Dr. Beth Currans, Eastern Michigan University
“Marching Dykes, Liberated Sluts, and Concerned Mothers: Women Transforming Public Space”
Speaking in Women in Protest on Friday, November 22nd 11:30am-1:00pm in Dillon Hall 353
From the Women in Black vigils and Dyke marches to the Million Mom March, women have seized a dynamic role in early twenty-first century protest. The varied demonstrations--whether about gender, sexuality, war, or other issues--share significant characteristics as space-claiming performances in and of themselves beyond their place in any broader movement. Elizabeth Currans blends feminist, queer, and critical race theory with performance studies, political theory, and geography to explore the outcomes and cultural relevance of public protest. Drawing on observation, interviews, and archival and published sources, Currans shows why and how women utilize public protest as a method of participating in contemporary political and cultural dialogues. She also examines how groups treat public space as an important resource and explains the tactics different women protesters use to claim, transform, and hold it. In this talk, she will focus specifically on SlutWalks and feminist claims to physical and virtual spaces as a way of exploring how public demonstrations help feminist activists set boundaries, negotiate movement direction, and collectively claim spaces despite internal divisions.
Free and open to the public