Strand 4

Feminist Art, Technological Practices, Literature, New materialism, Posthumanities 

Coordinators: Sibel Yardimci, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; Federica Timeto, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Pat Treusch, Trinity College Dublin (TCD); Beatriz Revelles Benavente, University of Granada; Silvia Luraschi, University of Milano-Bicocca.

→ abstracts to be sent to:, 

The recent pandemic has taught us the need to start looking for different ways of thinking, acting, and even performing social change. An innovative feminist intervention is needed in order to interfere in the reestablishment of neoliberal structures (Revelles-Benavente, 2021) that impose a perpetual state of war (Negri & Hardt, 2001), and competition and individualism as the “new way of the world” (Dardot & Laval, 2017) – resulting in differentiated waves of ecological destruction and social dispossession all over the world. We argue that applying new materialisms to feminism (Alaimo & Hekman, 2008) can be a (monist) strategy able to dismantle oppressive structures that are hereby being reinstalled in society. Post-humanism and new materialisms are two umbrella terms for various cross-disciplinary challenges to rethink the way prevailing assumptions are structuring the relationships between the “human” and “non-/more than-human” worlds (see various works by Barad, Braidotti, Grozs, Haraway, Tsing  among others). Both provide ethic-onto-epistemological paradigms that break through traditional dualisms, such as man/woman, human/non-human, culture/nature, subject/object of research, in which one of the terms is designated as inferior. Priority is instead given to relationalities, intra-actions (Barad), entanglements, always preceding the emergence of contingent, partial and hybrid social actors/agents and their multiple configurations. This also implies a trespassing/breaking of disciplinary boundaries, bringing together the arts and the sciences (Bateson, 1979), as well as the social and the natural sciences perspectives, now more than ever engaged in fruitful transfusions and hybridizations.

Departing from/drawing on Haraway’s situated knowledges, one of the most important contributions of new materialisms to feminisms is a situated methodology in which the “God trick” (Haraway) is challenged, and the researching subject, as well as the researched object are understood as parts of a dynamic, affective research relationship. The political and ethical consequences of such an approach are paramount: Differences are never already there to be represented from the outside but are always in the making; each epistemological intervention at the same time interferes with the material-semiotic reconfigurations of the world, it is rather an engaged practice that that performs the co-emergence of both meaning and matter.

Developing around the broad question of “how do post-humanist/new materialist contributions matter for feminist social change?”, this strand invites contributions that focus on empirical case studies as well as methodological and theoretical reflections about (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Feminist methodologies, storytelling, (situated) knowledges, critique

  • Feminist science and technology studies

  • Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene

  • From the humanities to the humusities: the composting turn

  • More-than-human agency, animals, plants, viruses, things etc.

  • Becoming-with, symbiosis, matter(ing), materialisation, proliferation 

  • Arts of multispecies care and attentiveness

  • Critical Animal Studies and the arts

  • Hybrids, chimeras, in/appropriated figurations

  • Cyberfeminisms: legacies, continuities, new directions

  • Alternative spaces of encounter and feminist collective practices

  • Feminist biohacking and DIY

  • Feminist interfaces, intra-actions, practices of radical mediations

  • Biotechnologies and feminist arts

  • Political semiotics of representation and the performative turn

  • Diffractive Aesthetics and Practices

  • Solarpunk, Afrofuturism, speculative fabulations

  • Feminist pedagogies and nonformal adult education

  • Arts-based adult education and research with a feminist approach

  • Aesthetic, Creative and Disruptive Strategies in Museums and Community

A selection of presented papers will be published in the journal Matter: Journal of New Materialist Research.