Lynne Segal revisits ‘Beyond the Fragments’ on 18.9.2013

Taking Soundings event on Wednesday 18th September at 6pm (venue details below)

Lynne Segal, one of the writers of  Beyond the Fragments – Feminism and the Making of Socialism, will be speaking at the September 2013 meeting of Taking Soundings in Leeds. First published in 1979 with contributions from Lynne, Hilary Wainwright and Sheila Rowbotham, a second edition was recently published, containing the original essays, plus three new ones from the same authors. Lynne’s talk in Leeds will take up the themes of her new essay, as she outlines here:

Even as times change, most of us remain stamped by the first moments we consciously enter politics – the moments of our greatest activism or fiercest dreams of different futures. For me, returning to Beyond the Fragments, that means asking what lessons, if any, can be drawn from the spirit of Seventies feminism. It was a politics premised upon equality and democratized resources, which kept most of us firmly part of the Left, attentive to class and anti-colonial struggles, alongside our more distinctive feminist concern with questions of care, culture, the sharing of skills, imagination and more – noting our interdependence, while cherishing autonomy and personal life, knowing we are never outside the social. Given our formidable defeats in worsening economic times for the majority, all the old questions return, but with even greater force. Is it still possible to create modes of resistance that can reach out, beyond the heat of action, to build movements and coalitions that survive and, somehow, impact upon those determining or trying to influence government policies? Can ‘democracy in action’ be preserved to form a coherent and forceful opposition to corporate capital, with its hollowing out of democracy, and the wars, inequalities and oppression it produces or tolerates? These questions are familiar, but the answers get harder to envisage, given that it is now easier, some say, to imagine the end to the world than the end of capitalism.

Lynne’s talk will take place at 6pm on Wednesday 18th September 2013 at Leeds Metropolitan University’s city centre campus: Broadcasting Place, A building, Room GO2, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN (opposite the Fenton Pub).

Copies of the book, at a discounted price, will be on sale at the meeting.

Brief comment on the book – and how to get a free copy by subscribing to Red Pepper –  here

Cynthia Cockburn’s interesting critique of the ‘Beyond the Fragments’ version of feminism was published  in openDemocracy in May 2013


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