“Circles in the Square: Women, Protest, and Performance”
Moderators: Donia Mounsef, Natalie Meisner and Aida Patient
Protest culture is highly gendered where women have had a complex relationship to how they are perceived as revolutionary participants. While the public sphere, be it mainstream or contested, has been traditionally reserved for men, since the Suffragette Movement women have taken to the streets and squares to resist and trouble their own erasure from public life. In recent years, women have been at the center of protest even within movements that do not explicitly foreground the critique of gender as their primary purpose. Using multiple, proliferating, and embodied performances, women’s involvement in protest culture highlights the discursive and material nodes around which gender, bodies, and presence complete and fracture circles of revolutionary conversations. From the Occupy movement, to the Women’s Marches, from Idle no More to NoDAPL, from Black Lives Matter to the #MeToo movement, women are at the forefront of resistance with intersectional feminism frequently at the core of their action and engagement. This seminar explores the intersections of gender, bodies, and performance to address “material conditions and political landscapes” of the circles of resistance.