Arts and Culture
This panel examines the relationship between two significant transnational movements of the early and mid-twentieth century: socialist internationalism and feminism. These movements, in their multiple, sometimes contested, interactions, produced a rich literary, visual and political vocabulary of imagined solidarities, geographies, and temporalities that overlapped with and challenged discrete national, capitalist, and imperialist concepts of space, subjectivity, and identification. On the one hand, the intersecting languages of socialism and feminism are globally circulating: recognisable figures such as the proletarian woman or the militant pacifist woman transcend national boundaries and can be found in leftist art and literature transnationally. On the other hand, they are marked by nationally specific political-economic and cultural-linguistic contexts and codes. Examining the transnational-national dynamics of the languages of socialism and feminism reveals not only the contours of the dynamics themselves but also the particular conceptualization and activation of ideas of the ‘national’, ‘international’, and ‘global’ across languages in these movements. Our papers provide such an examination by focusing on the internationalist imagination of a generation of socialist-feminist writers and activists in China and Germany. These two locations were global centres producing the intersecting vocabularies of socialism and feminism – particularly as challenges to imperialism, fascism, militarism and capitalist economic crises. In addition, they served as meeting places for international artistic and political socialist-feminist networks. By bringing our respective linguistic and cultural-historical expertise in China and Germany together, we hope to both animate an earlier moment of translingual ‘globality’ and enliven a methodology for contemporary transnational scholarship.