"Feminism in Coalition" by Liza Taylor

The Department of Politics is pleased to invite you to a talk, "Feminism in Coalition," by Liza Taylor, who is a candidate for a tenure-track professorship in Politics. Ms. Taylor will speak on Thursday, November 20, at 4:30 p.m. in WE 206.

Ms. Taylor completed her B.A. at Union College, New York, and earned a M.Sc. at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is completing her Ph.D. in Political Science at UCLA and is Harrison McCain Visiting Professor at Acadia University, Nova Scotia. Ms. Taylor's research and teaching interests include feminist theory, gender theory, critical race theory, and multiculturalism.

"Feminism in Coalition: On what feminists can teach us about organizing politically, theorizing subjectivity, and doing political theory"    

The theme of coalition politics has been central to the work of contemporary feminist theory since women of color feminists first championed it in the early 1980s, a decade that came to be known as the “era of coalitions.” Coming to terms with the interlocking nature of multiple and traveling systems of oppression has inclined many feminists toward coalitions with other subjugated groups and away from rigid conceptions of “sisterhood.” While initially the idea of coalition emerged as a necessary and strategic way for feminists to organize politically across hostile divides of race, class, and sexuality, over the past three and half decades, feminist scholars have appealed to the concept of coalition not only as a practical solution to questions related to feminist praxis, but also as a way of thinking through related philosophical questions to do with political subjectivity, political consciousness, and activist political theory. This job talk will consider the ways in which the concept of coalition is infused in both feminist theory and feminist politics. Additionally, it will argue that the way in which prominent women of color feminists theorize coalition proves instructive for political scientists who treat coalition as a phenomenon to be explained only within the context of governmental decision-making bodies, and for political theorists interested in developing a post-Marxist vision of collective politics that adequately attends to the challenge of difference within coalition. It will do this through a close engagement with Bernice Johnson Reagon’s now famous “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century” speech, delivered at the West Coast Women’s Musical Festival in Yosemite in 1981. 

WE 206