Fire-raising feminists: Embodied experience and activism in academia

European Journal of Women's Studies 24 (1):85-99 (2017)
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Sexual violence of various forms, be it sexual harassment or sexual abuse, perpetrated by male professors against their female students has gained societal visibility through media broadcasts. This article tells the tale of the 2013 recruitment to the University of Iceland of a former political party leader, minister and ambassador. He was publicly called out in 2012 for his alleged sexual offences, perpetrated some years earlier. The story is told from two different viewpoints: from that of the media and from the article author’s own standpoint as assistant professor in gender studies with co-responsibility for his de-recruitment. In the media story, opinion leaders from the political, judicial and media spheres take centre stage. The author thus utilizes the concepts patriarchal homosociality and influencers. Based on the findings from the media analyses, the author lays out her defence and justification, using embodiment as the core of her argument. She draws on black feminist knowledge validation processes, more specifically, the ethic of caring and personal accountability. Furthermore, she explores affective feminist pedagogy, i.e. connecting mind and body through self-actualization. By contrasting the two accounts, that of the media and her own feminist standpoint, the author sheds light on the role that influencers play in preserving patriarchal power and the status quo against ‘fire-raising feminists’ in academia and society at large.



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Contested Terrains: New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment.Clara Fischer & Luna Dolezal - 2018 - In Clara Fischer & Luna Dolezal (eds.), New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment. London, New York: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 1-13.


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