Twelfth Annual Feminist Theory Workshop

The Feminist Theory Workshop (FTW), which is in its twelfth year, offers a unique opportunity for internationally recognized faculty and young scholars to engage in sustained dialogue about feminist theory as a scholarly domain of inquiry. The “workshop” approach of this conference requires active participation of both presenters and attendees.  Small seminars allow for focused participant exchange, roundtables synthesize central debates of the weekend, and provocative keynote lectures all bring those who attend the workshop into collaborative conversations. The FTW has quickly become the premier forum for annual discussions of Feminist Theory in the US.  We have had to close our registration at 250 in the past few years because of space and financial considerations.

The FTW has proven to be a dynamic site of interdisciplinary exploration between academics across fields and disciplines. Our experience shows us that bringing together disparate voices to tackle common questions yields more rigorous dialogue and a greater scope of solutions because of the variety of our experiences and contexts. The diversity of perspectives that FTW offers stays with many participants once they embark on or continue their research because our scholars encounter ideas and perspectives that can change the course of their research.

We see the FTW as an opportunity to build an exceptional community of feminist scholars ---scholars who have a greater understanding of global perspectives and transnational issues.

One of the goals of the FTW is to promote a more diverse dialogue among scholars of feminist theory and to foster a vibrant international community of scholarship. To that end, we bring together internationally recognized keynote speakers and emerging young scholars to engage in lively and focused debate. Institutional co-sponsors are asked to commit funds to cover the cost of attendance for a specific number of their own students and faculty (generally travel and lodging). The workshop itself is free and there is no other obligation.  



Twelfth Annual Feminist Theory Workshop
March 23-24, 2018

at Penn Pavilion, Duke University

(May be subject to change)

Friday, March 23_________________________________________________________

1:00 pm           Registration Opens
2:00 pm          Opening Remarks
2:30 pm          Keynote Speaker:  Anne Allison 
4:00 pm          Break
4:30 pm          Keynote Speaker:  Denise Ferreira da Silva
6:00 pm          Opening Reception 

Saturday, March 24________________________________________________________

9:00 am         Registration Opens 
10:00 am        Keynote Speaker:  Silvia Federici      
11:30 am         Lunch 
1:00 pm          Keynote Speaker:  Jennifer Nash
2:30 pm         Break
2:45 pm         Seminar Discussion
4:45 pm         Break
5:00 pm         Closing Roundtable Panel
6:15 pm          Closing Remarks
6:30 pm         Workshop Ends



Anne Allison

Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Duke University

Anne Allison is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. A specialist in contemporary Japan, she studies the interface between material conditions and desire/fantasy/imagination across various domains including corporate capitalism, global popular culture, and precarity. Allison is the author of Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (1994), Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (1996), Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (2006), and Precarious Japan (2013). She is currently conducting research on new demographic/social trends in Japan involving death, solo sociality, and self-management of mortuary and post-mortem arrangements.


Silvia Federici

Professor Emerita of New College
Hofstra University

Silvia Federici  is a long time activist, teacher and writer.  In 1972 she was among the founders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the Campaign for Wages For Housework in the US and abroad. She has also been active in the anti-globalization movement and the anti-death penalty movement. In the 1990s she was a member of the radical Journal Midnight Notes and in 1991, after a period of teaching in Nigeria, she helped found the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, which for more than ten years documented the struggle of African students against the austerity programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on African countries, which also severely impacted university life.  She is the author of many essays on political philosophy, feminist theory, cultural studies, and education, and has lectured in Universities in the US, Africa and Latin America. She is Emerita Professor of Political Philosophy and International Studies at Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York).

Her published works include:

The New York Wages For Housework Committee. Theory, History Documents. 1972-1977. (2017). (edited with Arlen Austin).

Revolution at Point Zero. Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle (2012).

Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004), a book that has circulated internationally and is now translated in more than 10 languages.

She is the editor of Enduring Western Civilization: The Construction of Western Civilization and its “Others” (1994 editor), and co-editor of A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities (2000, co-editor); African Visions. Literary Images, Political Change and Social Struggles in Contemporary Africa (2000).


Denise Ferreira da Silva

Director & Professor of Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
University of British Columbia

Denise Ferreira da Silva  is a Professor and the Director of The Social Justice Institute (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia. She is also a Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck-University of London (UK) and Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts, Monash University (Australia). Her academic writings and artistic practice address the ethical questions of the global present and target the metaphysical and onto-epistemological dimensions of modern thought. Academic publications include Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and the edited volume Race, Empire, and The Crisis of the Subprime (with Paula Chakravartty, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).  She has written for publications of the 2016 Liverpool and Sao Paulo Biennials  as well as for the 2017  Documenta 14 – Reader and Venice Biennale. Her artistic work includes collaborations, such as the films Serpent Rain (with Arjuna Neuman), 2016  and From Left to Night (with Wendelien van Oldenborgh), 2014 and the play Return of the Vanished Peasant (with Rosalind Martin)  as well as  events and texts which are part of her Poethical Readings practice (with Valentina Desideri). She was an advisor to Natasha Ginwala, curator of the Contour 8 Biennale (Mechelen, 2017).


Jennifer Nash

Associate Professor, African-American Studies & Gender and Sexuality Studies
Northwestern University

Jennifer C. Nash is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading Race, Reading Pornography (Duke University Press, 2014) which was awarded the Alan Bray Prize by the GL/Q Caucus of the MLA.  She is also the editor of the anthology Gender:Love (MacMillan, 2016).  Her work has been published in journals including GLQ, Signs, Feminist Theory, Feminist Review, and Social Text.  Her new book project is entitled Black Feminism Reimagined and is under contract with Duke University Press.



Many Thanks to our sponsors including the following:


African & African American Studies
Art, Art History & Visual Studies
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship
Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity
Classical Studies Department
Cultural Anthropology Department
Dance Department
Duke Initiative for Science & Society
English Department
Franklin Humanities Institute
German Department
History Department
International Comparative Studies
Latino-a Studies in the Global South
Program in Literature
Music Department
Religion Department
Romance Studies
The Office of the Provost


Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Amherst College
Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies Program: Appalachian State University
Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Arizona
Margaret Laurence Endowment fund and Gender & Women’s Studies, Brandon University, MB Canada
RHEA, Research Center on Gender, Diversity & Intersectionality, University of Brussel
UB Gender Institute, University of Buffalo, NY
Interdisciplinary Center of Women’s Studies “Milly Villa”, University of Calabria, Italy
Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
School of Gender Studies of the National University of Colombia
Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Columbia University
Gender Studies at East Carolina University
Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emory University
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, The George Washington University
Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University
Women and Gender Studies, Hunter College
Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
The Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, University of Iowa
Centre for Gender, Sexuality, and Writing, University of Kent, UK
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Kentucky
Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Program, Lawrence University
Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota
Centre for Women's Studies & Gender Research, Sociology Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia
Gender and Sexuality Studies, New York University, Arts & Sciences
Women’s and Gender Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Women’s and Gender Studies at North Carolina State University
Gender & Sexuality Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Center for Feminist Social Studies, Örebro University, Sweden Founder of GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University
Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Program and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, & Women, The University of Pennsylvania
UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies at University of the Philippines
Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Princeton University
Women’s and Gender Studies, Southern Methodist University
Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University
Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada
CIRSDe Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Studies of Women and Gender, University of Turin, Italy
Women’s and Gender Studies, Virginia Tech
The Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality at Wake Forest University

Twelfth Annual Feminist Theory Workshop
March 23, 2018 to March 24, 2018
Duke University, Penn Pavilion, 107 Union Dr, Durham, NC 27710
How to Register

Pre-Conference Information

To help you plan your visit and make your stay more enjoyable, we suggest you view the following links: