Winter 2022 Speaker Series: Pinar Dokumaci

Winter 2022 Speaker Series: Pinar Dokumaci

Event Details:

Speaker: Dr. Pinar Dokumaci (Peacock Postdoctoral Fellow, Queen's University)

Biography: Pınar completed her PhD at the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, where she specialized in Political Theory and Comparative Politics. Prior to joining Queen’s University as the Peacock Post-Doctoral Fellow, she held another postdoctoral position in the Leverhulme-Trust-funded project Rethinking Civil Society: History, Theory, Critique at the Department of Politics, University of York (UK), where she examined Western and non-Western feminist critiques of the civil society.

Title of Talk: "Feminists' Relations: Rethinking Feminist Autonomy, Solidarity, and Islamic Piety."

Abstract: This talk will address a key problem in feminist theory: the relationship between feminists and other/othered feminists. I analyze the unintended transformative effects of unlikely “feminist iterations” in issue-specific, strategic, temporary platforms between feminists who radically disagree and do not prefer to collaborate or even communicate with one another unless the encounters are random and short-lived. How can interpersonal relations between different feminists lead to a mutual understanding of radical politico-religious disagreements? Under what conditions can feminists transcend their political fixities by taking part in the same women’s civil society project as equal partners and by mutual consent? To explore these questions and to re-imagine alternative feminist futures beyond the secular-pious divide, I argue that there is the need for a more systematic analysis of feminists’ actual relations with one another that may or may not be feminist relations in themselves. To pursue this aim, I focus on the dissenting feminist perspectives around the issue of Islamic veiling, arguably one of the most troubling issues among different feminists and in feminism today that stir broader public policy debates in both Western settings and the Islamic world. Situated betwixt and in-between the two both geographically and discursively, the starting point of my theoretical analysis is the relationship between self-proclaimed secular (laik) feminists and pious (dindar) feminists in Turkey. Based on the alternative feminist vocabularies both groups use in their narratives to re-imagine their feminist relationship in more collaborative terms, I argue that we need to start by rethinking two main foundational ideals of Western liberal feminism: (1) feminist friendship and sisterhood, and (2) feminist autonomy and agency.  

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