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Academic Feminisms: Between Disidentification, Messy Everyday Utopianism, and Cruel Optimism
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7946-7185
2017 (English)In: Feminist Encounters. A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, ISSN 2542-4920, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 1-12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reviews current debates on epistemic habits of critique and affirmation, specifically focusing on approaches which combine criticality with ways to encourage unfoldings of alternative futurities, figurations and worlding practices. Embedded in a process of critical self-reflection regarding epistemic habits, the article discusses disidentification (Butler 1993, Muñoz 1999), cruel optimism (Berlant 2011), and everyday utopianism (Cooper 2014) understood as examples of such habits. The article explores how feminisms, unfolding within academia, and thus institutionally embedded in the logics of global capitalism, neoliberalism and particular nation-state politics, on the one the hand, are bound to a performance of cruel optimism, glossing over dilemmas and contradictions, and, on the other hand, perhaps enabled to enact messy kinds of everyday utopianism. Finally, the article reflects upon possibilities for changing one’s epistemic habits, suggesting a couple of changes: to systematically integrate reflections on changing conditions of academic knowledge production, as well as on geopolitical grammars. These issues are addressed as being interwoven with and mixed up in the epistemic practices that are produced by messy links with both feminist activist resistance and institutionalized and professionalized academic feminisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 1, no 1, p. 1-12
Keyword [en]
academic feminisms, disidentification, cruel optimism, everyday utopianism
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-142806DOI: 10.20897/femenc.201703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-142806DiVA, id: diva2:1154776
Available from: 2017-11-05 Created: 2017-11-05 Last updated: 2017-11-29

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