Contribute to Edited Volume: Historicizing #Metoo

2 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  Michelle A. Massé 8 months, 1 week ago
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    Shannon Herbert

    In 2017, when Alyssa Milano encouraged women to use the hashtag #metoo if they’d ever “been sexually harassed or assaulted” social media feeds were suddenly flooded with the phrase. People were quick to point out that #metoo did not originate with Milano, but with Tarana Burke, a social worker and activist who proposed the phrase in 2006. Since then, many people have used October 15, 2017 as the maker of a transition from a pre- to post-#metoo world in spite of Burke’s earlier work.This work challenges that periodization with essays that go back centuries before either Milano or Burke to describe the ways in which women have always been fighting against sexual violence. Its purpose is to situate #metoo in a longer history of women’s activism for bodily sovereignty and suggest that the typical division of the feminist movement into waves ignores the crucial ways that previous activist work has laid the material, social, and theoretical groundwork for this moment.This work emerged from a panel at the 2020 MLA Convention, “Historicizing #Metoo,” which brought together several scholars whose work challenges the ex nihilo treatment of #metoo and its limitation to famous victims or victimizers or adjudicative responses.We are seeking other scholars whose work explores the history of women’s fight for control over their bodies and the responses — including both conservative backlashes as well as necessary course corrections — to contribute their work to an edited volume of essays tentatively titled Historicizing #Metoo.


    Beth Widmaier Capo

    This sounds fantastic. Do you have instructions (deadline, length, address) for abstract submissions?


    Michelle A. Massé

    This is a great idea that will bring together the many discussions that have been held not only at MLA and elsewhere.  I too am looking forward to more information!

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