Call for Papers: 50 Years of Socialist Feminism


2019 marks 50 years since the publication of Margaret Benston’s “The Political Economy of Women’s Liberation,” a seminal article in the modern development of socialist feminism. In it, Benston proposes that “housework” (as she called the labour of sustaining this and the next generation of workers) be considered in relation to processes of capitalist value creation. Widely circulated prior to its publication in Monthly Review, and debated internationally for years afterward, Benston’s article opened the doors to a socio-materialist critique of women’s oppression that has defined socialist feminist theory and politics ever since.

Historical Materialism Toronto is organizing a symposium, to take place in Toronto, September 26th to 29th, 2019, to commemorate this important contribution, as well as to explore the ways in which socialist feminist theorising and politics has grown through and beyond Benston’s intervention. We wish to bring together a new generation of socialist feminist theorists to discuss the current state of socialist feminist politics, our continued strengths, and the weaknesses that we still need to address to truly apply a socio-materialist critique of social oppressions and exploitation. What is the current state of socialist feminist theorising, where is it going, and where should we be going?

We will give priority consideration to papers that discuss socialist feminist approaches to questions of race and racialization, imperialism, colonialism, indigeneity, ecology, sexualities, gendered violence, and disability.

We invite you to submit an abstract for a paper that engages current ideas, debates and discussions relevant to socialist feminist theory and politics. Presenters will circulate their papers in advance, and use the Symposium to further clarify and elaborate their work. A selection of papers will be organized into a volume to be submitted for publication (either as an edited collection or a journal special issue).

Abstracts should be between 200 and 250 words. To submit, please email your name, affiliation, contact information, and abstract to, no later than MAY 31, 2018.