Flying: A Conference on Kate Millett

29-30 May 2014, Birkbeck, University of London

Conference Programme

PDF of Draft Programme: Flying Kate Millett FINAL Programme

Both the screening and conference are free events.

The screening on 29 May will operate on a first come, first served basis.

To attend the conference on 30 May, registration is mandatory and spaces are limited. To register, please email Sam McBean at


Flying: A Conference on Kate Millett

29-30 May 2014

Birkbeck, University of London

millett drawing_2009

© Charlotte Procter, 2009

29 May
(The Showroom, 63 Penfold St)

7.30: Doors Open (first come, first served)

8.00: Discussion led between Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway) and Catherine Grant (Goldsmiths)

8.30: Screening of Three Lives (Kate Millett, 1971) and Gay Power (Sharon Hayes, 2012)


30 May
(Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq)

9.30-9.50: Registration

9.50-10.00: Conference Welcome (Sam McBean)

10.00-11.00: Panel 1
Marianne Hester (University of Bristol), ‘Millett’s Sexual Politics and Theories of Violence Against Women’
Finn Mackay (University of Bristol), ‘Sexual Politics: Feminism Today and The P Word’

11.15-11.30: Break (coffee/tea provided)

11.30-1.00: Panel 2
Catherine Riley (independent researcher), ‘The intersections between Kate Millett and feminist publishing: how books changed lives in the second wave’
Leah Claire Allen (Duke University), ‘Kate Millett’s “New Mutation”: Sexual Politics and/as Cultural Studies’
Carly Guest (Birkbeck), ‘“And now I will be who I am becoming” – finding Kate Millett in narratives of “becoming feminist”’

1.00-2.00: Lunch (not provided)

2.00-3.30: Panel 3
Clarissa Jacob (Royal Holloway), ‘Kate Millett: Feminist Filmmaker’
Catherine Grant (Goldsmiths), ‘Re-enact, re-engage: artists as fan-scholars’
Myna Trustram (Manchester Metropolitan), ‘On Not Being Able to Read (Flying)’

3.30-4.00: Break (coffee/tea provided)

4.00-5.00: Roundtable on Sexual Politics

Jane Elliott (King’s College London), Lynne Pearce (Lancaster University) and Sadie Wearing (LSE)

5.00-5.15: Break

5.15-6.30: Keynote: Victoria Hesford (Stony Brook)
‘Flying into the Unknown: Kate Millett and the Liberation of Form’

6.30-7.30: Wine Reception


Conference generously supported by:

feminist review trust logo


Sexual Politics: Revisiting Feminist Roots

The Feminist Reading Group (housed at the Institute for English Studies) is hosting a series of events leading up to the Conference:

‘This semester the Feminist Postgraduate Reading Group will explore the politics, ideals and activism of the second wave through a close appreciation of Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics (1969). By revisiting this iconic text we wish to provoke a reassessment of second-wave feminism and come to a fuller understanding of its unique cultural legacies. Each month the group will consider a portion of Sexual Politics alongside supplementary materials — articles, photographs, film, performances, sound recordings — in order to reflect upon generational politics, sexuality and the second wave, interstitial feminism, lesbian politics and reproduction.’

More information:

Flying: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Kate Millett

30 May 2014

School of Arts
Birkbeck, University of London

Supported by:

feminist review trust logo

Keynote: Victoria Hesford (SUNY Stony Brook University), author of Feeling Women’s Liberation (Duke UP, 2013)

Papers are invited for an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to the work of Kate Millett. Millett became an iconic figure of second wave feminism after the publication of Sexual Politics in 1970. As one of the first pieces of academic feminism to come out of the American academy, Sexual Politics was a handbook of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Moreover, after appearing on the cover of Time Magazine in the same year as Sexual Politics was published, Millett became one of the Movement’s most recognizable faces. However, arguably, Millett has since largely disappeared from both the public eye and contemporary feminism, despite the fact that she has continued to publish (Flying [1974], The Prostitution Papers [1975], The Loony-Bin Trip [1990], Sita [2000], and Mother Millet [2001]), make films (Three Lives [1971], Not a Love Story [1981], The Real Yoko Ono [2001]), and sculpt.

In aiming to reflect on/account for/address/redress some of this silence, this conference is compelled on the one hand, by recent calls in feminism to re-engage with the second wave (see Hemmings’ Why Stories Matter, Duke, 2011) and to re-visit foundational feminist texts (see Merck and Sanford’s Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex, Palgrave, 2010). Moreover, it is also influenced by Victoria Hesford’s recent Feeling Women’s Liberation (Duke, 2013), which places Millett as a central figure in the production and remembrance of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Hesford’s publication signals that now is perhaps a timely moment to create a larger dialogue about Millett; to ask questions about Millett’s role in feminist history; and to discuss how her work is situated in and amongst more contemporary feminist concerns. The conference thus aims to: consider new frameworks for approaching Millett’s past or ongoing work; interrogate the politics and possibilities of the second wave; explore the politics of memory, forgetting, and citation in feminism; critically reflect on the potential difficulties of some of Millett’s past work travelling into the present; and to consider whether and how (despite her ongoing feminist work) Millett might be produced as ‘untimely’ in the feminist present. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Affect and the second wave
Feminism and autobiographical writing
Feminism and forgetting
Feminist film-making
Generational politics or the politics of mother/daughter relationships
Lesbian politics and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Narrating mental illness
Non-monogamy as feminist politics
Race and feminism
Sexuality and the second wave
Sexual Politics
and feminist literary criticism
The media and the second wave
The Women’s Liberation Movement

The conference invites proposals for individual papers, panels, or artistic responses from any discipline and theoretical perspective. Submissions are welcome from students, activists, artists, academics, and unaffiliated researchers. Please send a title and 300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper along with your name, affiliation (if applicable), and 100 word bibliography to by 28 February 2013.

The conference is organized by Dr Sam McBean (Birkbeck, University of London) and is being supported by the Feminist Review Trust.

Select papers will be sought for publication as part of an edited collection. For further information please email Sam at

Conference website: