Welcome to the workshop on Feminist New Materialisms at the annual Gender Studies Conference in Turku, Finland (November 22-24, 2018). The Call for Abstracts is open until the end of August.
The workshop coordinators come from the two following Academy of Finland funded research projects, Localizing Feminist New Materialisms and Just the Two of Us? Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships.
Feminist New Materialisms – Matter(ing) And Methodologies
Marjo Kolehmainen, email@example.com, University of Tampere
Katve-Kaisa Kontturi, firstname.lastname@example.org, University of Turku / University of Melbourne
Annukka Lahti, email@example.com, University of Jyväskylä
Taru Leppänen, firstname.lastname@example.org, University of Turku
Tara Mehrabi, email@example.com, University of Turku / Karlstad University
Milla Tiainen, firstname.lastname@example.org, University of Helsinki
This workshop welcomes contributions that elaborate on and experiment with feminist new materialist thinking through empirical research practices and processes. The workshop aims to bring together scholars across various disciplines, who share an interest in searching for and applying alternative and creative modes and methods of observing, relating, participating, interviewing, knowing, and analyzing that are inspired by feminist new materialisms. It asks: How could new materialist thinking be increasingly mobilized and its potential as well as limits tested in contact with site-specific research topics and projects – with situated relational becomings and materializations? What kinds of new approaches might these theorizations enable in relation to particular research practices and contemporary political and ethical concerns?
Specifically, we are curious about mapping ways to reassess understandings of genders and sexualities. Feminist new materialist lines of thinking open up new possibilities for – but also pose novel challenges to – conceptualizations of gender and sexuality, as these frameworks emphasize that they cannot be seen as predefined or distinct categories. Rather, ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ emerge and are produced within multiple assemblages that include interplay between elements from many registers (discursive, material, social, historical, etc.). Some of these elements are other- or more-than-human and thus do not privilege the human subject. New materialist thinking invites us to see gender and sexuality as categories that are constantly on the move, (re)assembling in new ways and assuming renewed forms. New materialist feminist thinking can also extend theories of intersectionality by stressing how genders and sexualities co-emerge with, for example, issues of ethnicity and ‘race’, technoscience, environmental changes, artistic and activist practices, and much more as relational processes of constant mattering. In this way, feminist new materialisms also encourage fresh approaches to the affective, complex, and messy gendered and sexualized power dynamics.
The possible situated assemblages to be addressed in the workshop include, but are not limited to, questions of environmental crisis and species extinction, human/non-human entanglements, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, everyday cultural and artistic activities, activisms and political change, and contemporary technoscientific practices. During the workshop, we hope to begin a process of putting together a collection of papers in the form of an anthology or a special issue for a peer-reviewed journal.