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Thursday, June 27 • 10:30 - 12:00
Fishy Feminsts (1)

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Chaired by: Gustavsson, M. & Knott, C.

Fishy Feminists (1): Drawing on the Past to Imagine Feminist Futures of Seas and Coasts 
Christine Knott & Madeleine Gustavsson
Memorial University & University of Exeter

Feminist theory has a long history of informing gendered aspects of fisheries in select pockets of mostly social science literatures (Frangoudes and Gerrard 2018). The development of these literatures over time have included a broadening of analysis in regard to both topics and subjects, moving away from focusing on just women in female dominated roles to understanding the ways in which changes to fisheries have gendered consequences, including masculinities (Fabinyi 2007; Power 2008; Turgo 2014). The variety of topics that have been taken up include, for example, waterscapes, climate change (Musinguzi et al. 2017), aquaculture (Williams et al. 2005), food security (Allison 2013; Harper et al. 2013) and ocean governance and conservation (Gissi 2018). More recently efforts to understand how individuals lived experiences within multiple sometime conflicting identities offer experiences of privilege and/or discrimination via intersectionality (Lokuge 2017). Some of the recent work also provides unique feminist theoretical viewpoints (Probyn 2016), and critiques gender as a practical or applicable concept in some fishery communities (Bennett 2005). This proposed workshop panel brings together new and seasoned researchers who are building on historical feminist informed lenses to further our understanding of fisheries and aquaculture workers and communities in new ways.

We propose a workshop model for our panel for a variety of reasons: First, our topic is inclusive of all three themes, but focuses more specifically on Stream 1: Making a living from coasts and oceans and Stream 2: Framing, knowing and dreaming coasts and oceans with a focus on new or emerging conceptual/theoretical contributions of feminist fisheries work that is based in the historical feminist literatures. Due to the conceptual nature of the papers, we feel a workshop model will allow more time for each paper to be discussed than a traditional paper panel format. Second, the workshop format compliments the deep discussions related to conceptual framings because the draft papers are submitted before the workshop and read by the key participants, and each paper is assigned a discussant who will provide specific comments and feedback, thus time is provided to digest the material and to engage in real and useful ways. Third, workshops allow for a group dynamic that spark discussion but also directly work with each paper to help strengthen them. Please see below for our submitted abstracts and tentative schedule based on two, 3-hour timeslots.

This is the 1st session in a series of 2

The substance of (sea) life and capitalism: Ecological-social reproduction, power and global change
Paul Foley

The purpose of this paper is to deepen analyses of life production relations that are of central concern to the feminist global political economy frameworks around which this special issue is organized. While the original approach recognized ecological relations in its methodological synthesis of power, production and social reproduction, most subsequent research engaging the approach focuses on areas such as household labour, health care, education, migration and macroeconomic governance. Much less work, however, analyzes relations between capital accumulation and ecological life-producing relations that ultimately sustain human and non-human life. The paper draws on elements of a “world-ecology,” commodity frontier perspective to argue for the integration of primary—ecological—production of the substance of life into the power, production and social reproduction global political economy framework. The paper draws on this synthesis to conduct a long-term analysis of one of the earliest commodity frontiers in capitalist history, Newfoundland fisheries in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Through an analysis of changing patterns of ecological production, household and community reproduction, state enclosure of ocean life production, and world market shifts, the paper suggests that we need to move beyond narrow consequentialist analyses of the role of capital accumulation in ecological exhaustion towards broader, integrated analyses of change that reveal dynamic and perhaps more hopeful struggles and potential for sustainable and progressive conditions of intergenerational social-ecological reproduction.

Smith Island: Family Frames and Gendered Knowledge
Jana Kopelent Rehak

On fluid bodies and disgruntled spirits: manifestations of gender in human-sea interactions 
Annet Pauwelussen  Yoshitaka Ota 

The current development of feminist approaches in maritime research produces critical reflections on the gendered relations, conditions and consequences of fishing practices and the reflection to our sense and body. Still, the sea is often assumed as a gender-neutral background for human practice, indifferent to memory or narratives that guide us to act “an independent man” or “tough woman’. Inspired by feminist environmental studies, we consider the marine environment as a gender-fluid multiplicity of agencies and explore how fishing and gleaning produce particular manifestations of masculine/feminine. Our argument is based on long-term anthropological research among sea people in Southeast Asia. In Palau, the practice of dive fishing by men requires stamina and eagerness. This masculine expression of individual physique is explained as traditional strength of man but also as the ability to subtly negotiate relations with currents and fish. The practice of dive fishing expresses a concept of matrilineal kinship that requires an emphatic relationship with fluid environment as gendered fellow beings. Likewise, In Indonesia, the gleaning practices of sea people to collect giant clams – an aphrodisiac - requires a skilful negotiation with ancestral and coral spirits, through singing, eating and possession. Considered as a ‘feminine’ domain in native terms, the practice of gleaning also shows how kinship relations extend to sea agencies and blurs the human/non-human distinction. To fish or glean means to skilfully navigate the sea as a relational and embodied engagement with a gendered and multiple sea, reflecting the fluidity embedded in social organisations, the "unstructured structure”.

Big Women, Small Fish, and the Myth of Banana-Based Patriarchy in Uganda 
Jennifer Lee Johnson
What futures become possible when we reworld the past? Okwalula abaana, literally, the “hatching of the children,” is an event still, although rarely, practiced along what is now Uganda’s southern littorals. During this event, children – and by extension their mothers – are conclusively determined to either belong to a family, or not. Importantly, okwalula abaana requires the skillful combination of produce from multiple provisioning traditions – and two elements that combine to make them palatable and possible – water and salt made from vegetal ash. Although previous scholars have described this event as marking the acceptance of new children into patriarchal, patrilineal, and patrilocal clans, by situating okwalula abaana at the littoral and alongside fish, this paper reveals that grandmothers, not patriarchs, guided and evaluated the behaviors and abilities of mothers as would-be members of communities to ensure that only good eggs eventually “hatched.” Although some ancestors of would-be members of littoral communities may have practiced a “famous fish avoidance,” to belong at the littoral and be granted stable access to land and other affordances that group membership provided, one had to learn and to teach others how to live well with fish – ways of being and belonging that situated the ethereal futures of men on the water and those of women on solid

avatar for Jennifer Lee Johnson

Jennifer Lee Johnson

Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Purdue University

Annet Pauwelussen

Postdoc researcher, Wageningen University Environmental Policy Group

Thursday June 27, 2019 10:30 - 12:00 CEST
REC A2.10 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam