New feminist materialisms: a master class by professor Elizabeth Wilson

New Feminist Materialisms: A Master Class by Professor Elizabeth Wilson, hosted by the Research School of Social Sciences and the ANU Gender Institute.

June 7 2017 10am  -  5pm 


In recent years there has been growing attentiveness to questions of materiality or ontology in feminist/queer theory.  This scholarship (perhaps erroneously labelled “new”) has been interested in a number of problematics: signification and materiality; the politics of epistemology and ontology; the agency of objects; the politics of the posthuman or inhuman; the cogency of vitalism.

This master class will provide participants with a conceptual framework for reading, engaging, using, and critiquing the so-called “turn to materialism” in feminist and queer theory.  In particular, it seems important to think critically about what these theories of materiality can, and cannot, do for feminist and queer inquiry.  Special attention will be paid to the claim by Barad that “language has been granted to much power” (801), and to the relation between materiality and language/signification in this new feminist/queer work. 

The class will feature Professor Wilson discussing the readings, but she will also provide feedback on the research programs of the class participants who will be given the opportunity to present their current work. Full catering will be provided. 



Alaimo, Stacy and Susan Hekman. 2008. Introduction: Emerging models of materiality in feminist theory. In S. Alaimo and S. Hekman. Eds. Material feminisms (pp. 1–10). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Barad Karen. 2003. Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs 28(3): 801–831

Schrader, Astrid. 2010. Responding to Pfiesteria piscicida (the Fish Killer): Phantomatic ontologies, indeterminacy, and responsibility in toxic microbiology. Social Studies of Science 40(2): 275–306.

Wilson, Elizabeth. 2015. Underbelly. In E. Wilson, Gut Feminism (pp. 21-44). Durham: Duke University Press.


How to Apply

Please send the following to by COB May 22.  ANU HDR students and ECR staff (up to level C) are eligible.

  •         a 200 word statement detailing why you would like to participate at this event
  •         a title and 150 word synopsis of your presentation topic 
  •         a recent 2 page CV

The class will be limited to 10 participants. Preference will be given to those whose backgrounds and research programs align most closely with the masterclass theme. Applicants will be informed of the decision by COB May 26 and will be sent the class readings. 




ANU, Gender Institute

Date posted

Monday, 8 May 2017

Event type


Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute