About the KFF
The Konstanz Feminist Forum (KFF) is a space for early career researchers interested in feminist, queer, post and de-colonial theory and approaches to share and develop their work and thought in this area.
We work in collaboration with the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths, University of London, where there is a partner feminist forum. Invited speakers from the London group occasionally visit the KFF to present their work. Similarly, there are opportunities for collaborative research trips to London through the forum.
The KFF was convened by Dr. Leila Whitley, a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow in the Zukunftskolleg, from 2016-18. The website was built by Rebeca Taboada Garcia.
The KFF ran from 2016-2018, and during this generally period met 3-4 times each term. Sessions were organised either as research presentation seminars or as reading group discussions.
Most recent event: Workshop on Feminist theories of vulnerability and the manifesto form
This workshop examined theories of vulnerability and the manifesto as a practical, political form. In particular, it explored the tension between vulnerability as an ontological condition of being in the world and vulnerability as an effect of lived trauma, while looking toward strategies of survivability. As one of these strategies, we looked in particular at the manifesto form, exploring how it could be understood as a collective and practical tool to bring a better way of life into being.
The workshop was led by two invited guests:
Professor Kay Dickinson - Undergraduate Programme Director and Area Head of Film Studies, Cinema, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Dr. Layal Ftouni - Lecturer, Department of Media and Cultural Studies - Gender Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Date: June 11th, 2018
January 19th 2018: Reading group
This session was lead by Hendrikje Grunow and explored ideas about writing at the intersection of ethnography, affect, scholarship and fiction.
December 4th 2017: Reading group
'For Slow Scholarship: A Feminist Politics of Resistance through Collective Action in the Neoliberal University.' ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographers.
Joint workshop and research trip (Goldsmiths and Cambridge, March 13-14th 2017)
Visit to Goldsmiths, University of London and Cambridge University
Members of the KFF were invited by Goldsmith’s Feminist Postgraduate Forum to the Centre for Feminist Research, where PhD and MA student members from both fora presented their ongoing research projects.
The day started with a presentation by Khairani Barokka on her research and feminist aspects of her recently published book 'Indigenous Species' (2016). Then MA students from both fora presented their own research. For instance, on KFF's side, Louise Haitz talked to us about her thesis, which is an analysis of the depiction by the media of victimhood and modified female bodies in Germany. Rebeca Taboada presented her project to carry out a process tracing analysis on the factors that lead to women's inclusion in peace negotiations. Helena Suárez shared with us her work on mapping femicide in Uruguay; her thesis pertains to this ongoing work, both in its technical and emotional dimensions.
The afternoon concluded with a Black and Brown Queer short film screening, hosted by Chandra Frank and Ama Budge, which we also discussed afterwards.
On the second day of our trip, members of both the Goldsmiths and Konstanz forums traveled to the University of Cambridge. The day began with a lecture from Professor Sara Ahmed.
The next event was the Killjoys@Work panel, which included speakers from both of the feminist forums: Dr. Leila Whitley, Dr. Tiffany Page, Dr. Chryssa Sdrolia, and Heidi Hasbrouck.
Finally, we closed the day with the launch of Sara Ahmed’s newly published book, Living a Feminist Life.
The Limits and Possibilities of a Politics of Listening, Guest Research Presentation (Konstanz, February 13th 2017)
Claudia Firth, a researcher in Cultural and Critical Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London spoke about ‘The Limits and Possibilities of a Politics of Listening,’ and her recently published book on this topic.
- Claudia Firth and Lucia Farinati (2017). The Force of Listening
- Precarious Workers Brigade (2017), Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education. The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. ISBN 978-0-615-59011-0 URL: www.joaap.org/press/trainingforexploitation.htm
January 27th 2017: Reading group
We discussed sexism in citational practices and feminist approaches to them. The conversation parted from Clare Hemmings’s ‘Telling feminist stories’1.
1 Hemmings, C. (2005). Telling feminist stories. Feminist Theory, 6(2), 115-139. doi:10.1177/1464700105053690
November 16th 2016: Reading group
We discussed the role of feminist activism in academic environments and cultural practices at the institutional level, particularly regarding emotions and ‘otherness’. The discussion started by addressing ‘Feminist Killjoys’1, ‘The Organization of Hate’2, and ‘In the Name of Love’3, all by Sara Ahmed4.
1 Ahmed, S. (2012). Feminist killjoys (and other willful subjects). Cahiers Du Genre, 53, 77-98. doi:10.3917/cdge.053.0077
2 Ahmed, S. (2001). The organisation of hate. Law and Critique, 12(3), 345-365. doi:10.1023/A:1013728103073
3 Ahmed, S. (2003). In the name of love. Borderlands E-Journal, 2(3).
4Ahmed, S. (2014). Willful subjects. Durham [u.a.]: Duke Univ. Press.
October 25th 2016: Reading group
In this session we focused on questions of racism in academic practices. The session included discussing different takes on the first chapter of Gloria Wekker’s ‘White Innocence’1.
1 Wekker, G. (2016). White innocence: Paradoxes of colonialism and race. London;Durham;: Duke University Press.
July 25th 2016: Reading group
The topic of this session was sexism in academic settings. The discussion started by addressing Marilyn Frye’s essay on sexism1 and concluded with exchanges regarding different approaches to sexism in academic institutions.
1 Frye, Marilyn. "Sexism." The politics of reality: Essays in feminist theory (1983): 17-40.
June 30th 2016: Reading Group
In this meeting, based on discussion and interest generated by Dr. Page’s presentation, we looked at classic feminist critiques of objectivity. We read Donna Haraway’s Situated Knowledges1 and Chandra Mohanty’s Under Western Eyes2.
1 Haraway, D. (1988). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. In Y. S. Lincoln & N. K. Denzin (Eds.), Turning points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief. New York: Rowman Altamira Press.
2 Mohanty, C. (2003). “Under western eyes” revisited: Feminist solidarity through anticapitalist struggles. Signs, 28(2), 499-535. doi:10.1086/342914
Bodies and Borders: a panel discussion (Goldsmiths, May 4th 2016)
Dr. Leila Whitley organised and chaired a panel discussion at the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths, University of London. The discussion considered how (nation-state) borders address bodies, drawing in particular on feminist and postcolonial/decolonial scholarship.
Researching Vulnerability, Guest Research Presentation (Konstanz, April 29th 2016)
Dr. Tiffany Page, co-convenor of the Goldsmiths Feminist Forum presented her work on Researching Vulnerability. Her research involves the conceptualizations of vulnerability, including its relation to forms of endurance. She addresses the tensions of vulnerability as a universal, bodily ontology, the ways it is differentiated as an experience and distributed across particular bodies, and its function as identity.
Her article "Vulnerable Writing as a Feminist Methodological Practice" is available here.