New Article: Worker-led feminist mobilizing for the museum of the future

Margaret Middleton and I wrote an article about the ongoing feminist organizing in the museum. We were especially motivated to write about the worker-led aspect of this work. As more museums continue to unionize and there is the potential for the first General Strike in UK. history, our article feels more relevant than ever.


The article is part of a special issue of the European Journal of Women’s Studies ‘Feminist+ solidarity as transformative politics’ edited by Ayşe Gül Altınay and Andrea Pető. In the introduction they write, ‘How do feminist and queer activist imaginaries respond to, initiate, mitigate, enable and complicate the ongoing process of radical transformation in the world? This special issue brings together insightful analyses of how the famous feminist dictum, ‘the personal is political’ is finding new expression in this era of climatic, pandemic, economic and political crises, particularly in the European context.’


As we explain in our introduction, ‘we look at museums as a site of transformative activism in the US and the UK focusing on worker-led activism confronting the recent devastating layoffs and furloughs across the industry while also engaging with other long-standing social justice issues within the institutions where they work. Rather than surface-level initiatives, transformative change requires looking more concretely at where the power of museums as institutions lies by addressing sexism and racism directly, while also confronting the legacies of colonialism.’


Our piece specifically looks at four lenses of organizing, one movement based, with the three other lenses defined by analytical categories of organizing: the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, decolonizing, unionizing and mutual-aid. You can read the article is open-access here.

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