“Feminism is for everybody”
This declaration is from bell hooks’ book about the passionate politics of feminism. Might feminist praxis be inclusive not only of people, but also of spaces and times? If so, then feminist praxis may consist of thinking and doing in and outside academia, and in the recirculation, citation, (re)readings of texts, slogans, and ideas.
The legacy of our passionate politics is commonly narrated as a succession of feminist waves divided into time periods of generational preoccupations. These waves have also been organized into phases of development: for example, that the first wave is political, the second wave is cultural, and the third wave is academic. Other understandings take a foremother as representative of each generation, who then is critiqued by a daughter, staging a matricidal scene of generational strife and competition. During our two-day symposium gathering we want to address the shortcomings of these narrative framings while looking to manifest our future legacies.
Our guiding questions are: What kind of feminist praxis is able to challenge how successive generations are often pitted against each other as developmentally inferior? Or as competitors over a scarce array of resources, whether these be political, economic, or symbolic ones? How can we practice intergenerational feminism in and outside of university settings? What is the effect of today’s “each one, teach one” (Black) feminist pedagogy occurring mainly outside of the classroom, by those engaging in online and campus activism? What conceptualizations of intimacy, of space and time connectivity, flow from intergenerational thinking and doing? How might patriarchal and colonial notions of inheritance be refuted through an intergenerational feminist praxis? If feminism is for everybody, what should be preserved, or let go, from archives of feminism? What do we want our legacy to be?
The Centre for Gender and Diversity (CGD) at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University invites you to join us for intergenerational feminist dialogue on the special occasion of our 25-year anniversary. The CGD officially opened its doors in Invitation 21 - 21 September 2023 September 1998 to consolidate the expertise of gender and women’s studies scholars, a field explicitly supported by UM since 1987. Our jubilee symposium on Intergenerational Feminisms therefore also is a celebration of these many years of intersectional and interdisciplinary scholarship at the UM, conducted in concert with many collaborators in and outside of the university. It offers us an opportunity to assess the issues that have fallen off the broader feminist agenda and which need our urgent attention.
Our symposium will take place over 21-22 September, and we welcome all past, present and future CGD colleagues and collaborators to join us. The opening reception with a short film program will take place on Thursday evening at De Brandweerkantine, followed by a full-day program at FASoS on Friday. The Friday morning program kicks off with a discussion between the five former and current directors of the CGD, followed by a zine-making group activity with archival materials, then a keynote from Prof. dr. Iris van der Tuin (Utrecht University) that will revisit her “jumping generation” theory of feminist thought. We will have a presentation on the CGD’s Intergenerational Feminism interview-based book project, and hear from the UM President Rianne Letschert and the Dean of FASoS Christine Neuhold on their views about the importance of intergenerational feminism in academia. The afternoon is dedicated to six roundtables with invited scholars, activists, and artists. This programming focuses on three research themes, namely, intersectional legacies; visual practices of counter-archiving; whether tech has feminist power, and on three arenas of feminist praxis, specifically of academic leadership; pedagogy; and publication cultures. We close with drinks and bites at Bar1717 just down the street from the faculty.
Register using the form below to attend the symposium’s free events here (limited space, registration required).