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'Naked Protest' Imogen Tyler Keynote @ Finnish Women's Studies Annual Conference

Date: 16 November 2012

Women's Studies Conference, Tampere, November 16-17, 2012In November 2012 Women's Studies Annual Conference gathers together scholars in Women's and Gender Studies to discuss current issues and latest findings and to share new ideas. The theme of this year's conference is Feminist Spaces and Futures. Keynotes Imogen Tyler (Lancaster University, UK) and Stevi Jackson (York University, UK)

Imogen Tyler Keynote: Naked Protest:Maternal Politics and the Feminist Commons

In 2011, Silvia Federici argues for a 'feminist commons', to respond to the democratic deficits, staggering economic inequalities and laissez-faire violence which are central to the operation of neoliberal globalism (Federici, 2011). In the context of the current upsurge of 'space-hacking' forms of protest against austerity, best illustrated by the wave of pro-democracy revolts in North Africa and the Middle-East dubbed the 'Arab Spring' and the North America and European Occupy movement which these revolts inspired, how might we interpret Federici's distinctly feminist call for women to collectively mobilise their bodies collectively to take back space? I explore what the practice of 'feminist commoning' might mean through an examination of three protests: a naked protest by a group of mothers, 'failed' asylum seekers and `illegal immigrants' at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in England in 2008, the use of the 'naked curse' in protests by indigenous mothers against global oil corporations in the Niger Delta in 2005, and the 'Expose the Naked Truth' protest enacted by the feminist activist network CodePink in New York in 2010, against the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Texas. Weaving together activist materials, news reports, interviews, documentaries and historical data, I examine these seemingly local and disparate protests together in order to elucidate the transnational connections between these naked protests. My aim is consider the common forms of 'maternal politics', which are being mobilised by women in different geo-political spaces, in their resistance to the gendered architectures of expropriation effected by neoliberalism

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Associated departments and research centres: Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Sociology


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