The Feminist Duration Reading Group focuses on under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts, movements and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. The group was established in March 2015 by Helena Reckitt, at Goldsmiths, University of London and relocated in July 2015 to SPACE in Hackney, East London where it was hosted until April 2019. In June 2019, the group began a year-long residency at the South London Gallery focused on intersectional feminisms in the UK context.

FDRG sessions have been organised with Emilia-Amalia at Art Metropole in Toronto; in London at the Barbican Art Centre; Mimosa House, AntiUniversity; as part of The Table at the Swiss Church; and elsewhere in the UK at Grand Union, Birmingham; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea; and Hypatia Trust, Penzance.           

Currently the group meets once a month, alternately on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm at the South London Gallery, and the second Saturday of the month at 4pm a non-institutional venue.

The FDRG welcomes feminists of all genders and generations to explore the legacy and resonance of art, thinking and collective practice from earlier periods of feminism, in dialogue with contemporary practices and movements.

Working Group

FDRG activities are initiated by a Working Group. Current members are:

Giulia Antonioli, Angelica Bollettinari, Lina Džuverović, Lily Evans-Hill, Sabrina Fuller, Haley Ha, Félicie Kertudo, Mariana Lemos, Ceren Özpinar, Sara Paiola, Helena Reckitt, Justin Seng, Ehryn Torrell and Fiona Townend.

Contact us:

If you would like to join the reading group mailing list or propose a focus for a session, or invite us to lead a meeting, please contact: feministduration@gmail.com 

Anne Anlin Cheng: Ornamentalism

Anne Anlin Cheng: Ornamentalism

Tues 5 Feb, 7 – 9pm
Free & open to all

Led by Justin Seng

I want to think through, rather than shy away from, that intractable intimacy between being a person and being a thing. Let us then build a different historiography of raced bodies: one constructed through fabrics, ornaments, and “skins” that never enjoyed the fantasy of organicity; one populated by non-subjects who endure as ornamental appendages. Let us substitute ornament for flesh as the germinal matter for the making of racialized gender. Let us, in short, formulate a feminist theory of and for the yellow womanAnne Anlin Cheng

This meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group looks at Anne Anlin Cheng’s 2018 essay Ornamentalism: A Feminist Theory for the Yellow Woman to explore the emergence and construction of East Asian femininity through and as ornament.  The session will be led by FDRG Working Group member Justin Seng.

Drawing upon past conceptualisations of racial embodiment,  Cheng investigates the material and synthetic affinities that are invoked in the human ontology of the East Asian woman — one indebted to notions of commodity, artifice and objectness. Ornamentalism provides a necessary contribution towards a field of Asiatic feminism that is often elided or absent in feminist discourses, and proposes new modes of articulating and tackling well-rehearsed problems of racial and sexual commodification and objectification. By exploring these alternative technologies of personhood and their mechanisms, ornamentalism offers a framework for interrogating notions of racialised flesh and the limits of the politics of personhood.

Together we will read:

Anne Anlin Cheng,”Ornamentalism: A Feminist Theory for the Yellow Woman,” Critical Inquiry 44, no. 3 (Spring 2018), pp 415-446.

Please bring copies with you. No advance reading is required as we will read together, out loud, on the night.

Kurdish Feminisms, Meeting 1: Nadje Al-Ali & Latif Tas

Kurdish Feminisms, Meeting 1: Nadje Al-Ali & Latif Tas

Feminist Readings, Hypatia Trust

Feminist Readings, Hypatia Trust