Theoretical Interpretations and potential Consequences of Feminist Theory Classifications

Prof. Dr Daša Duhaček from the Centre for Women’s Studies, Belgrade, held the online lecture on „Theoretical Interpretations and potential Consequences of Feminist Theory Classifications“ on January 19, 2022. The initial assumption was the thesis of establishing a new discipline – women’s and/or gender studies. Prof. Dr. Duhaček presented the first classification of feminist theories established in the texts of the American feminist philosopher Alison Jaggar during 1970s. This classification remained the most common one up to day and is known as the division on the liberal, Marxist and radical feminist theories. It was pointed out that the terminology, as well as the historical justification and theoretical arguments, gave the new discipline of women’s studies the legitimacy necessary for the entering the academia.  Circumstances and the political and the social context determined not only the classification, but also the key conceptual framework through the terminology which it designated. The lecturer emphasized connections and entanglements between theoretical and political standpoints.

The lecture included different critiques of the said classification, as well as directions in which this classification may be expanded or exceeded. However, the main point in these critiques was to recognize that, despite the fact that this classification has been acknowledged as mainstream, it still remained local, since it has originated from a certain (American) geopolitical perspective. As an example the case of feminism in Yugoslavia was briefly assessed. It was not acknowledged by theorists such as Nancy Fraser or Karen Offen, but it was analysed by theorists from within successor countries of Yugoslavia.

The lecture was followed by a discussion focused on contemporary issues and debates on feminism. The discussion opened up various and important issues so the participants expressed a wish to have a follow-up meeting to continue exchange views on contemporary topics related to feminism.

The lecture was organised as a part of the lecture series “New Views, Perspectives and Research on Gender Theory” of the Study and Research Group for Gender Equality and Public Policy of the Institute of Social Sciences, and its joint programme and collaboration with the Centre for Women’s Studies, Belgrade.

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30. 11. 2022.

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