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The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities | EVENTS | Feminism and the Politics of Resilience

Feminism and the Politics of Resilience

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Event description

Following the lecture, Professor Angela McRobbie will be in conversation with Professor Esther Leslie

The focus in this lecture is on the interruptive force which new feminisms present to capitalist consumer culture. The lecture proposes that a socio-therapeutic device evident across popular culture and labelled the 'perfect-imperfect-resilience' navigates a terrain so as to seemingly embrace elements of the new feminism while at the same time displacing its political force by means of a logic of substitution, which also marks a pulling away from 'neoliberal leadership feminism' in favour of a re-inflected liberal feminism. A psycho-analytically informed argument urging a feminist emphasis on questions such as 'who are you?' counters the invidious popular morality of 'resilience'.  

This lecture continues our series of Feminist Flashpoint events, following from the Feminist Emergency Conference of June 2017, in which we seek to create space for dialogue around some of the most searching and difficult issues facing feminism today.


Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths University of London and Fellow of the British Academy. An expert on gender and popular culture as well as on the creative economy and the new world of work, her most recent books are Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries (2015) and Feminism and the Politics of Resilience (2020 forthcoming). Angela is a regular contributor to openDemocracy and to BBC Radio 4 Thinking Aloud.

Esther Leslie is Professor in Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck University of London, and Co-director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. She has research interests in Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno. Other research interests include the poetics of science, the bleeding edge of technologies, European literary and visual modernism and avant gardes, animation, colour and madness, art philosophy and politics.

Please note: Admission is on a first-come-first-served basis for those with tickets. Not everyone who books uses their ticket, so to ensure a full house we allocate more tickets than there are seats. This usually means we have a full house without having to turn people away, but there may be occasions when we do have more people than seats available. Please ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time to avoid disappointment. We also run returns queues at the events and fill any empty seats with those waiting outside the theatre shortly before the start of the event.

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Angela McRobbie,Prof Esther Leslie