Wollapalooza! III – Expressions of interest


This proposal will be submitted to the APSA organisers for the 2020 annual meeting in San Francisco. Please contact me sandrineberges@gmail.com  if you would be interested in participating or attending. 

The feminist political theorist and historian of political thought Megan Gallagher, in a recent review in the journal Political Theory (Summer 2019), called for the return of the WOLLAPALOOZA! mini-conference at APSA, after we took a one year hiatus. After two popular and productive iterations of this event—which generated the first philosophical compendium on Wollstonecraft, The Wollstonecraftian Mind (2019)—we’re back and ready to destabilize the canon of political thought even further! WOLLAPALOOZA! III explores the paradoxes of the American dream and American democracy with respect to Wollstonecraft, her family, and her followers’ legacies in the United States (the pre-Haitian-revolution abolition movement; Kingsbury; Brissot, the Rolands; Wright); the need to decolonize feminism, beginning with the political thought of its founders, such as Wollstonecraft, Truth, Fuller, Douglas, and Wells; the relevance of late eighteenth-century political thought for honing new philosophical definitions of republicanism, liberalism, and feminism, and better understandings of their intellectual and political relationships with one another; and the endless wars within feminism over the compatibility of motherhood and citizenship, which Wollstonecraft herself addressed in her landmark A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), but also were engaged by Astell, Roland, Keralio, and Wright. 

The guiding questions of WOLLAPALOOZA! III will be: What is Wollstonecraft’s legacy for thinking about race as well as feminism, in the Americas and other regions of the world, as well as in Europe and her homeland of Britain? Was she a republican or a liberal? And does her categorization as one or the other matter for contemporary debates about liberalism, republicanism, and feminism? And, last but not least, we will treat perhaps the most vexed question surrounding Wollstoneraft and her work: Just what sort of a (proto-) feminist was she? And what sort of a feminist is one who studies her work and its philosophical and political legacies? 


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