Monday, December 12, 2011

Sharing that learning is sweet!

Passing some sweetness around....

Today we begin for everyone with some exercises, to help us focus and make it a bit easier to share what we have done in the learning analysis. Today each person will speak and offer their own unique sense of traveling through the argument or story of the course. Our personal feelings are, of course, a special part of this. But do think of this primarily as an intellectual sharing of analysis as well as of any careful personal details. Celebrating each others' work and our own, and especially thinking together today about the knowledge we each bring into being is the collective project here, our feminist reconceptualization. So listen as carefully as you speak, because active listening is as necessary to collective thought. If someone else says something you intended to say, then -- thinking on your feet -- find another something to say that is a unique bit of your own work instead. 

Focusing exercises for presenting: 
1) find your favorite paragraph in the paper. Put a star next to it.
2) write down what you are most proud of in this paper.
3) put an arrow next to the place you think best describes the argument of the course.
4) write down your favorite reading and be prepared to say what element of its ANALYSIS made it special for you.

=write about a moment in the course where everything seemed to come together for you.
=write about a moment outside the course where you realized you were using something you had learned in the class.
=write about a moment when you discovered something new about how you were included in the argument of the class. 

pick out four of these to share. Focus on analysis -- of the course, readings, experiences, realizations -- especially, although feelings and politics have important places too. Be mindful of the time -- we want to allow time for everyone in the class to speak today -- give some real details: don't be too general. Do show off the hard thinking you are capable of. Make sure what you say is special and unique.

And may we keep running into each other, over and over, in friendship and connection and intellectual community and joyful living!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

swarming timeframes

Tuesday 6 Dec – How do we use the notion of an epistemological project?
•    rereading Davis as lens on all the other books
So how well does Davis’ notion of epistemological project travel? Can we use it to think about these books, ideas, activisms, methods, disciplines, feminisms?

Thursday 8 Dec – Feminist Time Machines: how can we historicize what is happening now?

•    finishing up and rereading Hewitt as lens on all the other books;
Read stuff you missed or reread the stuff that has become a touchstone for you; be able to say why and how. Why do feminists want to be able to historicize? How is that a kind of sharing? a kind of traveling?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Share Feminism/s, how?


Tuesday 20 Nov – Share Feminism/s, how? with whom? with what care?
•    rereading Zandt as lens on all the other books
•    how to do learning analysis
What does Zandt have to teach us about the issues raised in the other books that we might have missed if we hadn’t read her work?

=== LEARNING ANALYSIS for Feminist Re Conceptualizations ===

Thursday 1 Dec – Intersectionality as Boundary Object, meaning different things to different feminisms?
•    finishing up and rereading Berger as lens on all the other books; read stuff you missed or reread the stuff that has become a touchstone for you; be able to say why and how.
How do different feminisms use intersectionality to share their urgent projects and their hopes for feminism?

lumping and splitting 
connection to boundary objects

Perry model of intellectual development   
in addition to its importance as a developmental schema for the adult learning processes of discrete individuals, what about these intellectual, psychological, psychic features as elements dynamically shifting back and forth, for example, when
• individuals and groups are under great stress 
• are confronted by new elements in shifting contexts
• enter into a new arena of knowledge or practice
• are forced into positions by polarization 
• are "converted" to new and strong epistemologies 
• are using shorthand versions of complexities for clarity
• are responding to urgent conditions requiring strong action

Reading,  Conversation, and Reception with
Florence Howe on Monday December 5 at 3:00 in Taliaferro 1126.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Our field comes to life, passions in workshop mode!

Tuesday 15 Nov – WORKSHOP #2 – Dynamics in Our Field of Women’s Studies
Today we will share our work poster session style: divide in two groups, and all move around talking to each other about work during the class time. 

•    Workshop 2: Dynamics in Our Field

For our second workshop you will create either a paper or poster (which determined by lot) in order to explore how feminists remember, participate in, and analyze the dynamics in our field of women’s studies. 

What is its history? What ways of analyzing power are best? How do particular disciplines locate the central concerns of women’s studies? How do feminist scholars share the work they do? 

You will explore two class texts carefully, and chose EITHER • to analyze Hewitt’s book through the analysis (eyes, lens) of Berger’s The Intersectional Approach OR • to analyze Berger’s book through the analysis (eyes, lens) of Hewitt’s No Permanent Waves 

• Berger’s collection demonstrates paradigm shifts in our field. NOTICE that it explores how to think THROUGH feminisms ABOUT feminisms. 

Hewitt’s book demonstrates that history doesn’t stand still. NOTICE and ask, why do we keep remaking our feminist pasts? 

No matter which of these approaches you take, also NOTICE that you will need to do some additional research. You will need to use the web to follow-up or look in greater detail at the kinds of feminisms displayed here, other ways of thinking about histories of feminism, and ways all of these are promoted in popular and scholarly media. Always make a point of connecting projects to class readings and lectures.

Thursday 17 Nov – WORKSHOP #2 – Talking about it all 
•    LOGBOOK 3 DUE along with either paper and handout or digital picture of poster, after presentations
Today we will have a conversation about what we learned, noticed, thought about, and draw from the last class presentations. 


Monday, November 7, 2011

Waving at each other:
seeing through others' eyes, the next workshop

We can look at feminist histories through the eyes of different ways of understanding intersectionality; and we can look at how and why intersectionalities might differ through the eyes of feminist histories, generations, political agendas, and assumptions about what is better than what else.... 

Tuesday 8 Nov – Agendas, Activisms, Relocations
•    Hewitt: Part III: pick 3 of 5
Look through all of these enough to compare them all somewhat, then become an expert on the ones you choose. How do these projects each in their own specific way contribute to the epistemological project of the whole book? How can you tell?

=Brainstorming all the differences we can grasp. What contexts do they respond to? What constituencies are addressed? What political goals are assumed? How do they compare with your care-abouts?

=reports on what we all did last week!! (Katie gave talk at 4S: talksite here.


Thursday 10 Nov – Comparing epistemological projects
•    Berger: Part IV: choose 2 of the 5 and everyone should read the epilogue
How might each of these chapters work to help us envision the future of intersectionality and to see what is at stake? 

=What questions and concerns are coming up as you prepare for next week's workshop? 

=What is at stake for you in different intersectional approaches, in different ways of conceptualizing waves? 

Which chapters did you choose? Why? How can you let the authors alter your historical imagination? Can you let them turn it in-side out? Change how you think rather than justify how you think? What does that mean for feminists and feminisms?

I picked Ednie Garrison's framing of "Third Wave" as one of my readings (originally in Feminist Studies 2000). In some ways it justified my assumptions about the histories involved, but in other ways it altered them, opened up areas I hadn't thought about in those terms before.

For example, I already did not consider these feminisms strictly age related, but I didn't anticipate how Garrison would reframe them -- not generational but differentially oppositional, an analysis inspired by Chela Sandoval and attentive to culture and technology as historical agencies:

394: "The refusal to claim ownership of feminism allow these third wavers to maintain a sense of their own and other feminist-identified individuals' tactical subjectivity. When we understand that feminism is not about fitting into a mold but about expanding our ability to be revolutionary from within the worlds and communities and scenes we move around and through, then collective action becomes possible across the differences that affect people differently."

Notice this language: "the differences that affect people differently." 

Another one I picked was originally in Meridians 2008, so almost a decade later, Whitney Peoples' discussion of hip hop feminisms and the solidarity of black feminists across generations. She takes as her definition of "third wave" a specific history that defines it pivotally as a collective critique by women of color. (See her ftnote 3.) What alternate histories of the term exist at the same time? How can that be the case? How much does it matter and to whom? Is the "true origin" important? What does it mean to claim the origin of such a term?

And what does critique entail? If you critique something do you throw it out? Peoples' takes up this issue as she explores how hip-hop critique could divide black feminists but doesn't have to, and how it needn't be thrown out even if interrogated....

424: "Just as other black American feminists have chosen to engage other modes of cultural production that are inimical to the development of black women's subjectivity, hip-hop feminists refuse to turn away from difficult and volatile engagements with hip-hop. Bell hooks, for example, argues that the mainstream American film industry has long produced images of women, people of color, that have negated the humanity and subjectivity of black women. Hooks, however, does not advocate the black women abandon film. On the contrary she, like Pough in the case of hip-hop, says that they value of mainstream cinema lies not in the images it produces but in the critique of those images. [she quotes hooks on "the pleasure of interrogation."]...The hip-hop feminist agenda is one that takes its cue from hooks and others by using the critique to fashion an individual, social, and political agenda of inquiry and action for the contemporary moment.... It's the legacy of unmasking the specificity of women's experiences at the intersections of race and sex that continue to make black American feminism an indispensable mode of analysis and activism for many women today. Hip-hop feminists draw on the strength of that legacy while simultaneously drawing on the strength of movements of the contemporary moment such as hip-hop."

click for Black Youth project website
Note how hip-hop then becomes an agency of intersectionality here, and actually allows for a continuity of political analysis across age-generations of black feminists.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Nothing Stays Still....

DYNAMICS IN OUR FIELD OF WOMEN’S STUDIESTuesday 25 Oct – Reframing Narratives & Reclaiming Histories
•    Hewitt: Part I: pick 3 of the 5 chapters in this section to read, be prepared to discuss why you chose the ones you did
How does Hewitt talk about traveling knowledges? How does travel across time compare to travel across space and geopolitical location? How can you compare what Hewitt does with what Davis does? With what Berger and Guidroz do? How are these epistemological projects similar and different? 

4: "Activists thus highlight their distinctiveness from -- and often superiority to -- previous feminist movements in the process of constituting themselves as the next wave." 

[KK: yes, but it should also be said that generational hierarchies of supposedly knowing things better exist as well!] 

How do "waves" and "generations" compare, converge, or divide? 

Look at Wikipedia's timeline of key events in the second wave (scroll down to see it). 
Wikipedia on the third wave.  
Wikipedia on the first wave
Which parts of the world are centered in these?
Wikipedia's Portal: Feminism  
Wikipedia's Feminism by country   

What about feminist generations? 
From Young Feminist Wire 
Symposium on inter- and transgenerational feminisms 
Call for papers by Feminist Memory    
Nancy Whittier's book & KK's handout on generations  

All six volumes of Stanton and Anthony's History of Woman Suffrage are available free as ebooks online. See Google books and Project Gutenberg. 

Hewitt, Thompson, Taylor, Chávez, Fernandes


===Thursday 27 Oct – Theoretical Explorations, Exploring theories and their worlds
•    Berger: Part II: pick 2 of the 4 chapters in this section to read, be prepared to discuss why you chose the ones you did
Although you pick only 2 of these, look at all of them enough to compare the approaches they take, and to consider the disciplines they come from. How might that matter? 

Recall Yuval-Davis' point: (54): “social divisions, such as those relating to membership in particular castes or status as indigenous or refugee  people, tend to affect fewer people globally. At the same time, for those who are affected by these and other social divisions not mentioned here, such social  divisions are crucial and necessitate struggle to render them visible. This is, therefore, a case where recognition - of social power axes, not of social identities - is of crucial political importance.”

power: macro-, meso-, micro-political (fr structure to interpersonal interaction) [Foucault, biopower]
structure: longer term, more stable, affect most, mostly at macro-political levels and layers [Marx, social structure]

Keating, Luft, Caldwell, Sherwood 


Tuesday 1 Nov – CLASS ON ITS OWN: KATIE AT 4S – Coming together and pulling apart, which is which?
•    Hewitt: Part II: pick 4 of 7
Coalitions happen on the ground with activists, how do activists work with other activisms? What are the difficulties involved?

Thursday 3 Nov – CLASS ON ITS OWN: KATIE AT 4S – Method, theory, praxis – do they need to be connected or are they already?
•    Berger: Part III: pick 2 of 5 from the section on methodological innovations
Come with ideas and questions that look ahead to our workshop. 

from Bernice Johnson Reagon's Coalition Politics:  
343ff: "I wish there had been another way to graphically make me feel it because I belong to the group of people who are having a very difficult time being here. I feel as if I'm gonna keel over any minute and die. That is often what it feels like if you're really doing coalition work. Most of the time you feel threatened the core and if you don't, you're not really doing no coalescing.... Coalition work is not work done in your home. Coalition work has to be done in the streets.... You don’t get fed a lot in a coalition. In a coalition you have to give, and it is different from your home. You can’t stay there all the time. You go to the coalition for a few hours and then you go back and take your bottle wherever it is, and then you go back and coalesce some more." [In Barbara Smith, Home Girls: a black feminist anthology. Rutgers 2000]

• "listening with raw openness" (Keating 2009: 92)
• disagreeing in continued conversation that goes on! 
• complex personhood (Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters 2008) 
• "some misunderstanding is inevitable" (Keating 2009: 94) 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Point of View: our first workshop! Fun, yes!

Tuesday 18 Oct – WORKSHOP #1 – Power, Movements, Worlds
Today we will share our work poster session style: divide in two groups, and all move around talking to each other about work during the class time. Complete 3 eval sheets & one for yourself (turn these in next class). 

Thursday 20 Oct – WORKSHOP #1 – Talking about it all
•    LOGBOOK 2 DUE along with either paper and handout or digital picture of poster, after presentations
Today we will have a conversation about what we learned, noticed, thought about, and draw from the last class presentations. 

•    Workshop 1: Power, Movements, Worlds

For our first workshop you will create either a paper or poster (which determined by lot) in order to explore how feminists analyze how power structures our worlds. 

You will explore two class texts carefully, and chose EITHER 

• to analyze Zandt’s book through the analysis (eyes, lens) of Davis’ The Making of Our Bodies, Our Selves; OR 

• to analyze Davis’ book through the analysis (eyes, lens) of Zandt’s Share This! 

• Davis’ book explores power in transnational and transdisciplinary frames. NOTICE what it demonstrates and assumes about what counts as power, which social movements matter, and how worlds are connected across differences. 

• Zandt’s book explores accessibility and the currency of social media today. NOTICE who is addressed in this book, and why? 

No matter which of these approaches you take, also NOTICE that you will need to do some additional research. You will need to find out more about the various editions of the book Our Bodies, Our Selves, and you will need to play around with social media yourself, and do some web research checking out both Our Bodies, Our Selves and also how feminists today are using social media, as well as how social media and marketing are interconnected. Always make a point of connecting projects to class readings and lectures.

Posters and papers are shared in one or the other of two class workshops. In each workshop you will do either a paper or a poster. Which one you will do when will be determined by lot. 

You cannot get full credit for either assignment until after you also present them on the first day of the workshop week, and participate in workshop follow-ups on the second day of the workshop week. In other words, just the written paper or the poster does not in itself complete the assignment. If an emergency or illness kept you from participation either or both days that week, to get full credit you will have to meet with three other students to share your work and their work outside class, and write up the experience and what you learned from it to complete the participation portion of that grade. 

SO DO NOT MAKE OTHER PLANS FOR THOSE DAYS: BUILD THEM CAREFULLY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM! Put them into your logbook from the beginning so that attending them will always be at the forefront of your term plans. 

This is also true of the final day of class, when you discuss your learning analysis with everyone else. Full credit for the learning analysis also requires attendance and participation on that last day.