The national women's strike on 14 June 2019 in Switzerland or globally circulating hashtags on social media such as #Aufschrei (since 2013), #BlackLivesMatter (since 2013) #MeToo (since 2017) or #MeTwo (since 2018) have not only mobilized and connected thousands of people through and in digital spaces in recent years, making the diversity of positions and voices more visible. (Digital) social movements are also an example of how lived experiences of bodily inequality and discrimination are embedded in time-space structures and at the same time can produce new and/or alternative spaces of encounter, solidarity and resistance.
The gendered, racialized, sexualized and classified body in the historical presence often forms the starting point of feminist-geographical works and becomes the central site of political negotiation processes. The analysis of power from marginalized and silenced positions is of central importance. In addition to the socio-political concerns and interventions of feminist-geographical works, the focus is also on questions of sensitive and ethically responsible research and teaching practice. Thought and research perspectives, such as for example the perspective of the global intimate helps feminist geographers to unmask power relations that enable/disable participation in global capitalism and the way in which these power relations contribute to a politics of differences, everywhere and at any time.
The thematic group Feminist Geography was founded in autumn 2018. The central concern of the thematic group is to bring together feminist geographers of all academic levels at universities and research institutions in Switzerland beyond language barriers. Because at almost all universities and research institutions in Switzerland there are students, teachers and researchers with an interest in feminist geography, but who are often not connected to one another, especially across language and institutional boundaries. The aim of the thematic group is to create a platform for the exchange of gender-specific, queer, postcolonial and anti-racist perspectives in the fields of research, teaching and everyday academic life. Among other things, the thematic group is concerned with making feminist perspectives more visible, especially in geographical teaching and research.
Our first activities
At the 16th Swiss Geoscience Meeting in Bern in November 2018, the thematic group organized the session "Bodies, Space and Difference in the Global Intimate" during the Human Geography Symposium, thus for the first time creating space for feminist-geographical research at a Swiss Geoscience Meeting.
The GeoAgenda 2019/1 on "Feminist Geography" explores the history of feminist-geographical research and teaching in Switzerland and illustrates the added value of feminist-geographical perspectives for research into work and migration in nursing and health care.
At the 17th Swiss Geoscience Meeting in Fribourg in November 2019, the group will organise two dedicated sessions, one on technological intimacy and another on intersectionality, as part of the symposium number 21 "Human Geographies: Bodies, Cultures, Societies".
A networking meeting for feminist geographers at Swiss institutions is in process for the spring term 2020. Stay tuned!
Since the end of 2018, the group has operated the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list. This mailing list is intended to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information (e.g. job offers, conferences, literature, websites, scholarships), to facilitate research cooperation requests for feminist-geographical research projects, to request feminist geographers for guest lectures, to exchange syllabi and teaching materials for feminist geography teaching in Switzerland and to organise feminist-geographical conferences or colloquia. In order to receive messages from this list and to be able to write messages, we kindly ask all interested parties to register by e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.