Politics of Struggle: Current Issues in Feminist Knowledge Production

Hosted by the Department of Gender Studies

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, United Kingdom


Sharon Crasnow

Sharon Crasnow

Distinguished Professor Emerita, Norco College

Sumi Madhok

Sumi Madhok

Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE


Clare Hemmings

Clare Hemmings

Professor of Feminist Theory and current Head of the Department of Gender Studies

This session generates a conversation about current issues in feminist knowledge production between three leading thinkers in feminist epistemology. Starting from the presumption that knowledge is a struggle (between people, over representation and meaning) Sharon Crasnow and Sumi Madhok use their own research as a point of entry into questions of location and politics. Both researchers are concerned with questions of particularity and universality in knowledge production, and with the ethics of representation and community process in meaning-making. Sharon Crasnow's work foregrounds intersectionality in relationship to epistemic privilege; Sumi Madhok develops a feminist historical ontology as part of her transnational feminist genealogy of 'haq' from a majority world perspective. Clare Hemmings will chair; her current work in feminist epistemology concerns principles deriving from understanding knowledge as a struggle for radical openness.

Sharon Crasnow is a philosopher of science whose main areas of research are feminist epistemology, case study research, and evidence for causal claims. Her recent publications re-examine feminist standpoint epistemology and its sources in feminist methodology. She is co-editing the Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science (due out in early 2020). She is a Distinguished Professor Emerita, Norco College and is a research associate at the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) at Durham University.  

Sumi Madhok is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. She is the author of ‘Rethinking Agency: Developmentalism, Gender and Rights’ (2013); the co-editor of ‘Gender, Agency and Coercion’ ( 2013); and of the ‘Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory' (2014). Currently, she is completing a monograph on decolonising human rights titled: 'On Vernacular Rights Cultures and (human) Rights Politics In ‘Most of the World’. Trained as a feminist political theorist, Dr Madhok’s research, writing and teaching is organised around the central question: how does one produce theory and concepts in ‘non-standard’ background conditions? Consequently, Dr Madhok’s research is essentially concerned with reorienting theoretical and conceptual scholarship in ways that are able to conceptually capture the postcolonial condition. 

Chair Clare Hemmings is Professor of Feminist Theory and current Head of the Department of Gender Studies. Her work is concerned with the stories we tell about feminist and queer studies and their effects. She has a particular interest in how knowledge about sexuality, gender and race is produced and in intervening to challenge dominant stories through form as well as method. She published Bisexual Spaces in 2002; Why Stories Matter in 2011; and Considering Emma Goldman in 2018.

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