Women's studies conference solicits 'post-capitalism' workshops

The nation’s largest association of women’s studies professors will host a conference dedicated to “socialist feminism” and “feminist scholarship” in November. 

The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference--“Imagining Justice: Feminist visions of freedom, dream making, and the radical politics of futures”--will take place at the Hilton Atlanta from November 8-11, where attendees will explore themes such as the “post-capitalist future” offered by socialism, anarchism, and communism.

Founded in 1997, the NWSA boasts of more than 2,350 academic members and aims to promote a “just world” that is “free from ideologies, systems of privilege, or structures that oppress or exploit some for the advantage of others.” 

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To that end, their upcoming conference is framed as an opportunity to use feminist theory to resist “the recent rise of right wing populism, neo-fascist movements, white nationalism, science denial, and religious bigotry (including both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism), homophobia, and transphobia,” which the organizers describe as “desperate and retrograde responses to current social, political, economic, and environmental challenges.”

Since the conference is still being planned, the organizers encourage professors to apply to give workshops on a variety of feminist topics, including “Afro-futurism,” “rethinking gender,” and “Post-capitalism: imagining new economic futures.” 

They argue that it is necessary to imagine new economic futures because we live in an era of “racial capitalism” predicated on “white supremacy” and “patriarchy,” which “compromises the ability of many people on the planet to have the material resources to survive.” 

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“Can social movements end capitalism? What are the alternatives to capitalist organization of society? What possibilities do socialism, anarchism, and communism offer?” asks “SUBTHEME THREE” in the call for proposals. “We invite workshops and presentations that explore the possibilities of post-capitalist societies.” 

Last year’s conference was keynoted by former Communist Party USA member Angela Davis and Alicia Garza, the co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Featured workshops included “Closing Wikipedia’s Gender Gap,” a workshop on “Systemic Oppressions in the Trump Era” and “What Does/Can [Prison] Abolition Look Like in the Black Feminist Classroom?” 

Campus Reform reached out to the organizers of the conference, but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen