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Feminist Emergency

This international conference emerges out of a shared sense that feminism today is confronted with a set of acute challenges, which are in urgent need of new resources and critical insight. It will be held on 22-24 June, and tickets are now available to book.

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities will next week host Feminist Emergency ­– an international conference in collaboration with the British Comparative Literature Association, Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS), the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, and Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MaMSIE). This conference emerges out of a shared sense that feminism today is confronted with a set of acute challenges, which are in urgent need of new resources and critical insight.

Remaining Ticket types:

Live streaming of keynote lectures into separate room and full access to all panels and breakout sessions - £30

BOOK YOUR PLACE (Please select the £30 concession rate and in the required fields of university & programme of study please write 'live streaming')

Dates & Times:

Thursday 22 June, 6-7.30pm
Friday 23 June, 10am-7.30pm. Followed by a wine reception for all attendees and speakers.
Saturday 24 June, 10am - 6.30pm

Professor Jacqueline Rose, Co-Director of the Birkbeck Institute of the Humanities, who organised the conference, said: “Gender, in the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, imposes a `grave injustice’ on the world. The need for feminist resistance, critical thinking and creativity has never been more urgent. Lower pay for women, austerity policies and male violence all permeate the lives of women the world over, while Brexit in the UK and the election of Trump in the US have given new license to bigotry, racism and misogyny in the media and on the streets.”

The conference aims to address these issues, and their implications for feminist thought, activism and creativity, and in relation to public policy in the UK and globally. To that end, the conference is especially committed to fostering a unique atmosphere of dialogue and exchange which will cross the boundaries between scholars, practitioners and literary writers, between generations of feminists, across different ethnic and cultural groups, between the trans-movement and feminism, and between critical thinking and the demand for social change.  The conference will therefore gather together academics, literary scholars and poets, professionals, policy makers and feminist activists in the realm of health care, education, domestic labour and sexual violence. It will also be interdisciplinary, working across sociology and social history, economics, politics, psychoanalysis, sexuality and gender studies, literature, film and culture.

Internationally renowned writers and thinkers will bring to the conference voices out of which we will aim to establish the forward looking nature of modern feminist expression and thought, including many Birkbeck scholars - Marina Warner, Katherine Angel and Lynne Segal – and those from other institutions and walks of life, such as NourbeSe Philip, Patience Agbabi, Leila Ahmed and Drucilla Cornell. Opening and closing the conference with poetry and literary readings by renowned creative writers from across the globe, demonstrating the central role of cultural expression in representing, illuminating and resisting this new climate in which women find themselves today.

We are committed to making this conference fully accessible. If you have specific access needs or face barriers to participation, including caring responsibilities, please get in touch with us at so that we can support your full participation.

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