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CSWG Spring Workshop: "Orientating feminism(s): Feminist ‘turns’ and the political economy of knowledge production"

To register to attend this free event, click HERE.

Friday 28th February 28th, 2014, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Social Sciences Building, room A0.23


Prof. Clare Hemmings (LSE)
Dr. Carolyn Pedwell (Newcastle)
Dr. Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths)
Prof. Valerie Hey (Sussex)
Prof. Lisa Blackman (Goldsmiths)



Dr. Maria do Mar Pereira (Warwick)
Kathryn Medien (Warwick)

This workshop seeks to interrogate the nature and impacts of claims that feminist scholarship is, or ought to be, undergoing a ‘turn’, i.e. a change in direction, aim or focus. The notion of ‘turn’ has long played an important role in oral and written narrations of the development of social and political theory. In those narrations, the declaration of a ‘turn’ functions not just as a categorising device making it possible to identify patterns and pinpoint transformations in knowledge production, but also as a touchstone of sometimes fierce debates about the relative epistemic value and political utility of different forms of scholarship.

In recent years, it appears that invocations of, and exhortations to, a ‘turn’ have become especially frequent in feminist scholarship, particularly within conversations about theoretical and empirical work often clustered around the terms ‘the affective turn’ and ‘the (new) materialist turn’. These ‘turns’ have been the object of much attention in conferences and publications, but this workshop invites colleagues to think about them differently.

  • Rather than evaluating the key principles, theoretical merits and analytical potential of such feminist ‘turns’, we want to discuss what happens when we think and speak of these (and other) scholarly developments as a ‘turn’, and how they come to be positioned and function within feminist scholarship.
  • Rather than just conceptualise ‘turns’ as epistemic processes (where what is at stake is theories, concepts and findings), we also want to situate the declaration of ‘turns’ within the broader political economy of contemporary academic practice and ask, for example, how these declarations might relate to ongoing processes of transformation and competitive commodification of academic knowledge.

This event will take the format of an open roundtable discussion where speakers and participants will debate the current political-theoretical feminist landscape, asking how feminist ‘turns’ operate within and against a changing academic environment, at a time of political and economic ‘crisis’ and strengthening of social inequalities. We will consider questions of institutionalisation, temporality, the stories we tell about feminist scholarship, geo-politics, feminist pedagogies, citational practices and the relation between feminism and the political economy of contemporary academia.

We hope you can take part in the debate and then join us for the post-workshop drinks reception!

Attendance is free, but we ask that you register in advance by clicking HERE.

Useful Information:

For directions to the University of Warwick, see HERE.

You can find a map of campus HERE. (The Social Sciences building is marked with the number 60, and appears at the centre of the map, within square 4D.)

If you have any questions or need special assistance, please do not hesitate to contact m dot d dot m dot pereira at warwick dot ac dot uk or k dot medien at warwick dot ac dot uk.