Second International Congress of Marxism-Feminism

“Building Bridges – shifting and strengthening visions – exploring alternatives”. Vienna, 7-9 October 2016.

In March 2015 over 500 women and men participated in the first international Marxist-Feminist conference. Some of the themes were: Revisiting and rethinking Marxist-Feminist theory, Intersectionality from a Marxist-Feminist perspective, Hegemonic Feminism as a servant of neoliberalism, the position of women in the care economy, globalisation, education and feminist theory in the global south, human-nature relationships. Speakers included: Frigga Haug, Gayatri C. Spivak, Saskia Sassen, Nira Yuval-Davis, Cynthia Cockburn, Erica Burman, Shahrzad Mojab, Tucker Pamella Farley, and many others. See the conference report by Ruth May and the article by Bärbel Danneberg.

The second conference, taking place in Vienna from 7-9 October 2016, will take up some of these themes again as well as discussing new ones. It will again be organised by the feminist section of InkriT (Berlin Institute of Critical Theory), transform! europe, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and many others.

Below we present a preliminary programme. It represents the themes and panels that are already being organised. We invite you to submit either papers to these themes or themes for which you want to organise a workshop or a panel discussion. Please provide an abstract for papers you want to present and/or panels you want to organise.

Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2016. Please send your submissions to: Diana Mulinari, or: Nora Räthzel,

Panels and workshops will be organised around the following themes:

Friday, 7 October 2016 

1. Introduction. Working as Marxist-Feminist activists in Austria: practices, debates, visions, challenges.

2. Central issues for feminists in Europe

This session welcomes analysis of the European situation with special focus of the role that Marxist –Feminists have within the existing social movements. What are the contributions, what is the strength and the shortcomings of MF? What are the theoretical and political debates within which Marxist-Feminists are involved?  

3. Marxist-Feminist theory

What is Marxist Feminism? What does it offer? What differentiates a Marxist Feminist theory and analysis of a specific issue from other kinds of analysis? Is it possible to speak of one Marxist-Feminist theory or would it better to speak about a FM field with different interpretation and traditions of Marxist Feminism? What does this tradition learn from other kinds of approaches and how are they integrated into Marxist Feminist theorising?


Saturday, 8 October 2016

4. Theses for the development of a Marxist-Feminist Movement

What are the central theoretical and political issues a Marxist-Feminist movement needs to address? What are its central points of departure, theoretical insights and political perspectives?

5. Gender, right-wing extremism and the refugee question in Europe

Political and economic crises across the world in which European countries play a major role, not least as the biggest weapon exporters, have forced millions out of their homes and countries. With a surprising so-called welcome culture from above and from below some European borders were opened to those seen as legitimate refugees. Meanwhile, doors are closing rapidly and new and old right-wing extremist movements are gathering momentum in almost every European country, nationalisms are being reconstructed. Women are among the victims and the perpetrators. What can a Marxist-Feminist analysis, what can Marxist-Feminist policies contribute to the solution of this human catastrophe and to understanding and resisting new (and old) forms of racism and fascism?  

6. Feminisms and Marxist Feminisms beyond Europe: Women’s rights, religious feminism and indigenous feminism.

In Feminism as well as in Marxism there are numerous debates about the historical and present exploitative relationships between the global north and the global south. At the same time both movements have taken part in such forms of exploitation by formulating practices and theories of exploitation and liberation that did not (or only rarely) include movements from the global south as producers of theories and political perspectives. What can the north learn from the south and vice versa?


Sunday, 9 October 2016

7. Contested Identity and contested Nature. About patriarchy, violence against women, and externalisation.

This theme combines the subjects of violence and externalisation in a social-ecological perspective. Violence is seen in a – historical and contemporary – context of contested male identity, of demonization and othering. Externalisation faces the construction of the Homo Economicus and economic processes which need an externalised worthless other for its profits. This theme also deals with symbolic and material conflicts surrounding identity and nature and presents alternative visions. One presentation will introduce the theme after which there is space for dialogue with the participants.