Gender, Activism, and Political Theory in Covid Times

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This two day, online conference explores mobilizations which have taken place in response to gender inequalities exacerbated by Covid 19.

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This event will be hosted via Microsoft Teams. Please register with the email address connected with your Teams account.


The current crisis precipitated by SARS-CoV-2 has highlighted and exacerbated gender inequalities ranging from disparities in caring responsibilities to gendered job losses in particular industries and sectors. 

While such gender inequalities have been noted and are currently being researched, this conference asks what mobilisations - both from the left and from the right - have taken place in response to the outbreak of the virus and its attendant social and economic fallout. What role has gender played in such mobilisations? What political theorisations have underpinned such mobilisations? And what potential do political action and theory hold to redress or exacerbate gender inequalities in Covid times?

Supported by the Political Theory Group, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast .

Organised by Dr Clara Fischer & Dr Suzanne Whitten.


DAY 1: 28th October 2021

1. Structural Inequality, Activism, and Public Policy (11:00-12:30)

  1. Annalise Weckesser & Emma Craddock (Birmingham City University) – “Same Shit, Different Crisis: Feminist Anti-Austerity Activism & Period Poverty Initiatives in the Pandemic”
  2. Chloe Gott (University of Kent): “Sex work, feminism and mutual aid: Lessons from the Covid-19 SWARM Hardship Fund”
  3. Sofia Strid (Örebro University, Sweden), Ayşe Gül Altınay (Sabancı University, Turkey), Lut Mergaert (Yellow Window, Belgium), Roberto Cibin (Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), and Marcela Linková (Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic): “RESISTIRÉ: Feminist mobilisations and resistances in civil society responses to covid-19 in Europe”

2. Activism, Art & Visual Communication (13:30-15:00)

  1. Shana MacDonald (University of Waterloo) & Brianna Wiens (York University): “Coming Together while Staying Apart: Feminist Activist Memes as a Means of Community Formation during COVID”
  2. Pawel Leszkowicz (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan) & Tomasz Kitlinski (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin): “Feminist and Queer Activism during Covid Times in Poland”
  3. Vanessa Marr (University of Brighton): “The Domestic Academics: Finding the Time to Write and Care: Storying the Gendered Inequalities of Academic Research in the Global Pandemic”

3.Civil Society Roundtable Discussion (15:30-17:00)-Michelle Walsh (Rape Crisis Network Ireland), Kendall Bousquet (Migrant Centre NI), TBC (Alliance for Choice), Louise Bayliss (SPARK – Single Parents Acting for the Rights of our Kids/ Focus Ireland), Aoife Clements (50:50 NI)

DAY 2: 29th October 2021

1. Gender, Crisis & Social Movements (11:00-12:30)

  1. Nicole Roy (University of York) – “Old or New Narratives? Right-wing Women's Responses to the Covid-19 pandemic”
  2. Katarzyna Ciarcińska & Katarzyna Zawadzka (University of Szczecin): “Black Umbrellas in our Windows: Polish Women's Protest in the Midst of Pandemia”
  3. Orly Siow (Newcastle University) & Neema Begum (Manchester University): “Political and Community Campaigns as Intersectional Institutions: Candidates’ and Campaigners’ Experiences of Structural Inequalities in the Context of COVID”

2. Bridging Political Theory and Action (13:30-15:00)

  1. Nadine Frei (University of Basel) & Ulrike Nack (University of Hildesheim): “Women and the Coronavirus Protests”
  2. Amneris Chaparro (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México): “Feminism in Mexico: Breaking Points and Internal Critique”
  3. Alicia Valdés (Universitat Rovira): “Reverse Antagonisms: Towards a Conception of Feminist Political Bonds after Covid-19”

3. Keynote Address (15:30-17:00)

Prof. Carol Gould (The Graduate Centre, CUNY). “"Feminist Activist Solidarities: Confronting Structural Injustice and Rising Authoritarianism"

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