Tag Archives: Feminism

Aug 18th 2021: CALIBAN AND THE WITCH

We will discuss Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici on Wednesday August 18th, from 7.30pm.

We encourage people to read the full book (see links to buy the book/read a free pdf below), but appreciate not everyone will have time. Please read the Preface and Introduction if you can, or engage with either the video or podcast interview below. You are welcome to attend to listen to the discussion even if you do not have time to engage with any of the content.

“A cult classic since its publication in the early years of this century, Caliban and the Witch is Silvia Federici’s history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages through the European witch-hunts, the rise of scientific rationalism and the colonisation of the Americas, it gives a panoramic account of the often horrific violence with which the unruly human material of pre-capitalist societies was transformed into a set of predictable and controllable mechanisms.

It is a study of indigenous traditions crushed, of the enclosure of women’s reproductive powers within the nuclear family, and of how our modern world was forged in blood.”- Book jacket text from the publisher

This is an online event, which will be held via Zoom. For Zoom details, which we keep private to group members, please contact us. Stroud Radical Reading Group events are free to attend. Please contact us about any accessibility requirements.

Download the Preface and Introduction below, and read on for other content options include link to buy the book and details of how to get a 10% discount.


We aim to make the sessions a welcoming space for anyone interested in the topic, you do not need to have a university education or have ever been to a reading group before, and we welcome people who have not read the book but would like to listen! Please contact us if you have any questions.

This is the third in a series of three texts on Feminism, and the first in a series on the makings of modern inequality. You are welcome to attend this event standalone, but may be interested in catching up on the preceding events discussing Lola Olufemi’s Feminism Interrupted, and Audre Lorde’s Zami.

Silvia Federici is an Italian and American scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist and anarchist tradition. She has taught at several universities in the US and also in Nigeria, and is the author of many works, which also include Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. She was co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, an organizer with the Wages for Housework Campaign.

July 21st 2021: Zami by Audre Lorde

Our next session will be on Wednesday 21st July, 7.30-9.30pm on Zoom (contact us for details).

We will discuss Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde on 21st July. This is the second in a series of three texts on Feminism, to be followed by Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici (August 18th). Full details for that session to be added to the website ASAP. In June we discussed Lola Olufemi’s Feminism, Interrupted – Disrupting Power (click to catch up with free excerpts/audio-visual content).

Order the book from the Yellow Lighted Bookshop. Once you’ve ordered the book(s) you want, enter “StroudRadical” to the “Coupon Code” box at the checkout, click “Apply Coupon” – and the bill will be reduced by 10%. You can then either collect from Nailsworth, Tetbury or Chalford shops, or have the book(s) delivered by RoyalMail or the Bike Drop (£3.50 for delivery.

Audrew Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. Zami is a “biomythography”, a term coined by Lorde that combines “biography” and “mythology”. As well as Lorde’s life, the book explores racism, lesbianism, mother-daughter relationships, and McCarthyism (accusations of treason related to Communism, named after the US Senator and the ‘red scare’ era of 1940s and 1950s America).

“A little black girl opens her eyes in 1930s Harlem, weak and half-blind. On she stumbles – through teenage pain and loneliness, but then to happiness in friendship, work and sex, from Washington Heights to Mexico, always changing, always strong. This is Audre Lorde’s story. A rapturous, life-affirming autobiographical novel by the ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet’, it changed the literary landscape.”

– from the Penguin Classics edition

There is a 50 minute audio recording of Audre Lorde reading excerpts of the book and speaking about her life available on YouTube (at the link and embedded below).

Want to read more? You can read Lorde’s 1980 paper “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (pdf) at the link.

23rd June 2021: Feminism Interrupted by Lola Olufemi

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Our next session will be on Wednesday 23rd June, 7.30-9.30pm on Zoom (contact us for details).

We will discuss Lola Olufemi’s Feminism, Interrupted – Disrupting Power. This will be the first in a series of three texts in a series on Feminism, also featuring Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde (July 21st), and Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici (August 18th). Full details for those sessions will be added to the website ASAP.

This is an online event, which will be held via Zoom. For Zoom details, which we keep private to group members, please contact us. Stroud Radical Reading Group events are free to attend. Please contact us about any accessibility requirements.

We aim to make the sessions a welcoming space for anyone interested in the topic, you do not need to have a university education or have ever been to a reading group before, and we welcome people who have not read the book but would like to listen! Please contact us if you have any questions.

For this session, if you do not read the book, or are interested in additional material, please take a look at one or more of the below:

“More than just a slogan on a t-shirt, feminism is a radical tool for fighting back against structural violence and injustice. Feminism, Interrupted is a bold call to seize feminism back from the cultural gatekeepers and return it to its radical roots.

Lola Olufemi explores state violence against women, the fight for reproductive justice, transmisogyny, gendered Islamophobia and solidarity with global struggles, showing that the fight for gendered liberation can change the world for everybody when we refuse to think of it solely as women’s work. Including testimonials from Sisters Uncut, migrant groups working for reproductive justice, prison abolitionists and activists involved in the international fight for Kurdish and Palestinian rights, Olufemi emphasises the link between feminism and grassroots organising.

Reclaiming feminism from the clutches of the consumerist, neoliberal model, Feminism, Interrupted shows that when ‘feminist’ is more than a label, it holds the potential for radical transformative work.”

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and organiser from London. She facilitates workshops on feminism and histories of political organising in schools, universities and local communities. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism (Verve Poetry Press, 2019).

2020 series 1 – Praxis: activism, social movement, and revolution

Our monthly events in early 2020 will form a series on “Praxis: activism, social movements, and revolution”. Each of these three events will be held on Wednesdays, 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange Stroud (GL5 1DF). Dates and links to full information below

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Poster for Stroud Radical Reading Group first series of 2020

Download the poster above (pdf, 1.25Mb) or a portrait format poster (pdf, 1.25Mb).

January 22nd: Why Social Movements Matter (click for full details)

We will focus our discussion on Chapter 4: “Practice-Oriented Thinking: ‘The Philosophers Have Only Interpreted the World’ (you will need to email us for the text, but are encouraged to read the full book, which can be ordered for next day delivery from Stroud Bookshop, £19.95). Why Social Movements Matter explains social movements for a general educated readership, shows how much social movements are part of our everyday lives, and how in many ways they have shaped the world we live in over centuries.

February 19th: Revolution in Rojava (full details)

We will focus our discussion on Chapter 5 “A Women’s Revolution” (pages 82-102) of Revolution in Rojava – Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan (pdf, 4.7Mb)  by Michael Knapp, Anja Flach, and Ercan Ayboga (translated by Janet Biehl). Since a 2012 revolution, and following the wider civil uprising in Syria beginning in 2011, Rojava is an autonomous region in northeastern Syria with direct democratic ambitions based on an anarchistic and libertarian socialist ideology – promoting decentralization, gender equality, environmental sustainability and pluralistic tolerance for religious, cultural and political diversity. We recommend you also read the Foreword (by David Graeber) and Introduction if you are unfamiliar with Rojava (pages 12-25). Copies of the book are available from Pluto press priced at £17.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook.

March 18th: Fat Activism (full details)

We will discuss “What’s Fat Activism?” (pdf) by Charlotte Cooper, exploring what we can learn from the history of fat activism, as well as touching on how we can unpick the ways we’ve been shaped by harmful, moralising discourses around food and weight that surround us. The article covers similar ground to Cooper’s book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement (HammerOn press, paperback £16, ebook £10), a rare insider’s view of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms. As ever, we have selected a shorter text to focus our discussion but recommend readers read the full book if they are able.

Fat Activism by Charlotte Cooper

Due to the necessary social distancing measures and our desire to support the effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19, we will be holding our next sessions online.

We will discuss “What’s Fat Activism?” (pdf) by Charlotte Cooper, as part of our 2020 series on “Praxis: activism, social movements and revolution”.

We will explore what we can learn from the history of fat activism, as well as touching on how we can unpick the ways we’ve been shaped by harmful, moralising discourses around food and weight that surround us.

To accompany the text, we encourage readers to read this short Instagram post by Sofie Hagen, a response to the question ‘but what about health?‘, and watch this short video featuring author Charlotte Cooper on ‘A Walk Around Fat Activist London’ as part of promotion for her book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement (HammerOn press, paperback £16, ebook £10), a rare insider’s view of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms. As ever, we have selected a shorter text to focus our discussion but recommend readers read the full book if they are able.

Please share via Facebook: Fat Activism – event page.

Further information:

Charlotte Cooper is a psychotherapist, cultural worker and para-academic living and working in London. She is a founding proponent of Fat Studies. By lifting the lid on a previously unexplored social movement and offering a fresh perspective on one of the major problems of our times, Cooper’s expansive grassroots study:

  • Reveals details of fat activist methods and approaches and explodes myths

  • Charts extensive accounts of international fat activist historical roots going back over four decades

  • Explores controversies and tensions in the movement

  • Shows that fat activism is an undeniably feminist and queer phenomenon

  • Explains why fat activism presents exciting possibilities for anyone interested in social justice.

19th February: Revolution in Rojava

On Wednesday 19th February, 7.30-9.30pm at The Exchange Stroud: Revolution in Rojava – Democratic Autonomy and Women’s Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan (pdf)  by Michael Knapp, Anja Flach, and Ercan Ayboga (translated by Janet Biehl). This event forms part of our 2020 series on “Praxis: activism, social movements and revolution“.

We will focus our discussion on Chapter 5 “A Women’s Revolution” (pages 82-102), and recommend you also read the Foreword (by David Graeber) and Introduction if you are unfamiliar with Rojava (pages 12-25). Download a pdf of these three focus sections.

Please read more if you like – the whole book is available free as a pdf via the link above, and includes chapters on the theoretical influences, the revolution itself, the current political structures, and the geopolitical context, background, and prospects. Copies of the book are available from Pluto press priced at £17.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook.

Please share on Facebook: Revolution in Rojava – SRRG event.

If you prefer audiovisual sources, you could listen to a 50minute podcast from Pluto Press on Rojava and the Kurdish Women’s Movement, or watch the short video from Internationalist Commune, below:

 

https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js Global call to defend the Rojava Revolution! from Internationalist Commune on Vimeo.

“Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni-Eddo Lodge

We will be discussing Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race” – meeting at Black Book Cafe on Nelson St on Wednesday 20th March, 7.30-9.30pm. This event forms part of our mini-series: “Britain: Class, Race and Gender in past, present and future” – but you are welcome to attend this and the next event even if you have missed the earlier sessions.

Download selected chapters of “…AboutRace” PDF: Chapter 5 – The Feminism Question, Chapter 6 – Race and Class, and Chapter 7 – There’s No Justice, There’s Just Us (pages 81-118 in this version).

The book followed a ‘viral’ blogpost that Reni authored, with the same title as the book. This is short and I recommend reading it first, then the chapters.

Should you wish to read the whole book, it is available in paperback RRP: £8.99. At least one copy is available from Gloucestershire Libraries. A pdf of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is also available online.

You may be interested in listening to some or all of the nine 40-minute episodes that form the “About Race with Reni” podcast – these cover similar ground to the book, as well as Reni’s reflections on the popularity of the blogpost and book. As ever we will try to focus discussion on the night on the focus chapters, but wider reading (and listening) is welcome. Below is a video featuring Reni Eddo-Lodge speaking about her book with Emma Watson, as part of the latter’s “Our Shared Shelf” Feminist Book Club project.

(if you use Facebook, please share and invite friends to the event).