Taking Over the Home: On Teaching Feminist Theory in Lahore

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Location: Zoom Webinar

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Featuring Sara Shroff, Assistant Professor with joint appointments in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan

This talk focuses on Shroff’s digital feminist theory classroom in Lahore, Pakistan, as an entry point for thinking about the politics of power, peace, and pedagogy. 

The feminist classroom has often been imagined as separate from the home, meaning a space where we theorize, critique, and challenge frames of home (for example, entering the classroom implies that one departs from home). In a pandemic world, this reality of departure from home and entrance into feminist space has been eroded, and the home/domestic space is now also one site for the feminist classroom. Shroff wants to bring to the forefront the dialogue between the temporality of pedagogy and the permanence of space; the respectability of home and the irreverence of the feminist classroom; and ideas about housework and homework.

What happens when we must be home while challenging dominant ideas of home, work, care, and capital? What happens when theory and life blends in ways that are new, raw, and uncomfortable? What happens when a room of our own is not possible? In other words, what happens when the bedroom, bathroom, study room, dorm room, living room, kitchen, dining room, or balcony becomes your feminist classroom? Following the work of Angela Davis, Maria Lugones, Silvia Federici, and Sara Ahmed, these mediations allow Shroff to return to the 1970s feminist questions about homemaking and peacemaking and situate them within the contemporary feminist debates around the histories of heterosexuality and the making of a desirable and peaceful Pakistani hetero-home.

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