Surplus Violence and Feminist Resistance (Roundtable)

Women's and Gender Studies

Jeannie Ludlow (Eastern Illinois University)

Modhumita Roy (Tufts University)

This roundtable will engage the question of spaces of normalized “surplus” violence after the dismantling of Roe v Wade in the US and in light of the recent International Labor Report’s identification of coerced marriage and labor. Surplus here alludes not necessarily to sudden excessive force but to an excess of aggression, of bodily harm, of discipline, of dreaded anticipation that shrouds the everyday of ordinary life. The spaces of these types of routinized violence—households, medical facilities, workplace—have been the focus of much feminist analyses. We hope to engage analyses of surplus violence contextualized globally, critiqued locally, and countered decolonially through explorations of a range of textual forms but also welcome social and cultural analyses beyond textualization. Questions that inspire this roundtable include:

How might our feminist analyses need to shift, post-Dobbs and in the wake of increasing evidence of coerced gendered and affective labor, globally? What are the signs, symptoms, and consequences of surplus anxiety and vulnerability? How might we connect the violence of compulsory reproduction to the question of coerced reproductive labor here and elsewhere? What forms of resistance can we identify? What are examples of decolonial and collective affective labor that works to empower those who are vulnerable to routinized violence? What are the radical models of feminist possibility in this time?

This roundtable will engage analyses of surplus gendered violence—routinized violence centered around households, medical facilities, and the workplace—contextualized globally, critiqued locally, and countered decolonially. We invite explorations of a range of textual forms as well as social and cultural analyses beyond textualization.