Rose Owen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science specializing in feminist political theory. Her dissertation, “Feminist Violence,” explores how feminist theorists and activists transformed the concept of violence in the twentieth century. Starting with the feminist pacifism of Virginia Woolf, who condemns the feminist use of violence, the project then turns to feminist advocacy for violence in two registers. First, second wave feminists, including Simone de Beauvoir, argued for the use of violence as a form of self-defense. Second, militant feminists like Valerie Solanas, and members of organizations like the Weather Underground and the Black Panther Party, such as Assata Shakur, saw violence as necessary to enact political transformation for women’s liberation. Underlying the calls for feminist violence was the newfound recognition of the widespread, quotidian nature of violence against women, particularly sexual and intimate partner violence. This project is supervised by Linda Zerilli (chair), Demetra Kasimis, Adom Getachew, and Toril Moi (Duke).

Rose holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a BA from Wellesley College. She has taught “Feminist Politics in the U.S.: Lessons from the Second Wave” with the Grodzins Prize Lectureship and “Classics of Social and Political Thought III.” She has also served as the student coordinator for the Political Theory Workshop. Her Master’s Thesis, “The Birth of Tragedy as the Death of Politics: ‘Gender Trouble’ and the Founding of Democratic Publics in Euripides’ Bacchae,” won the Joseph Cropsey prize for best Master’s Thesis in Political Theory. 

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