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Feminism, Memory, Activism: Forging Transnational Solidarities

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Organizer: Rosanne Kennedy

Co-Organizer: Sandra Young

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This seminar will explore the cultural forms, rhetorics and strategies that feminist and queer writers and artists have developed to intervene in public cultures of memory and forgetting in the aftermath of colonialism and political injustice across the world. Seeking to complicate the binaries that imagine North and South as inhabiting separate spheres, we aim to explore interconnected histories of violence across specific contexts of struggle, and the creative memory work that brings these complex legacies into view. Inspired in part by the collaborative ethos of Women Mobilizing Memory (2019), we share its recognition that “the complexity posed by the mobility of the global and the persistent untranslatability of the local can only be offset by slow, patient, and durational collaborative work, emanating from and reaching across different locations in both the global North and the global South” (13-14). By identifying comparative connections across distant sites while also respecting local and untranslatable dimensions of experience, this seminar aims both to forge new vectors of transnational solidarity, and to contribute to the development of a “practice-based feminist memory studies” (2) that imagines new possibilities of protest, repair and freedom. To facilitate such collaboration, we invite proposals that identify the unique capacities of creative work, such as literature, life writing, performance art, visual art and photography, to remember the forms of violence, public and personal, contemporary and historical, that have evaded representation and thwarted freedom and justice across a range of sites globally. We are interested in proposals that reflect on the unique capacities of feminist creative work to scramble the dichotomies that separate the “public” and the “intimate” as it brings into view the many forms of everyday violence that are concealed by systems of oppression. Additionally, we welcome proposals that identify the transformative potential of creative works to re-frame official archives, activate nonhegemonic collections, and animate suppressed histories that affirm the possibility of justice and solidarity across an unequal world.

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