Reparative Remembrance: Feminist Mobilizations of Louise Michel, Emma Goldman, and Sylvia Pankhurst
The multivalent processes by which historic activists are remembered are shaped by contemporary political projects. Drawing on recent insights into the relationship between memory and activism, I contend that the longstanding cultural remembrance of three late-nineteenth to early-twentieth-century revolutionaries has depended on their reappraisal by “second-wave” feminist movements in the late twentieth century. Moving from an account of their adversarial relations to the women’s movements of their day to their subsequent interpretation as exemplary feminists, selected works of feminist auto/biography have undoubtedly contributed to these figures’ changing remembrance over time. A rhetoric of repair is therefore central to life writing by second-wave feminists, and reparative remembrance has had a continuing impact on these figures’ representation up to the present day.