Women Behaving Badly(?)

Women’s Pleasures and their Discontents in French and Francophone Cultures and Societies

Published on 31 May 2016 par Equipe GIS IdG

Women in French UK 14th Biennial Conference 2017
19-21 May 2017 LEEDS

Women Behaving Badly(?): Women’s Pleasures and their Discontents in French and Francophone Cultures and Societies

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Chantal Chawaf and Nelly Quemener

Feminist approaches to the question of women’s pleasures have generally been premised on the assumption that such pleasures are typically constrained if not ignored, marginalised or forbidden in patriarchal cultures; the foregrounding and pursuit of women’s pleasures is therefore deemed potentially subversive and linked to women’s emancipation in other realms. This conference aims to examine, within a range of historical contexts (though with an emphasis on the contemporary period), the ways in which women’s changing understanding of and struggle for their rights to a range of pleasurable behaviours and activities challenge patriarchal constructions of appropriate pleasurable activities and behaviour for women; as a corollary it addresses the rejection of behaviours, activities and ideologies that impede such pleasures. At the same time, recognising that in many aspects of life contemporary postfeminist consumer societies have successfully co-opted the question of women’s pleasures, the conference also aims to question the extent to which certain forms of pleasure may ultimately be damaging rather than productive in relation to ongoing feminist agendas for women’s equality. Questions to be addressed include: To what extent are women’s pleasures culturally and gender specific? To what extent are women’s pleasures class-related? What theoretical approaches are useful for understanding women’s pleasures? To what extent can we say that women are free to pursue their pleasures, in the diverse range of social contexts globally?

Suggested areas for papers include but are not limited to:
- Sexual pleasures (female/lesbian/‘queer’/polymorphously perverse/

- Gendered pleasures (female friendships/communities of women/sisters and mother-daughter relationships, etc.)
- Pleasures of creativity (language, the arts, social sciences, sciences, music, film, new technologies, etc.)
- Intellectual pleasures (feminism/political engagement/textual, reading, writing, visual, aural pleasures/contestation)
- Pleasures of lived experience (women’s spaces/familial and other interpersonal relationships/different ages of women’s lives/work/ civic or spiritual pleasures/sporting pleasures)
- Celebratory/subversive pleasures (carnival/disruption/fantasy/ transgression/selfish pleasures/violent pleasures/humour/ performance)
- Consumer/consuming pleasures (bodies and body images/fashion/ beauty/food)
- Pleasures of the senses/bodily pleasures (tattooing/ cosmetic surgery)
- Pleasures of nostalgia
- Constraints on women’s pleasures (patriarchal oppression/male power/religious oppression/racism/sexual violence/heterosexism/ cissexism/consumerist ideology/the lived environment)

At the suggestion of our colleagues in Women in French USA (who are planning a similar session at their 2016 conference) we, too, shall include a panel on the writings of Mireille Best. Proposals to be sent to us in the usual manner, see below:

Proposals for papers in English or in French (300 words maximum) should be accompanied by a short CV and sent to ALL THE PROGRAMME ORGANISERS by 1 September 2016:

Programme Organisers:
Maggie Allison: m.e.allison@bradford.ac.uk
Elliot Evans: elliot.evans@kcl.ac.uk
Gillian Ni Cheallaigh: gilliannicheallaigh@gmail.com
Carrie Tarr: carrietarr@btinternet.com

Deadline for proposals: Friday 1 SEPTEMBER 2016