Call For Papers: Flying: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Kate Millett

book-stackFlying: 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
Women’s 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 Women’s 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 Movement’s 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 [1974], The Prostitution
Papers [1975], The Loony-Bin Trip [1990], Sita [2000], and Mother Millet
[2001]), make films (Three Lives [1971], Not a Love Story [1981], The Real
Yoko Ono [2001]), 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 Sanford’s
Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex, Palgrave, 2010). Moreover, it
is also influenced by Victoria Hesford’s recent Feeling Women’s Liberation
(Duke, 2013), which places Millett as a central figure in the production
and remembrance of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Hesford’s publication
signals that now is perhaps a timely moment to create a larger dialogue
about Millett; to ask questions about Millett’s 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 Millett’s 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 Millett’s 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
Feminist film-making
Generational politics or the politics of mother/daughter relationships
Lesbian politics and the Women’s 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 Women’s 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 to s.mcbean@bbk.ac.uk 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 at s.mcbean@bbk.ac.uk

Conference website: flyingkatemillettconference.wordpress.com

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