Feminising politics: notes on material and temporal feminist modal logics in action

Felicity Colman


Feminist activism aims to work to change the inequitable structures of the world. But feminists themselves get bound up in actions and intentions that are tied to their large object of critique (the patriarchy, the planet, the media, the canon, etc), and the micropolitics of the subjects constituting and constituted by those objects can be swept up in humanistic rhetorical gestures and words.  How can we teach the modalities and the genealogy of feminist actions that offer tools for everyday living and for a community practice, and which also offer some ways to engage with the affective matter of the world from a posthumanist perspective, and thereby work to shift cultural attitudes? In addition to the valuable work done by those that tirelessly figure methods of communicating social inequities, the work of research led feminist informed teaching and governance can not only excavate the histories of social, political, speciesist, and biological inequities, but also offer a critique of these positions by the terms of their epistemological construction, and provide different modalities of practice.  This article focuses on the latter, discussing how we might design curriculum and engage a pedagogy of recognition for a feminist modal ethics. How modes of feminist new materialist practice take the questions of affect, and agency, to enable ethical political practices is a pressing concern for many communities concerned with generating a planetary ethics. How new materialist methodology is useful for thinking the vernacular political reality was the topic of an intensive discussion and debate that took place in November 2017 in Barcelona. Taking an example of the concrete work undertaken by Barcelona Councillor Gala Pin in relation to the neighbourhood ofCiutat Vella,the article proposes that we explore and extend the genealogy of a feminist modal logics.

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