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Autumn Term 2018

Dear CFR supporters and members,

Welcome to the new term and academic year.

Firstly I would like to welcome Dr Akanksha Mehta as the new co-director of the Centre. Akanksha has recently joined the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies as one of our two new appointments in Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies. Akanksha will be helping support the Centre and will be responsible for social media and publicity as well as organising events for the centre, she will also be running our Feminist Postgraduate Forum.  A huge thank you to Chloe Turner who has done such an outstanding job providing support in the last 12 months and who is an important graduate alumna of the Centre and of our MA Gender, Media and Culture. A huge thank you also to Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam who will be stepping down as co-director to concentrate on her research projects with Global Grace. She will however remain as an important advisory board member.

We are really excited to continue our Centre for Feminist Research programme with a range of events this term. To begin the year we are co-hosting an event with the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, ‘1949: A Debate Between Claudia Jones and Simone de Beauvoir’ led by black feminist philosopher Kathryn Sophie Belle on Thursday 4 October, 17.00-19.00 in 256, Richard Hoggart building, Goldsmiths.

There is also a workshop with Kathryn at Senate House, Room 261 on Saturday 10 October, 10:00-13:00. Please contact if you wish to participate, there are only 30 places available, so please register a.s.a.p.


As part of the Sex, Gender, Rights series for the Human Rights Film Festival hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy in association with the Media Forum, there will be a screening of Nalia and the Uprising, Julia Bacha, 2017. Following the screening, Akanksha will be co-running a Q&A discussion alongside the filmmakers. More information about this screening and the rest of the film series can be found in the attachments to this email.


We are co-hosting an event alongside the Goldsmiths Press in celebration of the launch of Susanna Paasonen’s Many Splendored Things. Susanna will be giving a public lecture titled ‘Thinking Sex and Play’ followed by a reception on Monday 22 October, 18.00-20.00 in LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths.


Later this term we are looking forward to hosting the performance artist Bird La Bird who straddles historiography, comedy, queer lives and politics. Bird La Bird will be giving an explosive performative lecture exploring the moment in 1914 when suffragette Margaret Gibb smuggled an axe into the National Portrait Gallery and attacked a portrait of Thomas Carlyle. The lecture called ‘Turning the Tables’ will pick up where Margaret left off and explore the dangerous legacy of Thomas Carlyle including his part in the history of racism, his wilful act of writing women out of history and his desire to return to feudalism.

We will also be welcoming Professor Clare Hemmings from the LSE Gender Institute who will join us this term to talk about her new book ‘Considering Emma Goldman: Feminist Political Ambivalence and the Imaginative Archive’ (Duke UP, 2018), which examines Goldman’s significance as an anarchist activist and thinker to the past and present of feminist theories and activism. Hemmings shows that the contradictions and tensions within Goldman’s approach to race, gender and sexuality speak to unresolved questions that continue to shape feminist practices and politics today.


Further into this term led by Akanksha, Yasmin and Louise Chambers the CFR will also be organising a student-led event on ‘decolonising’ the university that focuses on questions around an anti-colonial curriculum.

These are just some of the events confirmed this term. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for confirmation of the dates, times and rooms for what we have planned this year:


One of the themes for the Centre this year is Mental Health. We will be hosting a series of events throughout the year where we will be exploring the crisis in mental health in the academy and what we can learn from mental health activism and existing work on the “Mad Positive” university and the need for intersectional analyses.

Mental health emerged as an under-researched theme within the context of our British Academy research project “Cultures of Consent: Examining the Complexity of Sexual Misconduct and Power within Universities.” More information about this project can be found in previous blog posts below.

We aim to address this in forthcoming research and to lay the groundwork this year. If there are any members, supporters, students and staff who would like to be involved do please contact us.


Akanksha Mehta is the new co-director of the Centre for Feminist Research. She works at the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and everyday politics and violence. She is also interested in feminist, queer, and decolonial pedagogies and the politics of decolonial movements in education, art, and activism. Her doctoral research (at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS) titled, Right-Wing Sisterhood: Everyday Politics of Hindu Nationalist Women in India and Israeli Zionist Settlers in Palestine, used ethnographic and visual methods, feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory, and narrative writing and visual practice to examine the multiple subjectivities of right-wing women. She is currently transforming this work into a monograph and is also a photographer.


The best way to keep in touch with us is via our Facebook and Twitter accounts, linked at the bottom of the mail.

All the best for the forthcoming term
Lisa Blackman
Co-director of the Centre for Feminist Research