One of my two key areas of scholarship is the contemporary feminist movement: in 2014, I published my second monograph The Politics of the Body (Polity Press) which analysed debates and initiatives on the topics of sexual violence, sex work, gender and Islam, and reproduction.
Since 2014 I have been developing this material and have now begun the research for my next book, provisionally entitled Feminism, Now. This will trace contemporary feminist debates through a number of broad thematic areas (sex, speech, identity, violence, labour, culture), asking questions about where and why feminists disagree, and what might bring them together. It will explore: feminism as identity; feminism as discourse; feminism as boundary; feminism as feeling; and feminism as refuge. The book will also be framed by an analysis of the contemporary Western context of growing right-wing populism, against which feminism must position itself.
I have published several posts on this blog which will inform this new book: these are listed and linked below.
Identity, Experience, Choice and Responsibility – this is the transcript of my keynote speech at the Feminist Futures conference at Queen Mary University London, which develops a thematic analysis of how feminism and neoliberalism intersect.
Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Experience – this blog explores how experience has become commodified in a neoliberal context, and how this plays out in feminist debates in which experiential narratives are wielded in adversarial and competitive ways. It was the basis for an academic paper, ‘Whose Personal is More Political?’ (see below).
‘Listen to Survivors’ and the fetishisation of experience – this post develops my analysis of experience in relation to the sex industry debate in particular, arguing that survivor narratives are wielded by sex industry opponents to discredit sex workers who argue for labour rights.
‘You’re not representative’: identity politics in sex industry debates – this post is a sequel to the one above, and argues that in addition to wielding ‘survivor stories’, opponents of the sex industry tend to focus on identity rather than substance in their engagement with sex workers who fight for labour rights.
I have published two academic papers based on this material: the first is entitled ‘Whose Personal is More Political? Experience in Contemporary Feminist Politics’ and was published in Feminist Theory. This paper was also recently shortlisted for the Feminist Theory 2016 Essay Prize. The published version is available here and the Open Access version here. The second is in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, entitled ‘Sex Wars Revisited: a rhetorical economy of sex industry opposition.’ This is an Open Access journal and the paper is available here.