EXCLUSIVE: Inside a 'Marxist Feminist' event with a Duke professor

The New School in New York City recently hosted "Marxist Feminist" Kathi Weeks to speak on a new "Marxist feminist archive" project.

Her project plans to be “anti-work and anti-family,” as well as combat “contemporary capitalism.”

A Duke University professor who describes herself as a “Marxist feminist” discussed the creation of a “Marxist feminist archive” during an event at New York City’s New School in February. 

Kathi Weeks is a professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina as well as a visiting professor at the New School. As part of the “2021 Gender Matters Symposium,” Weeks spoke at the New School in order to promote her new “Marxist Feminist archive.”

The goal of this new archive is to assemble “manifestos into an archive and counter archive for the future of U.S. Marxist feminist theory.” She said she believes that this groundbreaking archive will run counter to the concepts of “canon, opus, lineage and tradition” that are seen in standard libraries.

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Weeks said she believes that her new archive will assist in “dismantling the organist ordering of the family model” and won’t “invite the usage of familial metaphors.” She added that she wants her archive to promote “neither a kinship amongst the authors, nor a proprietary relationship between the archive and the reader.”

One of the main reasons Weeks seeks to establish this archive is to counter the “conservative dynamic” that is tradition, and which “seeds too much authority to the past by denying the creative power of the present and its futurity.” 

One of Weeks’ premises about her archive is that it can “be read forward or backward, its sequence and composition not predetermined.”

To Weeks, the term archive is an “alternative to the ways of the language of property” that traditional libraries have. She said she hopes to go against the “wealth preserved in a canons treasury, the family inheritance that’s bequeathed the future generations, the authors’ personal property to respect and preserve, and the traditions compounded deposits that can be distributed to its investors.”

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She urged that she and her fellow feminists take aim at “institutions of work and family,” that massive action be taken in order to combat “contemporary capitalism”, and that her archive serve the need for Marxist feminists who “need to think on multiple social registers including systemic ones.”

She told listeners that “in order to be anti-work and anti-family you’re going to have to take on these major structures.” Her new archive also takes on inspiration from the lessons of “prison abolitionists, and what abolitionism means in those writings.”

Campus Reform reached out to the New School and Weeks but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ajmunguia23