an international conference at the University of Otago
25th-27th November 2015
Keynote speakers include:
- Anja Kanngieser, Goldsmiths, University of London
- Sandra Grey, Victoria University, Wellington / Tertiary Education Union President
The conference is organised by the Department of Media, Film and Communication, University of Otago, in conjunction with the Fresh and Fruity Gallery Collective
trans/forming feminisms: media, technology, identity
Discussions of feminist theory and activism have taken on a new energy and dynamism in the past decade. Online media spaces – such as twitter, tumblr and blogs like Jezebel, feministing and autostraddle– have provided a key site for the debate of what it means to be a feminist in the contemporary moment. Hashtag flashpoints over popular cultural figures such as Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunham as well #thisiswhatafeministlookslike and #slutwalk have generated broader popular/critical discussions around gender politics. Further, activists around feminist, trans* and Queer politics have integrated technology as an important means for consciousness-raising as well as enabling broader struggles against patriarchy, hetero-normativity and non-inclusive forms of feminism. Alongside this, numerous academics (Sara Ahmed, Jack Halberstam, Tiziana Terranova) are moving 'online' to use web spaces as a means for disseminating theoretical work to a broader audience. All this points to an invigoration of feminist theory an politics which we are signaling via the prefix 'trans' – as a way of gesturing towards not only trans* politics, but the notion of transformation, change and the animation of new modes of being, thinking and doing 'feminism'.
This conference brings together international scholars and activists from diverse disciplinary and radical political backgrounds to foster discussions around theorizing and doing feminist activism. In particular trans/forming feminisms focuses on the intersections and tensions between contemporary feminist conceptualizing, activism and media technologies. It aims to combine theory with on-the-ground organizing in a productive and transformative discussion, and to provide a forum to unpack the tensions between intellectual imperatives, praxis, and mediated modes of feminist communication and activism.
trans/forming feminisms is organised collectively and we aim to produce a genuinely open space for the interaction between activists and academics. Thus we also encourage creative and praxis / performance-based proposals and ideas for skillshares and workshops which will run alongside more traditional academic papers.
Topics and approaches on which we would welcome proposals for papers and panels include the following but are not confined to them, and are in no particular order:
- How does the 'mediated self' and Web 3.0 enable particular modes of feminist practice?
- How do media platforms, such as social networking sites, constitute and reproduce forms of white bourgeois feminism and how can intersectional feminism counter this?
- How are the politics of intersectional feminists performed and consolidated online?
- What are the cultural politics around 'trigger warnings' on social media platforms?
- What are the political and theoretical implications of the popularising of terms such as 'cis', 'trans*' and 'queer' via their foregrounding on social media sites such as tumblr and twitter?
- How do media formations (technologies, institutions, practices) operate in relation to feminist politics in different geographic contexts?
- What does 'rape culture' mean in the current Web 3.0 context?
- What is the relationship between sexual violence and media representations?
- How might mediated practices empower women to fight back against sexual violence?
- What is the role of media in fermenting radical changes in global gendered oppression?
- How has the ongoing proliferation of gendered identities affected feminist theoretical engagements and the broader political movement?
- Who is the feminist subject in the contemporary moment?
- What the relations between media technologies and the non-cis-male subject?
Dunedin is a beautiful small city, located in the South Island of New Zealand. A true 'university town', it buzzes with student life and academic activity. It hosts a number of independent art galleries, bookshops and radical institutions. Alongside these cultural sites, Dunedin offers stunning opportunities for nature tourism and is a perfect taste of New Zealand's natural beauty. Tramping (hiking) tracks are within easy distance of the town, as is the striking Otago Peninsula, home to albatross colonies and rare penguin breeds.
Please send panel proposal, paper abstracts, and proposals for info booths or skillshare / workshops to the collective at:
firstname.lastname@example.org by 2 April 2015 as an email attachment in Word.
Papers will be 20 minutes long, with ten minutes for questions. Panels will generally be made up of 3 speakers and a chairperson.
Skillshares will run for 1-2 hours and can take diverse and creative formats.
Infobooths with be stands in shared / communal space – tables and chairs will be provided.
Panel proposals should provide an outline of the panel idea and its relations to the conference theme (200 words max), and provide abstracts of the 3-4 speakers (250 words maximum per abstract), and the name of a person who will chair the pane. Paper abstracts, infobooth ideas and skillshare proposals should be 250 words maximum and should explain the connection to the conference theme.
Postgraduate / casual lecturer: NZ$75
Registration includes lunch and refreshments (including 'cocktail function') for the duration of the conference.
Researchers from countries where it is difficult to fund research travel should consult the conference organisers.
Rosemary Overell, Vijay Devadas. Massimiliana Urbano, Kevin Fletcher, Catherine Dale, Katherine Legun, Annabel Cooper