Enemy Feminisms: Sophie Lewis in conversation with Victoria Browne and Jilly Boyce Kay

This event is part of the IAS Annual Theme 2023-24 - Gestation: Bodies, Technologies, Ecologies, Justice.

Sophie Lewis, author of the forthcoming book Enemy Feminisms: TERFs, Policewomen, and Girlbosses Against Liberation, is in conversation with Victoria Browne and Jilly Boyce Kay. The book presents a left, transfeminist takedown of the notion that feminism is an inherent political good. It identifies a wide range of feminisms – from 19th century imperialist feminism to contemporary anti-abortion and TERF feminisms - that must be understood as enemies of liberatory feminism, and fought against as such. The respondents will offer reflections on the significance of the book for contemporary left feminism, as well as for their own work on reproductive politics (Browne) and micro-fascism and 'dark feminine' dating influencers (Kay).

Sophie Lewis is a writer living in Philadelphia, who regularly writes essays for magazines including n+1, Harper’s, The Nation and The London Review of Books on subjects ranging from Marilyn Monroe to tradwives. In 2019, their op-ed explaining “How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans” appeared in The New York Times. In their capacity as a faculty member of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Sophie teaches online courses, open to all, on feminist history, trans feminism, The Dialectic of Sex, femonationalism and more. Their most recent book is Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation (2022); Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family, was first published by Verso Books in 2019. Enemy Feminisms: TERFs, Policewomen, and Girlbosses Against Liberation will be out in 2025 with Haymarket Books. 

Victoria Browne is Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy at Loughborough, specialising in feminist philosophy and reproductive politics.  Her books include Pregnancy Without Birth: A Feminist Philosophy of Miscarriage (Bloomsbury, 2022), Vulnerability and the Politics of Care: Transdisciplinary Dialogues (Oxford University Press, 2021), and Feminism, Time and Nonlinear History (Palgrave 2014). She has published widely in journals such as Hypatia and Signs, and has been on the editorial collective for the journal Radical Philosophy since 2012. 

Jilly Boyce Kay is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media at Loughborough University, whose research and teaching specialisms are in feminist media and cultural studies. Her first monograph Gender, Media and Voice: Communicative Injustice and Public Speech was published in 2020. Jilly's current research focuses on the rise of reactionary feminisms within popular and political culture, including 'post-liberal' feminist ideological influencers, 'dark feminine' dating influencers, and femcel communities. She is co-editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies

Arrivals from 12:45 pm for a 1:00pm start. For those joining in-person, lunch will be served before this seminar from 12 noon to 1:00pm.

This event is hybrid format, please use the required booking button at the bottom of the page to choose either in-person or online attendance.
(Please note that in-person spaces are limited and booking is required, so we can manage numbers for catering and also the space in the seminar room)

By booking a place at this event, attendees agree to behave in a respectful manner such that everyone feels comfortable contributing as they wish. The IAS reserves the right to eject anyone who does not abide by this policy.

IAS seminars are typically recorded, minus any Q&A sessions at the end, again to encourage contributions. The recordings are then uploaded to our website on a Fellows bio page and/or Programme page, along with our IAS YouTube Channel. If you are not able to attend a seminar live, please do still register as we will email everyone who registered to let them know once the recordings are made available.

Contact and booking details

Email address
Booking required?