WGS to host Visiting Professor of Australian Studies in 2022

November 16, 2021
Katherine Gibson

WGS is pleased to announce that our department will host Katherine Gibson as the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies for the 2022 academic year.

Katherine Gibson is a Professorial Research Fellow at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society. She is internationally known for her research on rethinking economies as sites of ethical action. In regards to her forthcoming time at Harvard WGS, Gibson says that she looks forward to “introducing students at Harvard University to the work of antipodean feminists whose writing has reframed thinking about the body, ecology and the economy.”

We are delighted to host Professor Gibson in our department during the 2022 calendar year, during which she will offer the following courses:

WGS 2052 Post-capitalist Possibilities: A Feminist Inquiry [fall 2022]
Graduate seminar

What role might Feminist Theory play in making post-capitalist worlds possible? What capacities do we have as scholars to shape the world around us? What ethical responsibilities accompany this work? In this graduate seminar we will explore theoretical traditions that have contributed to post-capitalist thinking, including socialist feminism, feminist post-structuralism and anti-essentialist Marxism. To this mix we will bring other contemporary feminist approaches from the frontiers of socio-political thought on post-capitalist possibilities, including material semiotics, post-development, ecological humanities, resilience theory, post-colonialism, assemblage politics and commoning. Throughout the semester we will discuss how to use feminist critique to open up pathways for enabling research and how to enact post-capitalist possibilities through research practice.

WOMGEN 1495: Feminist Ecologies and Economies [spring 2022]
Counts as WOMGEN 1210 Theory Foundation
Wednesdays 3:00pm-5:00pm

Why is it easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism? As we witness the effects of global warming, species loss, economic inequality, and gendered and racialized violence, it is indeed hard to imagine that other worlds are possible. There is no better time to focus on the generative impacts of feminist praxis. This course examines the work of feminist scientists and indigenous elders who have reshaped approaches to environmental toxicity, climate change, and ecological degradation. We will study the work of feminists who have put domestic labor, reproduction, and care on the national policy agenda while challenging economic frameworks that privilege markets and growth. We will use feminist and decolonial tools to destabilize patriarchal notions of "mastery" and "domination" over the natural and social world. We will explore the strategies that working class women, diasporic Black communities and rural women all over the world have used to build dignified livelihoods. Finally, we will identify what can be done in our own lives to repair ecologies and build ethical economies centered on care.


The Visiting Professorship of Australian Studies was established at Harvard in 1976, as a result of a gift from the Australian government to "to promote awareness and understanding of Australia in the United States of America."

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