Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

CAPITALISM / SOCIALISM / DEMOCRACY - What is Family Abolition? (Sophie Lewis)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 5:00pm

Online Event: Please register here.

WHAT IF FAMILY WAS NOT THE ONLY PLACE you might hope to feel safe, loved, cared for and accepted? What if we could do better than the family? We need to talk about the family. For those who are lucky, families can be filled with love and care, but for many they are sites of pain: from abandonment and neglect, to abuse and violence. Nobody is more likely to harm you than your family. Even in so-called happy families, the unpaid, unacknowledged work that it takes to raise children and care for each other is endless and exhausting.

As part of the Mitchell Center's Capitalism/Socialism/Democracy Series, M. EDITH SKLAROFF sits down with leading feminist critic DR. SOPHIE LEWIS to discuss the case for family abolition.

Drawing on her incisive and vital polemic, Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation, Lewis will discuss the history of family abolitionist demands, beginning with nineteenth century utopian socialist and sex radical Charles Fourier, the Communist Manifesto and early-twentieth century Russian family abolitionist Alexandra Kollontai. Turning her attention to the 1960s, Lewis reminds us of the anti-family politics of radical feminists like Shulamith Firestone and the gay liberationists, a tradition she traces to the queer marxists bringing family abolition to the twenty-first century. The event will also address historic rightwing panic about Black families and the violent imposition of the family on indigenous communities, as well as contemporary political iterations of these kinds of violence.

What Is Family Abolition? A Discussion with Dr. Sophie Lewis image