What is a feminist object? Feminist material culture and the making of the activist object

Bartlett, Alison and Henderson, Margaret (2016) What is a feminist object? Feminist material culture and the making of the activist object. Journal of Australian Studies, 40 2: 156-171. doi:10.1080/14443058.2016.1157701


Author Bartlett, Alison
Henderson, Margaret
Title What is a feminist object? Feminist material culture and the making of the activist object
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1835-6419
1444-3058
Publication date 2016-05-24
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443058.2016.1157701
Volume 40
Issue 2
Start page 156
End page 171
Total pages 16
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Investigating the idea of feminist material culture, this paper proposes ways of considering, classifying, and making meaning of feminist objects. Material things are an important constituent of second-wave feminism that have yet to attract much attention, possibly because of the difficulties of deciding what might constitute a feminist object. We therefore draw some more specific observations from two recent projects: a collection of objects on feminist activism for a national museum, and a collection of essays focused on feminist objects. Both projects are related to Australian feminist activism from the 1970s onward and are used to identify a system of feminist objects and the nature of the feminist object as an activist object. After outlining a possible classification system, we offer another form of object analysis by adapting the idea of object biography to sketch a collective biography of feminist objects. The conclusions we draw around the nature of feminist things suggest this is a rich source of physical evidence of socially transformative ideas that offer innovative ways of attending to feminist times and social movement histories.
Keyword Activism
Feminism
Material culture
Museums
Objects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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