Feminism & the Politics of Appropriation

The Women and Gender Studies Institute

invites you to

Feminism and the Politics of Appropriation

November 11-12th, 2011

William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street, University of Toronto

Open to the public

For more information visit our website at

Keynote: Rosemary Coombe and Carys Craig


November 11th, 5 p.m., followed by reception

Theme: This conference is animated by the question of how feminisms are shaped by the politics of appropriation.  It brings together feminist scholars from across Canada to collectively deliberate over how contemporary appropriation works and what alternative forms of exchange can be imagined.   Following Marx, appropriation is often theorized as a violent act of taking, producing alienation and property from acts of creation.  Yet, within contemporary arts and new media, acts of digital appropriation are also performed as radical interventions that seek to subvert property regimes and authorial relations.  Within anti-colonial and indigenous struggles, cultural appropriation is a form of epistemic violence that has accompanied material acts of theft and injury. Moreover, to appropriate can also mean to make proper and suitable, and thus to ethicize.

Given these multiple meanings of appropriation, this conference invites participants to track how feminisms and other political projects have also been appropriated, dis-assembled, remade within transnational circuits and new (as well as old) imperialisms.

  • How to theorize the work of appropriation today?
  • How does appropriation condition politics, as well as feminism?
  • What might feminist alternatives to appropriation look like?

Conference Participants: Angela Failler (University of Winnipeg), Dina Georgis (University of Toronto), Ana Isla (Brock University), Kamala Kempadoo (York University), Marieme Lo (University of Toronto), Tracy Locke (York University), Egla Martinez-Salazar (Carleton University), Shahrzad Mojab (University of Toronto), Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto), Katharine Rankin (University of Toronto), Jesook Song (University of Toronto), Sunera Thobani (University of British Columbia), Alissa Trotz (University of Toronto), Carol Williams (University of Lethbridge), Habiba Zaman (Simon Fraser University)


Please direct accessibility inquiries and other questions to