This essay is an attempt to revisit feminism through the issue of hospitality. What if hospitality were essential to the idea of feminism? How might this potentiality be put to work and made productive? Dealing with questions of language and territory, of the intimate and the enemy, “hospitality” appears as a way to question universalizing feminist proposals and their capacity to disrupt domestic and national orders. These “promises” are first addressed in a general way before being more precisely considered through the lens of the French “republican” model of politics and science. Stories of inhospitality from within are evoked—from within the academic sphere, (post) colonial French society, and the French Parliament—offering paradoxes to French universalism. This essay addresses the presence and possibility of feminism/s as alternative and transnational territories and questions the economic and epistemic constraints at play in both academic and political spheres, pleading for territories to be recaptured.
“Territory Trouble”: Feminist Studies and (the Question Of) Hospitality
delphine gardey is professor of contemporary history and head of the Gender Institute at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where she also directs the master’s and doctoral programs in gender. Trained in France as a historian and a sociologist, she is a former fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Berlin) and was a Humboldt Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte and the Zentrum für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung at the Technische Universität Berlin.