Moving Beyond the Margins (formerly Soul Colectiva)

The purpose of this working group is to move beyond the obvious legibility of women of color and look between the margins in an attempt to acknowledge and remember the women who are often forgotten in theoretical discourse: everyday women whose own lives are quiet soliloquies of resilience. We are seeking to ground womanisms and feminisms as an everyday praxis.

Women of color have long withstood the pangs of colonial conquest, multiple oppressions and marginalization therefore this working group is an attempt to honor the modes of survival which have been employed by women of color. We seek to move beyond the paradigms of theoretical analysis to honor the ways in which women of color have overcome every attempt to decimate them. As such we will be engaging with a variety of readings and art forms including poetry, memoirs, theoretical texts and visual art. In this group women of color is referring to women from African, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indigenous diasporas. (we do not want to minimize or generalize the experiences of any women but we are making an active attempt to include, acknowledge and honor women who have often been excluded from discourses on feminism and womanism) 

We are also seeking to acknowledge how women of color have often channeled their pain into artistic compositions. We are exploring the various mediums of survival employed by women of color. While we are starting with a black feminist framework and moving toward an understanding of how multiple forms of feminism and womanism intersect, we are also seeking to move beyond theoretical discourses. We are looking to assess how women who do not have access to feminism and womanism enact modes of survival. These “modes of survival” in fact represent the most authenticated expressions of feminism and womanism in praxis because they stem from necessity and the utter desperation of survival. Yet these modes are often excluded from the realm of academic frameworks. Though researchers seek to dissect the lives of women of color for their own purposes little to no consideration is given to the realities of their lives that continue beyond academic interest. In essence, we are locating architectures of resilience in feminist and womanist discourse and beyond. Additionally, the goal of this group is to critically examine multiple aspects of womanhood through discussion, reading and artistic expression. Lastly, we seek to locate the ways women of color are connected through collective histories of survival and resistance. We are specifically starting with a Black Feminist framework to counter the erasure which has occurred across multiple domains.