Development Practice annual lecture: Feminist and queer strategies for imagining and enacting other possible worlds

In the current context of anthropogenic climate change, growing global inequality and widespread loss of confidence in ‘business as usual’, it would seem that never has the time been riper for women to ‘take back the economy’ and re-centre it upon care for people and other species and repair of the planet. In this lecture Katherine will review strategies developed by J.K. Gibson-Graham and the Community Economies Collective for 1) taking back the economy and 2) building ethically oriented community (not capitalist) economies. I outline how the diverse economies research program draws upon feminist post-structuralist thinking and queer theory to frame the radical heterogeneity of economic practices. Central to this approach is a critique of capitalo-centric discourse that subordinates economic difference and renders it incapable of independent dynamism. When the economy is ‘queered’ and the normalized capitalist firm and self-directed entrepreneur are displaced from the centre stage of economic thinking, economic diversity is brought to the fore and the task of building ethical economies becomes an empirical, experimental and political possibility. The Community Economies Collective is interested in increasing and supporting diversity in all areas of the economy—enterprise, labour, transactions, property and finance.  Our action research has been conducted in many contexts where the economy is not serving the survival needs of people or environments. It has focused on trying out new languages of economy, shifting subject positions and developing community based enterprises that draw on a variety of ethically oriented economic relations. In the presentation examples drawn from the diverse economies research program will be used to illustrate the many ways that people and agents are making other worlds possible.

  • Speaker: Professor Katherine Gibson is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at the Western Sydney University. She is an economic geographer with an international reputation for innovative research on economic transformation and over 30 years’ experience of working with communities to build resilient economies. As J.K. Gibson-Graham, the collective authorial presence she shares with the late Julie Graham (Professor of Geography, University of Massachusetts Amherst), her books include The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Blackwell 1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). Her most recent books are Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, co-authored with Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies, co-edited with Gerda Roelvink and Kevin St Martin (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and Manifesto For Living in the Anthropocene, co-edited with Deborah Bird Rose and Ruth Fincher (Punctum Press, 2015).
  • When: 24 July 2018 6:00pm
  • Where: TBD
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