Public Programs And Events

Feminist Manifestos

December 3, 2018, 11:30 PM

Feminist Manifestos

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College
General Public 

Manifestos have been historically used by feminist activists, artists and writers to boldly state their ideas and demands. Usually brief and direct in tone, they point to circumstances deemed unacceptable and in need of change, and propose pathways to move forward in order to overcome the status quo. From Olympe de Gouges in revolutionary France to the Redstockings in the streets of New York City and the Zapatistas in the remote mountains of the Mexican southeast, women have employed manifestos as a means to be heard and circulate their ideas, but also as a way to build coalitions with others who might recognize themselves in their struggles. As part of the year-long seminar cycle Freedom of Speech: Curriculum for Studies into Darkness, this event proposes speech as a collective act of re-appropriation. It calls for a network of resistance and transformation through the enactment of a series of documents written by women in different corners of the world during different moments in time, resonant with the explosive reality we experience now.

Feminist Manifestos is presented as a two-part public program that will activate written statements challenging cultural production, food distribution, knowledge creation, land ownership and other systems of oppression that the patriarchy, still today, refuses to acknowledge. Starting at 10am on Monday morning, a diverse group of self-identified women from across The New School—students, alumni, administrative and maintenance staff, union members, and faculty—will be reading and performing a selection of historical and contemporary manifestos at various locations within the university's architecture. Those specific spaces have been selected because they relate to the content of the texts, and play a significant role in the performers´ daily lives. Through the acts of public speaking and collective listening, quotidian spaces become the context for socio-political struggles while also pointing out at the emancipatory potential of our everyday activities and choices.

The second part of the event serves as a gathering to discuss the conditions from which the manifestos emerged and the ways in which they have catalyzed new forms of cooperation and collective action. Along with feminist scholars and visual artists, we will explore ideas—gleaned from the documents—such as the perpetuation of capitalism based on the unpaid reproductive labor women perform, or the unexpected advantages of anonymity within the arts. Additionally, women who enacted the manifestos earlier in the day will be sharing their experiences of performing Free Speech, embodying the knowledge, perspectives and emotions embedded in those statements. 

Becca Albee, visual artist and musician 
Chiara BotticiAssociate Professor of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
Silvia Federici, philosopher, scholar, writer and activist from the radical autonomist Marxist tradition
A.L. Steiner, visual artist, teacher, collaborator and co-founder of Ridykeulous and Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)

Gabriela López Dena, Graduate Student Fellow for Art and Social Justice

This public program has been curated by Gabriela López Dena as part of her graduate student fellowship in Arts and Social Justice at the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, and within the context of her thesis project Feminist Urbanism.

Additional Details

CP Approved

Submit your application


To apply to any of our Bachelor's programs (Except the Bachelor's Program for Adult Transfer Students) complete and submit the Common App online.

Graduates and Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Master's, Doctural, Professional Studies Diploma, Graduates Certificate, or Associate's programs, or to apply to the Bachelor's Program for Adult and Transfer Students, complete and submit the New School Online Application.