Defending Humanity

Transnational Feminist Responses to Violence and Devaluation

Humanity seems increasingly under threat, both materially, in form of environmental degradation, warfare, and layers of economic exploitation and ideologically, in form of doctrines of exclusion and dehumanization. What can we learn from feminists in different parts of the world who have organized to defend humanity? By “defending humanity”, we think of visions of gender justice, inclusion and care, and collective strategies to realize such visions.

In the current context of political polarization, such activism appears to be in a defensive position. However, we have also seen powerful feminist campaigns against femicides and for reproductive health and rights in several Latin American countries such as Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia. The success of such campaigns lies in long-term, multisectoral mobilization and the ability to create transformational strategies based on fairness, solidarity, and sustainability; however, feminist organizing is also faced with many challenges, including internal divisions. 

This is an in-person conference with a virtual attendance option (please specify your preference in the registration process).

Thursday, March 9

Welcome and Introductory remarks (4-4:30 pm)

Barry Levitt, Shlomi Dinar, Alexandra Cornelius, Kirsten Wood, Susanne Zwingel

Keynote panel: Learning from feminist scholar-activists around the world (4:30-6 pm)

Lucia Cavallero(virtual):The feminist movement in Argentina: transversality alliances for transformation

Sarai Aharoni: Uncovering feminist resistance to occupation within community archives in Israel.

Natalia Maria Felix de Souza: Neoconservatism, de-democratization and the transformation of feminist activism in 21st-century Brazil


Followed by dinner reception (registration/ reservation required) (6:00-8pm)

Friday, March 10

Panel 1: Resistance to violence, authoritarianism and militarism (9–10:30 am)

Juliana Restrepo Sanin: Demanding state recognition, transforming political rights: women’s activism to end violence against women in politics

Deborah McFee: Trading Insecurities: Feminist Activism, Masculinity, and Simple Notions of Crime and Violence Beyond the Borderlines

Canan Balkir: Mapping Gender Policy under Democratic Backsliding coupled with the European Union’s Shallow Democratic Reform Agenda for Turkey 

Panel 2: Self-determination and reproductive justice (11 am–12:30 pm)

Brenna Munro: Transnational Transphobia: Globalized Currents and Conflicts in Contemporary Feminism

Okezi Otovo: The Black Mothers Care Plan and the 'Physicality of Black Feminism'

Laurie Shrage: Rebuilding the Movement for Reproductive Rights and Justice

Panel 3: Caring for the world: feminist/ queer visions of sustainable economies and ecologies (2–3:30 pm)

Wendy Harcourt (virtual): Feminist Political Ecology: Towards the repair of our life-worlds

Whitney Bauman: Religion, Nature and Queer Theory

Elisabeth Pruegl: “This is the land where I was born”: Resistance to land grabs as a politics of survival

Instead of closing remarks: Building a network (4–5 pm)

Collectively led by Susanne Zwingel (FIU), Alexandra Cornelius (FIU), Aida Hozic (UF), Juliana Restrepo Sanin (UF), Luisa Turbino Torres (FAU), and Louise K. Davidson-Schmich (UM).

For more information, please contact: Susanne Zwingel at or Brianna Hernandez at

Co-sponsored by

Ruth K. and Shepard Broad Distinguished Lecture Series                                                                        
Dorothea Green Lecture Series
FIU Center for Women's and Gender Studies
Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center
Miami-Florida Jean Monnet European Center of Excellence                                                                                                                    FAU Center for Peace, Justice, and Human Rights