This conversation with Sara Farris was recorded on August 7, 2017 to be featured as a transcript in the 13th issue of The Funambulist Magazine (Sept-Oct. 2017), Queers, Feminists & Interiors. It attempts to link the work she presents in her book, In the Name of Women’s Rights: The Rise of Femonationalism (Duke University Press, 2017) with the violence against women that femonationalist discourses deliberately ignore (as these violences are exercised through what we could call “a universalist patriarchy”): domestic violence. The conversation first presents the political concept of femonationalism in the context of Europe, and then proceeds to describe the several dimensions of violence against women in domestic spaces.
Sara Farris is a senior lecturer in the sociology department at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Max Weber’s Theory of Personality. Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion (Brill 2013) and In the Name of Women’s Rights. The Rise of Femonationalism (Duke 2017). Sara’s work to date has focused on the orientalist underpinnings of sociological theory, which she explored in my first monograph on Max Weber’s sociology of religion, and on theories of gender, race and social reproduction, particularly as they apply to the analysis of migrant women in Western Europe. Through these theoretical lenses and interests, Sara has examined theories of racism and nationalism; the specific gendered forms of Orientalist/Westocentric representations of women in the Western public discourse; the mobilization of women’s rights by right-wing nationalist parties within xenophobic campaigns (which Sara calls ‘Femonationalism’); the multiple forms of exploitation and domination that characterize female migrant labor in the care and domestic sector in particular; the commodification of care and social reproduction and its links to processes of racialization; the dialogue between intersectionality theory and Marxist feminisms. Sara is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Historical Materialism and international book review editor for Critical Sociology.