In the past five years, there has been a remarkable surge in the visibility of feminism in a context previously understood as hostile to feminist politics and analyses of gendered power. As a host of public figures ‘come out’ as feminist, questions remain regarding the political implications of this phenomenon and its imbrication with postfeminist, neoliberal discourses.

Drawing from critical qualitative research conducted with Auckland teenagers, Octavia Calder-Dawe examines how they accounted for feminism and feminist identities. She asks how the feminist figures that populate their accounts might inform current debates regarding the “new cultural life” of feminism, with a particular focus on the politics of feminist visibility: which faces of feminism appear acceptable, and which do not.


For more of our audio and visual content check out our YouTube channel, Mixcloud page, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.

Octavia Calder-Dawe holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Auckland and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Shore and Whāriki Research Centre at Massey University’s College of Health.

This lecture was held as part of the Gender Studies Speaker Series at the University of Auckland. For more information click here.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this lecture reflect the opinions of the lecturer and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.