A utopian paradigm: The 1960s & 1970s radical feminists
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This dissertation examines the consciousness raising, political agency, and separatist ideologies of the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s as being critically utopian. On a utopian reading of the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s, this dissertation argues for the possibility of rethinking utopia as an actual event in the given historical moment. The dissertation will compare the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s ideas of political agency, consciousness raising and separatism with the current utopian thinking of contemporary neo-Marxists theorists, Slavoj Zizk, Alain Badiou, Jodi Dean and Bruno Bosteels. By examining the historical precedent for a separatist utopianism in Christian de Pizan, the dissertation will argue that practicing utopia as moments in microtopian spaces has been in the collective consciousness of feminist writers since the 15 th century. Moreover, in the case of the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s there is a move beyond the utopian dreaming of Christine de Pizan to actualize moments of utopia in microtopian spaces. These passing moments of utopia lead to better articulated liberation movements than the utopianism of neo-Marxism that still clings to the traditional vision of utopia as a horizonal event that has yet to materialize. This non materialized utopianism restricts the political agency of a citizen to a future hope. These moments of utopia then become the means of inaugurating revolutions for the purpose of protecting the political agency of citizens in the face of the new challenge of consumerism within late capitalism. This dissertation culminates with a return to the critical utopianism of the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s as a blueprint to theorize the possibility of creating moments of utopia in our current epoch.