Flying: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Kate Millett
30 May 2014
School of Arts
Birkbeck, University of London
Supported by Feminist Review Trust
Keynote: Victoria Hesford (SUNY Stony Brook University), author of Feeling Womens Liberation (Duke UP, 2013)
Papers are invited for an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the work of Kate Millett. Millett became an iconic figure of second wave feminism after the publication of Sexual Politics in 1970. As one of the first pieces of academic feminism to come out of the American academy, Sexual Politics was a handbook of the Womens Liberation Movement. Moreover, after appearing on the cover of Time Magazine in the same year as Sexual Politics was published, Millett became one of the Movements most recognizable faces. However, arguably, Millett has since largely disappeared from both the public eye and contemporary feminism, despite the fact that she has continued to publish (Flying , The Prostitution Papers , The Loony-Bin Trip , Sita , and Mother Millet ), make films (Three Lives , Not a Love Story , The Real Yoko Ono ), and sculpt.
In aiming to reflect on/account for/address/redress some of this silence, this conference is compelled on the one hand, by recent calls in feminism to re-engage with the second wave (see Hemmings Why Stories Matter, Duke, 2011) and to re-visit foundational feminist texts (see Merck and Sanfords Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex, Palgrave, 2010). Moreover, it is also influenced by Victoria Hesfords recent Feeling Womens Liberation (Duke, 2013), which places Millett as a central figure in the production and remembrance of the Womens Liberation Movement. Hesfords publication signals that now is perhaps a timely moment to create a larger dialogue about Millett; to ask questions about Milletts role in feminist history; and to discuss how her work is situated in and amongst more contemporary feminist concerns. The conference thus aims to: consider new frameworks for approaching Milletts past or ongoing work; interrogate the politics and possibilities of the second wave; explore the politics of memory, forgetting, and citation in feminism; critically reflect on the potential difficulties of some of Milletts past work travelling into the present; and to consider whether and how (despite her ongoing feminist work) Millett might be produced as ‘untimely’ in the feminist present. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
Affect and the second wave
Feminism and autobiographical writing
Feminism and forgetting
Generational politics or the politics of mother/daughter relationships
Lesbian politics and the Womens Liberation Movement
Narrating mental illness
Non-monogamy as feminist politics
Race and feminism
Sexuality and the second wave
Sexual Politics and feminist literary criticism
The media and the second wave
The Womens Liberation Movement
The conference invites proposals for individual papers, panels, or artistic responses from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Submissions are welcome from students, activists, artists, academics, and unaffiliated researchers. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper along with your name, affiliation (if applicable), and 100 word bibliography firstname.lastname@example.org by 28 February 2013.
The conference is organized by Dr Sam McBean (Birkbeck, University of London) and is being supported by the Feminist Review Trust.
Select papers will be sought for publication as part of an edited collection. For further information please email Sam email@example.com
Conference website: flyingkatemillettconference.wordpress.com