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Interdisciplinary conversation with professors at Gothenburg university


Eva Borgström, Professor in Literary Studies

Same-sex love in first-wave feminist movement

I will present a new anthology about love between women in the first-wave feminist movement in Sweden. Many leading feminists lived in long term relationships with each other, and this seems to have been rather well known and accepted within the movement. But publicly they had to be discreet. Same-sex love was criminalized in Sweden and in many other countries too, and the antifeminist rhetoric often focused on different kinds of transgressions having to do with sex and sexuality. Nevertheless, many women wrote about the forbidden lesbian love in diaries, letters and other kinds of private texts, but some of them also wrote about it in public texts as novels and autobiographies. And they did so in a way that made it clear that they were about something more than just friendships. Feminist historians have not been interested in these stories at all, not until now. On the contrary. If they have noticed these relationships at all they have been just as descreet about them as the feminist movement were in the early 20th century. And they have not recognized and certainly not discussed the political significance of them.
The talk presents the recently published anthology Den kvinnliga tvåsamhetens frirum. Kvinnopar i kvinnorörelsen 1890-1960.

Tommaso Milani, Professor of Multilinguaism

Queer entanglements: Sexual activism in South Africa

The aim of this presentation is to apply a critically queer approach to a plethora of South African texts: legal documents, news reports, as well as ethnographic transcripts and field notes from Pride parades. This is with a view to understanding the complex ¿entanglements¿ (Nuttall 2008) in the politics of sexuality in contemporary South Africa. Looking at both representations and practices, I will firstly show the frictions between identity-driven discourses and anti-identitarian acts of resistance, together with the interests, stakes and double-binds that underpin such positions. The analysis of these tensions will allow me to make a broader point about sexual citizenship (Richardson 2000) and affirmative politics of recognition (Fraser 1995). Over twenty years after equal rights on the basis of ¿sexual orientation¿ were enshrined in the South African constitution, I will illustrate the pitfalls of a politics that, in its well-meaning attempt to recognise and thus empower all sexual minorities, did not benefit everyone in the same way but followed specific racial and social class patterns. I will also demonstrate how a rights-based discourse has produced a moral and affective regime that polices what counts as ¿good¿ and ¿acceptable¿ vs. ¿bad¿ and ¿deviant¿ sexual citizenship. I will conclude with a few reflections on what sexual activism in South Africa can teach us with regard to (1) well-meaning rights-based LGBT discourses in Sweden, and (2) to speaking back to current conservative discourses on the future of gender studies.

Chair: Lena Martinsson

Föreläsare: Eva Borgström, Professor in Literary Studies Same-sex love in first-wave feminist movement. Tommaso Milani, Professor of Multilingualism Queer entanglements: Sexual activism in South Africa Chair: Lena Martinsson

Datum: 2018-11-19

Tid: 09:15 - 12:00

Kategorier: Hem och konsumentkunskap

Plats: Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8
Vasa 1

Kontaktperson: Olga Sasunkevich

Sidansvarig: |Sidan uppdaterades: 2013-09-16

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