Protect, Transform, Question? Feminist Political Thought and Environmentalism in Long-Term Perspective

This event is part of the RECET History and Social Sciences Festival "Green Transformations"

Venue: Campus of the University of Vienna („Altes AKH“), festival tent in Hof 1

Position of the tent:

Roundtable discussion with Julia Sachseder (CEU Vienna), Anna Seidel (Humboldt University Berlin), Renata Hryciuk (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw, Poland), Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw, Poland), moderated by Alexandra Ghiț (RECET/Institute for Contemporary History, University of Vienna) 

The panel brings together scholars working on ecology and environmental activism in history, anthropology, international relations and cultural studies, from a feminist perspective. Panelists will introduce their research on gendered and racialized violence against environmental defenders, grassroot environmental protection and food sovereignty practices in agricultural communities, the staging of heteronormative femininity in "petrofiction" and the practices of postsocialist eco-anarcho-feminist collectives. They will do so in order to reflect, in historical and global perspective, on questions such as: How does feminist political thought engage with matters related to the environment and environmental protection? What does the history of feminist organizing bring to our understanding of “green transformations”? How are the labors of “green transformation(s)” gendered? And what kind of gendered political demands, tensions and cooperations might such transformations bring in a global context? In what way can and ought feminist thought on ecology shape current public debate on “green transformation”? And what does gender justice look like in the context of the need to prevent climate catastrophe?

Dr. Julia Sachseder is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of International Relations, and a Visiting Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, Central European University. She is also the leader of the FWF-funded project “Risky Borders”. Julia works on violence, (in)security, and the environment through feminist decolonial and political-economic approaches. She also focuses on non-state and corporate actors in peace and conflict. 

Anna Seidel is a research associate at the Institute for Slavic and Hungarian Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She studied Comparative Literature, Theatre Studies, and European Literatures at the University of Vienna, Freie Universität Berlin, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In her dissertation project, she worked on literary representations of urban spaces and practices in cities in states of exception. She was a doctoral fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes from 2020-2023 and a research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw in 2021. Currently, she is working on her postdoc project about the entanglements of Galician and American early petrofiction.

Renata E. Hryciuk Ph.D is a social anthropologist and Latin Americanist, an assistant professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw. She has carried out fieldwork in Poland, Lithuania and Mexico (since 1999). Her research interests fall within gender studies, political anthropology (gender and development, social movements), and critical food studies. She is the co-editor of several volumes in Polish; (with Agnieszka Kościańska) Gender. An Anthropological Perspective. Social Organization (Warsaw University Press, 2007), Gender. An Anthropological Perspective. Femininity, Masculinity, Sexuality (Warsaw University Press, 2007), and Gender. An Anthropological Perspective. Continuations 3rd volume (Warsaw University Press, forthcoming) (with Elżbieta Korolczuk) Farewell to the Polish Mother? Discourses, practices and representations of motherhood in contemporary Poland (Warsaw University Press 2012) and Dangerous Liaisons. Motherhood, Fatherhood and Politics, Warsaw University Press 2015) as well as dozens of articles and book chapters published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes (in Polish, English and Spanish). For more than a decade, she has been exploring culinary tourism and heritagization of local food cultures in Oaxaca (Southern Mexico) using feminist and decolonial anthropology methodologies. Fieldworks sponsored by research grants from Polish National Science Centre, Mexican Government (fellowship Genaro Estrada for Mexicanists) and internal grants (IDUB) of the University of Warsaw.

Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz is an assistant professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a member of the Women’s Archive research team and the  Committee of Women’s History (a section of The Polish National Historical Committe). She has a doctorate in literary studies and an M.A. in history. Her interests range from gender and women’s history in post-war Poland to the history of popular culture. She is the author of the book Real-life Stories. Confession Narratives in Polish Popular Women’s Magazines in XX century (Warsaw 2010), and co-author of a monograph Women in Poland 1945-1989. Modernization, Equality, Communism (Kobiety w Polsce 1945-1989. Nowoczesność, równouprawnienie, komunizm, Warszawa 2020), soon to be published in English by CEU Press.  

Alexandra Ghiț is a researcher in the History of Feminist Political Thought and Women’s Rights Discourses in East Central Europe 1929-2001 (HERESSEE) project at the University of Vienna. In 2020-2023, she was postdoctoral researcher in the ZARAH project, on women’s labour activism, at Central European University. She has a PhD in Comparative Gender Studies (CEU, 2020). She has a PhD in Comparative Gender Studies (CEU Budapest, 2020). Her first monograph, Welfare Work Without Welfare, is currently under review. She has taught at CEU and at the Asian University of Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Within the HERESSEE project, she will be researching pacifist and antimilitarist women's political thought in Eastern Europe, from the 1920s to the 1950s, with a focus on Romania.