Sunday, February 20, 2011

Activisms begin telling stories.... and how?

Wednesday, Februrary 23 -- Activisms & Stories 
• we will examine the four required books, Ito, Boler, Zandt, and Hands, together with the recommended books, Mitchell and Rodgers, to think about the activisms feminists consider, implement, critique, share, disagree about, and entangle. What scholarly maps do these draw upon? [Pluto Press] In addition to what you have read of these books already, you should also read for this week the last two chapters of Hands' book: Chapter 6 on Alter-Globalisation & Chapter 7 on Constructing the Common. 

[If for any reason you are unable to complete that reading, then choose two chapters we have not yet read from Ito and from Boler. Bring in all the books you can too, including the optional ones if you have them, Mitchell and Rodgers. You should have completed Zandt by now. Be sure you are caught up on all the reading we have already done. We are going to try to put all these books into inter-relations with each other, to consider the kinds of relationships they have to various kinds of activisms and various kinds of feminisms.]

• we will work on the stories for projects, for the workshop we will participate in for the Theorizing the Web conference, and for the learning outcomes women's studies considers meaningful for those finishing the program. How might these all come together in a meaningful way? What will it take to interconnect them? 

After taking an entire program of study in women's studies, finishing at the end with the senior seminar, women's studies would hope that all students would be able to:
1)  identify and develop a coherent analysis of women and gender in relation to significant issues -- in this case, social media;
2)  demonstrate understanding of social and/or cultural differences, inequalities, and/or relations of power;
3)  draw appropriately on a range of work in women's studies scholarship, creative work, and theory
(both from this class and other courses already taken);
4)  know how to document evidence and/or research (make good arguments and use proper citation practices);
5)  show competence in presentation skills: writing and other forms of presentation. 

think flexible, think all this (together and separately) is not about being perfect, but about engaging, trying things out, and participating with energy, creativity and effort! But not something written in stone, or fill in the formula.

Jarah has updated her blog and it is now ready for you to use to think about and share your thoughts, experiences with brainstorming projects, and to ask other students, Jarah and myself for feedback. Go to:  

• first half hour of class we will spend time on your posts to Jarah's blog, responding to her questions, connecting all to ideas about projects and collaborators. A quick break then.
• a big chuck of time then next mapping out some feminist approaches to social media, and the idea of how stories might work for us here. The story is the argument you make for why you should do this, in the most accessible form possible: think this way: first there was this concern, then there was this idea about how to address this concern, then there were these things to do, then these people get together to do that, then various things happen, then a project emerges. Consider this essentially a project plan that is visualized as well as written.
• finally last bit of class: we can try to brainstorm ideas as a class for the conference workshop, using the list of LOAs as a foundation. This gives us your input and you a chance to think on your own.


View Larger Map
MAPPING? Think Google maps, think scaling down to the backyard of a house, and then up and around a neighborhood, then back up to whole region, part of the hemisphere, and then choose our lovely planet itself. What do we mean when we say "local" and "global"? Think instead of layers of locals and layers of globals. Think of scoping and scaling -- not just these geopolitical maps, but ones across time (local nows how they looked to folks at that moment, and globals of various sorts: the second wave, the twentieth century, late capitalism), and also ones of scope of knowledges and activisms (Redstockings in the Women's Liberation Movement, The Boston Women's Health Collective and OBOS, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, transnational feminisms, women of color feminisms in the US, women's studies or gender studies or sexuality studies). 

What does it take to map the books we are reading? What sorts of geopolitical entities, historical moments, feminisms & politics are they examples of? How can you tell? What helps us consider these questions? 


1 comment:

Heather Zwicker said...

Wow, I love this exercise! Will be interested to hear how it goes.