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The Personal is Still Political: Challenging Marginalization Through Theory Analysis & Praxis


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The Personal is Still Political: Challenging Marginalization Through Theory, Analysis & Praxis

The graduate students from nine universities of the Boston-area Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies present a biannual interdisciplinary conference entitled "The Personal is Still Political: Challenging Marginalization Through Theory Analysis & Praxis," to be held at MIT on March 31 & April 1, 2017.

In the late 1960s, the statement “the personal is political” emerged as a central rallying cry for feminist activists. While salient before, it has become all the more urgent in light of the 2016 United States election results. Given this, the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS) is hosting a graduate student conference, The Personal Is Still Political: Challenging Marginalization through Theory, Analysis, & Praxis, to investigate how this slogan has been, can be, or is now being mobilized as a concept for resistance by marginalized groups theoretically, analytically, and practically.

Thirty years ago, Audre Lorde remarked that “the absence of [race, sexuality, class, and age] weakens any feminist discussion of the personal and the political.” We build upon this inclusive declaration to examine the diverse reach of state oppressions, violence, hegemonic intervention, and marginality in the contemporary moment. We also aim to explore modes of resistance to such repression. Some of the questions this conference seeks to address include (but are not limited to):

  • How have intersectional approaches to praxis reshaped this concept as a useful tool for counter-hegemonic struggles?

  • How do repressed groups and individuals enact or challenge “the personal as political” in their daily, lived experiences?

  • How is this concept relevant to linkages between academia, activism, and practice?