Room: 
Room K, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Monday 26th March 16:15 - 17:45
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Jonathan Dean (University of Leeds)
Panel Discussant: 
  • Dr Jonathan Dean (University of Leeds)
Panel Members: 
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Dr Bice Maiguashca (University of Exeter)
  • Mrs Marie Perrin (Cresppa-CSU)
  • Mr Henry Price (University of Birmingham)

This panel seeks to explore the ways in which feminism, as a political subject, is conforming to as well as challenging neoliberalism. Arguments about the emergence of a post-Washington consensus have, of late, given way to claims that neoliberalism is in crisis and/or intensifying, with scholars such as Wendy Brown suggesting that neoliberal rationality is remaking individual subjectivity to such an extent that democracy itself is being ‘undone’. But what is the role of feminism in these dynamics? With a fast growing literature condemning various strands of feminism for its collusion with neoliberalism – ‘carceral feminism’, ‘hegemonic feminism’, ‘market feminism’ – there are far fewer explorations of the possibilities that remain for feminist disruption of and resistance to these neoliberal logics. This panel seeks to bring together both lines of enquiry with several papers examining the disciplining effects of neoliberalism, while also pointing to possibilities for feminist resistances to them. More specifically, the panel starts by offering a critical interrogation of the extant literature on the state of feminism in our current neoliberal conjuncture, paying particular attention to the narratives of co-optation therein. Having set out the debates and theoretical commitments of this recent body of work, the rest of the papers explore a range of cases within and outside the corporatised University in which current practices around the politics of knowledge production and information sharing generate complex challenges for feminist politics. To this end, the effects of Athena SWAN as a tool of women's empowerment,  the diverse consequences of the institutionalisation of gender studies in the UK and France, the constraining and liberating aspects of social media for women and the discursive repercussions of two recent texts on the 'defanging' of feminism are all subjected to scrutiny. In all cases, the authors seek to disarticulate the simplistic binary choice between co-optation and resistance in an effort to explore the political and conceptual space in between.