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Femonationalism: Race, Reproduction, and Right-Wing Feminism

Instructor: Sophie Lewis
This is an online course (Eastern Time)

How and when have colonial and racist oppression been perpetrated in the name of women’s rights? How did eugenics, xenophobia, and nationalism become the project of some feminists, even to this day? While feminist liberation struggles continue to dream abolitionist futures and shape history, certain strands of women’s activism have been anti-liberatory, right from the get-go. In other words, feminism has always been diverse and capacious enough to contain within itself its own enemies. How can we understand “right-wing” feminism? Is it a feminism that’s self-defeating; and if so, in what sense? What can a study of so-called femonationalism teach us—about feminism and its possible relations to race, class, reproduction, and the politics of exclusion and repression?

In this course, we will seek to understand and historicize the political strategy of using the language of feminism for the purposes of the right. Our exploration of these reactionary feminisms will be guided by the writings of black, anticolonial, intersectional, queer, trans and/or marxist feminists. We will examine and unpack key concepts including: natalism, nativism, eugenic feminism, bioconservatism, and social reproduction. We will refer heavily to the important recent study of European deployments of “women’s rights” among the far-right, by Sara Farris, In the Name of Women’s Rights: The Rise of Femonationalism. This will help us contextualize contemporary political developments spurred by Islamophobic sex panic—especially in Europe, for example, in the wake of the New Year’s Eve 2016 incident of mass sexual harassment in Cologne, Germany. Additionally, we will read from texts by Vron Ware, Hazel Carby, Rafia Zakaria, Lola Olufemi, Jasbir Puar, Sabine Hark and Paula Villa.

“Femonationalism: Race, Reproduction, and Right-Wing Feminism” will also run on Thursdays, from 6:30-9:30pm ET, starting February4th. For more information, please visit the course page.

Course Schedule

Sunday, 3:00-6:00pm ET
January 31 — February 21, 2021
4 weeks


Registration Closed

Please email us to be placed on the waiting list.

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