International Women's Day

A Friday afternoon reading list for International Women’s Day…

Melissa W. Wright’s 2010 Antipode RGS-IBG lecture, ‘Wars of Interpretations‘, stages a dialogue among activists in northern Mexico and post-structuralist feminist and Marxist positions regarding the meaning of public fear (particularly fear of violence against women) in Ciudad Juarez, and its significance for Mexico’s democracy and the making of public knowledge about the Mexico–US border.

Wesley Attewell’s ‘“Every Iraqi’s Nightmare”: Blogging Peace in Occupied Baghdad‘ offers a critical reading of Riverbend’s Baghdad Burning war blog, considering the systematic tension between the ways in which Riverbend is ‘subalternised’ (by her readers and herself) and her attempts to reclaim the ground upon which post-invasion Iraq is represented, as well as the ways in which the invasion has fundamentally reworked the ways in which the figure of the ‘Iraqi’ is constructed.

Robyn Longhurst uses autobiography in ‘Becoming Smaller: Autobiographical Spaces of Weight Loss‘, sharing her experience of ‘becoming smaller’ through weight loss dieting to explore the paradoxes of being a feminist scholar who critiques discourses around women and slimness while at the same time desiring to be slim; new eating patterns marking one simultaneously as both a disciplined and a disordered subject; and publicly and politically supporting the ‘Health at Every Size’ movement while privately recreating oneself by shedding kilos.

In ‘Capitalizing on Bare Life: Sovereignty, Exception, and Gender Politics‘ Jennifer Fluri examines aid/development in Afghanistan and the continual discursive reduction of ‘full or proper’ human life to the remnants of ‘bare’ life. Her paper analyses the methods used to shape gendered bodies into objects of aid/development, and argues against positioning bare life as a political descriptor for conflict zone bodies. She proposes the inclusion of a more thorough representation of the full and complex social and political lives in these zones.

In ‘The New Maternal State: The Gendered Politics of Governing through Behaviour Change‘ Jessica Pykett puts feminist economics, critical psychology and feminist political theory to work in an analysis of UK policies explicitly aimed at changing people’s behaviour and recasting state–citizen relations. Her work seeks to demonstrate how such policies rely on gendered accounts of human behaviour, and considers their political and ethical implications.

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Also see our virtual issue, ‘Boys Town Redux: a supplement’, which takes a look at some conversations within feminist geography from the last 20 years, and Wiley‘s collection of essays celebrating International Women’s Day.