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Music, politics and emotions in feminist activism

Conference contribution
Authors Ann Werner
Åsa Bergman
Cecilia Björck
Published in Music and Gender in Balance, 5-6 April, Tromsø
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords emotion, feminist activism, feminist organizations, music, political action
Subject categories Music, Cultural Studies, Other Humanities not elsewhere specified


This paper presents the theory and outlines for a study on how music is used, experienced and articulated as political and emotional by feminist activists. Focus is on feminist music activists involved with organizations working for feminist, queer and anti-racist equality and justice in and outside music. This paper is based on the application and is the first step of a larger research endeavor exploring music’s role in feminism and activism, aiming to look into how music is experienced as emotional and as political action (see also James 2015). Starting points are taken in feminist theories of culture, emotion and political action (Ahmed 2004, 2010, Hemmings 2012), cultural studies of music and style (Whiteley 2000, Leonard 2007) and musicological understandings of music as resource for protest (DeNora 2001, Hennion 2015). Thus, symbolic, political and emotional dimensions of music’s importance for feminist activism can be analyzed to further our understanding of the connections between politics, emotion and music, in feminist music activism today in particular.

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