CFP for Feminist Research Working Group 2016

19 October, 2015

Feminist Traditions/ Feminism and Tradition

Call for Papers: IFTR 2016

 Feminism is, by its nature, iconoclastic. If we take tradition to mean a set of ideological values covered over by the authorising gloss of custom, national heritage or the hierarchical structures of the ‘great men’ of the arts, then tradition can be understood as the representational legacies that are to be resisted, critiqued or overthrown by the feminist project. Given the smashing of shop windows by the suffragettes, or the defacing of fine art by the Riot Grrrls, tradition might be understood to be the enemy of feminism.

 The working group will take three approaches to the question of tradition. First: What are feminism’s own traditions? What aesthetic practices, repertoires of performance history, artists and philosophers do feminists now share? What are the traditions of feminist pedagogy and process that inform our current practices as scholars and teachers?

Second: How might feminists revisit and reconsider some of the aesthetic traditions that they have historically critiqued, such as realism, tragedy, and avant-garde performance practices? Do these forms have anything to offer us after all?  Are there concepts and practices within these theatrical traditions that could be recuperated for future feminist projects?

Third: What are the ways in which feminists can critique or intervene in traditions as they form and coalesce? How do the methods and politics of feminism (broadly defined) serve to challenge the invention of tradition?

Building on our work in India, where our reading group, led by Janelle Reinelt, engaged in detail with the work of Hannah Arendt, we propose to dedicate one of our sessions to the consideration of two key early feminists who have done much to shape feminist traditions: Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain and Mary Wollstencraft.  Extracts from these two important women’s writings will be made available on our dropbox folder and we will ask two of our members to lead a reading group on these figures.

Our Process

The Feminist Research Working Group is composed of scholars from Sweden, India, Pakistan, Britain, Sri Lankha, China, Japan, South Korea, Chile, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and the United States. It works by circulating papers to members in advance of the conference. In previous years, those who have circulated papers have been invited to speak for no more than ten minutes, followed by 15 minutes for the group to discuss the work.

The full text of the selected papers (no more than 3000 words) should be emailed to the conveners by 13th May 2015 for uploading into the group’s dropbox. We will also publish the papers on the group’s website. For further information please do not hesitate to contact the conveners. You are reminded that in order to present your paper it is necessary to formally submit your abstract according to the guidelines on the conference website, register for the conference and to become a member of IFTR. You are also reminded that papers can be given to the working group or within the main conference, but you may not do both.

We look forward to continuing our work and welcoming new participants in 2016.

1) Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 January 2016.

2) Proposals for the WS are to be submitted at the conference website: . Information on how to submit will be available on the page.

3) Deadline for submission of applications for bursaries: 1 December  2015. The application form is available at

4) Deadline for submission of full papers (3,000 words max) to the convenors by e-mail: 13 May 2016.


Aoife Monks:

Charlotte Canning:



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