SAGS Conference 2021

Women's Suffrage and Democracy Today: Critique, Memory, Visions

The conference took place on 26-27 November 2021 at the University of Zurich.

Detailed Program here


Keynote Speakers:
Hoda Elsadda, Cairo

Andrea Maihofer, Basel


Nanjala Nyabola, Nairobi 


Roundtable: Act! Politik, Protest, Performance with Ezgi Akyol, Michelle Akanji and Tillie Kottmann. Moderation: Kaspar Surber.

Panel-Sessions (Abstracts here):
1. Le droit : vecteur d’(in)égalité politique ? Das Recht als Motor und Bremse der politischen Teilhabe
2. Partizipation in der Differenz? Staats- und Staatsbürger*innenschafts- ideale nach der politischen Gleichberechtigung
3. Unerzählte Frauengeschichte(n)
4. Transformatory feminisms – transnational perspectives
5. Politics of (non) citizenship: Processes of exclusion and the mobilisation of gender/sexualities
6. «Ein Volk von Brüdern ohne Schwestern» – Demos, Geschlecht und Demokratie
7. Digital Campaigns and Media: Gendered participation and the reproduction of inequalities in digital public spheres
8. Ordinary memories? Remembering suffrage, patriarchy and social change
9. Demokratie in Arbeit? Intersektionale Perspektiven auf Ungleichheits- strukturen und Mitwirkung in Erwerbs- und unbezahlter Arbeit
10. Frauenrechte und (Geschlechter-) Demokratie – Ein neuer Staats- bürger*innenvertrag?
11. Frau wird nicht als Schweizerin geboren, Frau wird es / On ne naît pas une Suisse, on le devient : questioning the political participation of ”passport chasers“ and ”skilled migrant women“
12. Comment voulons-nous commémorer «1971»? Bilan et perspectives / Wie möchten wir uns an «1971» erinnern? Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven
13. Art of Intervention. Potenzial und Notwendigkeit gesellschaftskritischer Kunst

The occasion and backdrop of the conference in 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Swiss women’s right to vote, introduced in 1971. The conference tackles the theme of «women’s suffrage and democracy» from a democracy and gender theoretical, intersectional and postcolonial perspective with a focus on both Switzerland and the situation in other countries and contexts. First, we are interested in critical analyses of concepts of democracy, political participation, and citizenship regarding their inclusions and exclusions. A second emphasis lies on historic and current manifestations of memory cultures in relation to denied and hard-won political rights in Switzerland and worldwide. Finally, attention will be devoted to contributions focusing on envisioning gender-just societies and politics as well as conceptions of comprehensive political rights and political participation in society. We will consider submissions from all disciplines that engage with one or several key aspects of the conference theme.

Critique: Our first focus lies on critical analyses of conceptions of democracy, political participation, and citizenship with regard to systematic inclusions and exclusions in Switzerland as well as other countries and contexts.

Memory: Our second focus lies on possibilities and limitations of the remembrance of the (historic) injustice regarding the denied and hard-won right to wom*n’s suffrage.

Visions: Our third emphasis lies on normative, emancipatory and activist approaches to conceptualizing fundamental political rights and visions of a gender-just politics and society.

Organizing Committee: Dominique Grisard, Sabine KradolferLea KüngAndrea Maihofer, Katrin Meyer, Katharina Pelzelmayer, Stephanie Pfenninger, Yunna Skliarova