Beyond Masculinist Ideals of Resistance: Exploring the Ambiguities of Women’s Resistance Experience

When: 2-3 June 2022. Where: online. International Workshop as part of the Marie-Curie REWIRE project "Disappointment: Reclaiming the Unfulfilled Promise of Resistance"


Dominant ideals of resistance are grounded in the masculinist presumption of sovereign, heroic agency, untrammelled by embodied passions, personal attachments, and situational constraints. This understanding misconstrues the experience of women resistance fighters, interpreting women’s inescapable embodiment as a constraint upon proper resistance activity. This workshop aims to rethink resistance beyond the masculinist imaginary by delving into the ambiguities of women’s resistance experience. It explores how women resisters have confronted the moral dilemmas that stem from their context-specific vulnerabilities and how their actions have reframed the repressive understandings of sexual difference. The purpose of this examination is to contest the oppressive implications of hegemonic visions of resistance and challenge the perpetuation of gender hierarchies after the supposedly emancipatory moment of resistance has passed. The workshop fosters an interdisciplinary conversation between scholars working in the fields of social and political theory, gender studies, memory politics, sociology, history, and literature. The contributors explore the ambiguities of women’s resistance experience in a range of historical contexts, from the Algerian war of independence and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. 


You can book your ticket here. Please register for each session separately. 


Thursday, 2 June, 18:00 CEST

Lori Weintrob, “A Woman is Fighting!”: Courage and Heroism in the Holocaust and World War II

Sherine Hafez, Uprising and Gender Resistance: Re-Gendering the Space of Revolution

Discussant: Lina Schmid


Friday, 3 June, 18:00 CEST

Jennet Kirkpatrick and Maša Mrovlje, Resistance Beyond the Masculine: Theorizing the Ambiguous Freedom of Women Resisters with Beauvoir and Lorde

Mimi Mortimer, Inside the Battle of Algiers: Zohra Drif Looks Back on Her War Experience

Pumla Gqola, tbc

Discussants: Kyra Kraus and Johanna Hühn

The workshop is part of the Marie-Curie REWIRE project "Disappointment: Reclaiming the Unfulfilled Promise of Resistance", conducted by Maša Mrovlje at the University of Vienna. It has been sponsored by the Marie-Curie REWIRE COFUND Programme and the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna.