This collection of essays explores objects that changed Australian women's lives through their association with women's liberation, the women's movement, and feminism since 1970. The volume combines personal narrative, historical analysis, and memoir, creating a highly readable collection and a novel way of documenting, historicising, remembering and writing the Australian women's movement, its affects, and its material culture.
The contributors include high profile women and grass roots activists, academics and writers, and everyday women living the ideas of liberation and feminism from a range of locations. They are funny and serious, raw and sophisticated, analytical and emotional. Some are factual, while others delight in gossip. Each essay hinges on a particular object that is remembered for its symbolic value and practical use as an object of liberation, ranging from overalls and Gestetners, to seasponges and kombis. The editors' introduction canvasses the current fascination with 'things', 'stuff', 'objects' and other material culture that comprises and shapes our lives; with ideas around memory and emotion as increasingly important components of social histories, and about the ways in which the Australian women's movement is remembered.
Combined, this volume of essays presents a fascinating collection of objects, writing, remembrance and the affects of one of the major social movements of the twentieth century. Things that Liberate is an experiment in thinking about the ways in which social movements can be documented and studied through material culture and memory.