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Roundtable Discussion: Mobilising Women’s Studies Now! Feminist Activism and Scholarship in Dialogue

Tuesday 6 June 2023, 4.30PM

Speaker(s): Chaired by Boriana Alexandrova (CWS, University of York

Chaired by Boriana Alexandrova (CWS), the event features the following speakers:

Ann Kaloski (CWS) retired from the Centre for Women’s Studies three years ago. It was for her a
space for wild scholarship, where personal, academic, and activist mores could be confronted as well
as fostered in the classroom and on the page. Throughout her life Ann has organised many feminist
and queer events and projects within and without of academia. She currently facilitates York
International Women’s Week, and practices ordinary activism by talking to people.

Ruth Kelly (CAHR) is a lecturer in human rights, based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights at
York. Her research is on cultural politics, human rights and social justice – looking at how inventive
storytelling and other familiar cultural practices can help activists reimagine justice and negotiate
citizenship. Since 2016 she has been working with artists and activists from Bangladesh and Uganda
to explore the links between visual and performance art, activism, and the political imagination. She
has also supported programmes of peer-learning for human rights leaders and activists at risk, at
York and at Oxford. This year she joined the board of Elect Her, a small organisation trying to get
more women in all their diversity into elected office in the UK.

Anugya Kunwar (CWS) is a queer feminist and an aspiring pleasure activist from Nepal, currently
pursuing the first-year of her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies. She is the curator of Feminist
Futures Nepal - a youth-focused advocacy project that uses qualitative research to design and
facilitate workshops and digital campaigns to advocate for pleasure-based comprehensive sexuality
education in Nepal. The best part about her work is the community solidarity that emerges in her
workshops while discussing creative methods of self- pleasure. For her, pleasure is political,
masturbation is political!

Mariam Topchishvili (CWS) is a Georgian feminist and GEMMA Master's degree second-year student
at the University of York. Mariam is one of the founders and previously executive director of a
community-based NGO based in Gori Georgia. She is passionate about women’s rights, girl
empowerment, and social justice. She was leading the girl empowerment program in Georgia,
organizing awareness-raising activities with a group of inspired young feminists. Mariam also works
for UN Georgia’s peace and development unit, consulting on crisis and conflict-related incidents and
she is part of several international collectives advising programs for the wider CEECCNNA (Central
Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central and North Asia) region.

Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, Campus West. The discussion is followed by a drinks reception.