Interface: a journal for and about social movements
Call for papers, issue 3/2 (November 2011, deadline for submissions May 2011)
“Feminism, women’s movements and women in movement”
Issue editors: Catherine Eschle, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Sara Motta, Laurence Cox
Feminist theory is a direct product of women’s movements, which in turn have been among the most powerful movements of recent decades and have had dramatic effects across societies. Despite this, much
contemporary feminist theory avoids questions of collective agency, and is often disconnected from movement activism. Conversely most scholarship on social movements ignores feminist analysis or at best
includes it as an add-on question about gendered participation. Arguably, such scholarship is reliant on restrictive conceptual frames that result in the invisibilisation, de-legitimisation and silencing of contemporary forms of feminism, women’s movement and women in movement. Both frameworks are therefore weak on understanding and conceptualising the nature of contemporary feminism-as-movement,
engaging with women’s agency in the construction of new forms of popular politics and opening up productive questions about political strategy.
This is particularly strange since women’s movements, and movements dominated by women (particularly those described as popular movements, movements of the poor or community movements), play a distinctive and characteristic role in local, national and global politics. They often expand the praxis of popular politics and social change in ways that politicise the subjective and the everyday, and include the spiritual, cultural and affective in their practices of resistance. Furthermore, feminist historical accounts in recent decades have highlighted the importance of women’s mobilisation, theories, pedagogies and approaches in everything from anti-imperialist movements, struggles around social reproduction and trade union organising to religious activism and top-down mobilisation in support of conservative regimes.
For this issue, we invite contributions on how feminist theory can help us understand the ways in which participation and collective action are gendered within social movements generally. We are equally
interested in the ways in which women’s movements, feminist activism and movements strongly marked by women’s participation but without a feminist identification have distinct approaches to politics ? or
operate in similar ways to other movements – and the political and strategic implications of their activities.
We are looking for contributions from feminist activists and scholars, participants in and students of women’s movements and movements marked by a feminisation of resistance, and social movement researchers with an interest in women’s agency, or how agency is gendered, in movements of all kinds.