultimately, we ask: how do we turn the tide, how do we defeat defeatism, how do we break free from the compelling reproduction of the capitalist deadlock that is based also on the exploitation of women by women?