Strand 2

Feminist and lgbtqia+ struggles: legacies and strategies, memories and visions

Coordinators: Stefania Voli, University of Milano-Bicocca; Adriano J. Habed, University of Verona / Utrecht University; Carlotta Cossutta, University of Eastern Piedmont; Christine Quinan, Utrecht University / University of Melbourne; Rasa Navickaite, University of Vienna; Mia Liinason, Lund University.

→ abstracts to be sent to:, 

In the past years there has been an unprecedented rise of feminist and lgbtqia+ movements across the globe, which often intersect with issues of racial justice, environmentalism and economic inequality, to name a few. Struggling against diverse problems or discourses (e.g., sexual harassment, gender violence, so-called anti-gender movement, as well as tensions within feminist and lgbtqia+ positionalities), such movements display an incredible inventive capacity and potential to mobilise an increasing number of people in a multiplicity of venues that range from public streets to online platforms.  While these movements are built on the knowledges and experiences of past modes of political protest, today, some feminist and lgbtqia+ initiatives have gained visibility at a previously unforeseen scale, through unfolding alliances and networks of solidarity across national borders. In some of these movements, however, there are also signs of amnesia or disinterest in past struggles, which tend to remain more as background elements and fail to become embodied in political practices. Facing not only anti-feminist, conservative waves – most notably, those against “gender” – but also, more recently, the difficulties and radical changes that have emerged with the Covid-19 pandemic, these movements develop new repertoires of political practice. ​​

At this juncture, we invite papers that attend to the legacies, histories, memories,  and strategies of past and present feminist and lgbtqia+ movements and explore the longue durée of today’s mobilisations. We ask: What different political traditions and intellectual commitments have been, and are, at stake in these movements? How do contemporary feminist and lgbtqia+ movements interact with the legacies of past struggles? What is the place of memory, in terms of both continuity and discontinuity of political practices and theories, and in the production of knowledge within feminist and lgbtqia+ movements of today? What can attention to the doing of the archives bring, in addition to a focus on what they contain? What is the political value of remembering  and building – feminist, trans, queer, black – archives, across all its multiple and possible meanings? Conversely, how might forgetting function as a political or personal strategy in feminist, queer, black and trans movements? In what ways can contemporary engagements with historical or cultural amnesia allow for a reconfiguration of post/colonial powers?  What sorts of political conflicts or alliances arise from various acts of remembering and/or forgetting, as they travel throught the collective memoires of non-conforming bodies, desires and affiliations?

Possible paper topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Intergenerational transmission of feminist and lgbtqia+ memory

  • Interconnections between social movements and memory activism

  • Contested memories, including political conflicts arising from different forms of remembrance or amnesia

  • Feminist, black, trans, and queer archives; colonial archives 

  • (Post)socialist lgbtqia+ memory and archives

  • Archives, subjectivities and desires: exploring the doing of archives

  • Reflections on networks, alliances, legacies and/or conflicts in feminist and lgbtqia+ movements 

  • Situating histories of feminist and/or lgbtqia+ movements

  • Revisiting feminist and lgbtqia+ counterstrategies vis-à-vis contemporary social and political backlash

  • Experiences of feminist and lgbtqia+ struggles and solidarities across space and/or time   

  • Colonial encounters: confronting historical or cultural amnesia 

  • Tracing political victories: visibilities and silences

  • Time travel: reflections on critical historiographies, chrononormativity and reparative criticism