Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Learning Analysis I & II: Thoughts, Drafts, Your Two Minutes!

Welcome to the last two weeks of class! Our time to analyze learning and how it works!

May 1 and May 8 we share with each other our experiences of the class and our understanding of what has changed. This is our time capsule to ourselves: we see how things looked to us at different moments during the semester, at different times in the story of the course.

Half the class will speak for two minutes 1 May (who determined by lot using tokens you draw as you enter class) and the other half will speak for two minutes 8 May. EVERYONE WILL TALK! (You won't get full credit otherwise. And you need to be present both days, even if you only talk on one day, to get your full credit too.)

Everyone should have a near-final draft of their learning analysis with them 1 May. You will need it to complete exercises at the beginning of class then. 

The FINAL version of your learning analysis is due 8 May, in hard copy in class with an electronic copy in your dropbox.

That means you can change what you wrote for our first day to make it even better after hearing then what folks have to say, and understanding how analyzing learning works. But two drafts are absolutely essential for this process, and, frankly, for good written work of all sorts! (at least two!) LOGBOOK 4 IS NECESSARY TO GET CREDIT FOR THE COURSE ALTOGETHER! SO DON'T FORGET IT! It should include everything you did and when for the whole semester (or didn't do, please be honest, detailed and careful, it matters), and note any communications that we could lose track of, to make sure you are appreciated properly! 

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. Both days  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. 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 two of these to share, only one minute for each one. (Have at least two others as mental backups, so that you don't say the same thing someone else says.) 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 -- 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!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Visions for Justice: structural inequalities


Tuesday, 24 April – Blood and Beauty: Visions for Justice

• Read Freeland, Intro, 1, 2, 3, Conclusion
• Read Perez, Intro
• Read hooks, 9 -19

What are these three books about now you’ve worked with them and done projects that tie you into the insights they want to share with us? How do they each speak to the idea that feminism is for everybody? What feminist worlds do they open? Which aspects of Women’s Studies do you glimpse from these? How do they offer versions of intersectionality, feminist identities, visions of social justice?

From the Wikipedia: "Structural inequality is defined as a condition where one category of people are attributed an unequal status in relation to other categories of people. This relationship is perpetuated and reinforced by a confluence of unequal relations in roles, functions, decisions rights, and opportunities. As opposed to cultural inequality, which focuses on the individual decisions associated with these imbalances, structural inequality refers specifically to the inequalities that are systemically rooted in the normal operations of dominant social institutions, and can be divided into categories like residential segregation or healthcare, employment and educational discrimination."

With a partner, discuss and take notes to share with the whole class: 
1) As you look back on your own and your team's work for assignment #3, which aspects of your project addressed "cultural inequalities" or focused on individual attitudes or biases or actions (even with others, but understood as many individuals) as pivotal to social change? Give some examples.

2) Which aspects addressed "structural inequalities" or those rooted in how social institutions run day to day in their normal operations? Give some examples.

3) Why might it matter to look at these as distinctive? What makes it complicated to see them both in action, separately or together somehow? What things can you change about yourself and help others to change about themselves that will widen the possibilities for social justice? What things have to go beyond yourself to make justice happen? How does that kind of change occur? What are your experiences with that second sort of change?

4) How does "intersectionality" work to make both visible -- why does that matter? What are some differences between "identities" and "inequalities"?

Picture from Environmental Justice Guidelines for Maryland State Highway Administration's Projects online.... Click it to get the link.

notice the set up on two days and the need for a first draft one week and the final version the second week: "FIRST DRAFT READY TO SPEAK FROM DUE Tuesday, 1 May; FINAL REDRAFTED AND EDITED VERSION TURNED IN AT THE END OF CLASS Tuesday, 8 May."
Learning Analysis for Women Art and Culture

What matters most in this assignment? The LEARNING! This is a time capsule assignment: how are your ideas and knowledge, your learning, different from when you first arrived in this class?

What will be most impressive? Demonstrate that you did all the reading. Demonstrate that you have thought carefully about and experimented with ideas about intersectionality. Demontrate that you have learned from other students in projects and in discussion.


Freeland 2001, "Blood & Beauty": 26-7: "A lament can be a legitimate message in art, even when delivered with shocking content that prevents us from maintaining our aesthetic distance. Perhaps Serrano meant to insult established religion, but this could stem from a moral / motivation. When he photographs corpses it may not be to wallow in their decay but to offer anonymous victims some moments of human sympathy." 28-9: "Art includes not just works of formal beauty to be enjoyed by people with 'taste', or works with beauty and uplifting moral messages, but / also works that are ugly and disturbing, with a shatteringly negative moral content...."

From NPR online: "Vatican Reprimand Of U.S. Nuns Divides Faithful: April 23, 2012: The Vatican reprimanded America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Holy See charged the LCWR with promoting programs with 'radical feminist themes' that are incompatible with doctrine on issues ranging from homosexuality to women's ordination." 

Perez 2007: 11-12: "...the Chicana art included here...has responded, in greater and lesser measures, to the rise of particular social, economic, and political forces. Some of the most salient of these have been postindustrialist, digital-based production and distribution systems enabling accelerated, transnational flows of information; the restructuring of business and labor; the disempowerment of workers and the growing relocation of unskilled manual labor jobs in manufacturing industries from the United States to the third world and elsewhere, including the Mexican side of the border; the independence movements in former third world colonies; and ethnic, gender, sexual, civil rights, / and student movements.... I use 'Chicana' as a term that artists identified with the ongoing, albeit shifting, shape of civil rights struggles have applied to themselves and their work, as artists decisively shaped in the United States, resistant to the racism against their Mexican and Native American cultures and the discrimination against a still largely pauperized, economically exploited, and culturally stereotyped and marginalized body of citizens."

[Image caption online chicanoart.org: "True to her generation of artists and iconographic roots, Barbara Carrasco visually navigates those struggles for social justice that informed the era, as well as the complexities of identity politics which dominated the political landscape of the late twentieth century. She is close friends with labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union, Dolores Huerta and is married to the renowned artist and writer, Harry Gamboa, Jr. She is a painter who has produced large-scale, national and international public murals, monumental banners for the United Farm workers, yet is often recognized for her diminutive ballpoint pen and ink drawings. Long considered a significant contributor to the construction of Chicana feminist iconography, Barbara has also worked to sanctify the familiar and lived spiritualities found in the Chicana/o community, so foundational to the genre."]


Monday, April 16, 2012

Sharing our work today!

Honoring the Life & Work of Samuel R. Delany
The Fifth Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium
A One-Day Conference at the University of Maryland
April 20, 2012, College Park
Free and open to the public

Complete program and registration form available here:

Please join us for what promises to be a lively spring festival of scholarly exchange in an interdiscipline that continues to challenge and transform the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the world in which we live.

REGISTER FOR THE SYMPOSIUM: Registration is FREE and OPEN to the public. To register, please complete the online registration form, which is available here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGp6U3Y1UU9RN01fY1VfS0JNQnNYUWc6MQ

Or, you may also send an email to lgbts-dcqueers@umd.edu with the following information: your name, department/title (if any), institutional/organizational affiliation (if any), and email address. Also, please let us know if you will be joining us for the buffet lunch and/or the closing reception.

We ask that attendees preregister so that we can plan food accordingly. However, on-site registrations will also be accepted.

Sharing Projects for Assignment Three, Poster Session-Style Tuesday 17 April. That means for the first half of class time, 50% of class members will create small displays of their work all around our room, and the other half will walk around among these displays, talking to their presenters about their work individually and in little groups, interacting with them all at the same time. Katie and your TAs will also wander around, learning about your work and offering insights. Who displays and who walks around will switch in the second half of class time. 

You cannot get full credit for this assignment until after you present your work in this poster session-style event. In other words, just a project object does not in itself complete the assignment, displaying yours and interacting with others is similarly important.

Bring with you: • any extension cords you might need to use your laptop in ANY PART OF THE ROOM; • masking tape to tape posters onto walls; and any other pieces of the station you are going to set up with your team members. Think ahead about what you will need and imagine with your team how you will create your own station in our classroom. Remember you have to be able to do it in any part of the room!! If anything is electronic remember it will be displayed only on any laptop you bring with you. Don’t expect to use the projector or computer in the room. Everyone will be showing off stuff all at once.

Be on time! As you come into our classroom on Tuesday 17 April you will • sign in, as a member of your team or partnership. Each team or partnership will • receive ONE token, with either 1 or 2 marked on it. We will flip a coin to decide whether the 1s or the 2s go first.

Half the teams or partnerships will then have five minutes to set up their small displays of their work all around our room. Then for half an hour everyone else will walk around among these displays, talking to their presenters about their work individually and in little groups, interacting with them all at the same time. Katie and your TAs will also wander around, learning about your work and offering insights.

Then the other half of the teams will set up in five minutes and we switch who displays and who walks around in the next half hour of class time.

You cannot get full credit for this assignment until after you present your work in this poster session-style event. In other words, just a project object does not in itself complete the assignment, displaying yours and interacting with others is similarly important. 

If an emergency or illness prevents your participation, to get full credit you will have to find two other WHOLE teams or partnerships 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. It will be your responsibility to locate these other students to help you out, from the goodness of their hearts and with the supportive understanding that we all need help sometimes. It is a lot easier not to miss the presentation day. SO DO NOT MAKE OTHER PLANS ON THIS DAY: BUILD IT CAREFULLY INTO YOUR SCHEDULE!

Digital photos: you can take them on the day and send them afterwards, or you can take them before the day and bring print outs of them with you to turn in to your TA. Any print outs should have the first and last names of all team or partnership members on them.

Logbook 3: be sure to bring your own individual logbook with you to turn in at the end of class to your TA, updated to include everything you are turning in for Ass. 3. Make sure it has your name on it!

Group’s Process Report: remember this is one of the places where you show how you all are analyzing what your project does with the tools of intersectionality. You are demonstrating in this report what you know about intersectionality, how it works in analysis, and how you used it in your project. Turn it in at the end of class to your TA. Make sure it has the first and last names of everyone in your partnership or team on it.

After class: copies of digital photos, process reports, and logbooks go into your dropbox folders. Label files <YRLASTNAME> 250 section # <WHATITIS> to make things easier for everyone! [for example: King 250 #02 Team Process Report]  

Monday, April 9, 2012

How to do well in Assignment 3? DO THE READING!

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO FOR ASSIGNMENT 3? THE READING! Demonstrating how course materials relate to intersectionality is number one, along with having explored this course website's links about intersectionality from the time just before and since Spring Break. Having done that makes working out the connections with art activisms clearer. Play with curations to share with us and enjoy what we have learned in fun ways. How you talk about process and why it matters is one way you demonstrate your reading and analysis, and so is your project itself. You are working in partnerships and teams, so share your understandings, pool your knowledge, collaborate with ideas, and even have some fun!

Tuesday, 10 April – Altar, Alter – Self, Other
• Look at artists in Perez, Ch 3. Pick the artwork that speaks to you most. Learn about it and tell us.
• Read Perez, Conclusion 

Self and Other, Otherings of various kinds are political and power transactions with implications for social justice. Perez is interested in how people survive oppression through art and spirit, creating culture and meaning, and “politicizing spirituality.” What are the implications for intersectionality? What feminisms are vibrant here?

Connected Learning Exercise: "The point is interaction, collaboration, and thinking about how we think, alone and in groups, and in how we learn---by rote, by hearing, or by processing, applying, explaining, defending, and mastering." (Davidson 2012)

1) Write down three things that you notice once you start paying attention to intersectionality. (How have you come to understand it?)

2) Turn to the person on your right, and together look over the six things you have listed together now. Share why you picked these, and decide together on what the single most important thing is. 
(Davidson points out that "all studies of learning show these are the minutes where the real learning happens, where you adapt what you have heard or read to your own lives, where you make it all memorable, where you understand it in new and individual and also collective ways, and you even learn from how each other learns and values what you have learned." --I've modified her words slightly.)

3) At least five groups volunteer to explain their choice of the one best answer. Some general discussion comparing those answers to what other partners came up with. Should we all come up with one best answer? With three best answers? How does that work? What do you notice about reflecting on this alone and figuring it out with others both? 
(Davidson notices "how we have to learn and respect collaboration and connection, and make the most of how we can learn from and teach one another.")

4) What does this whole process itself have to do with intersectionality as you understand it? How will doing this help you write about process for that part of Assignment 3?


The College of Arts and Humanities presents Angela Davis in Conversation for the 2011-2012 Dean's Lecture Series. A Conversation with Angela Davis April 18th, 2012, 7:00 PM, Colony Ballroom, Adele H. Stamp Student Union. Followed by audience Q&A.
• Angela Davis' talk will be streamed LIVE at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18th. You will need the free Silverlight plug-in to watch the stream here: http://www.arhu.umd.edu/events/deans-lecture-series-conversation-angela-davis 

"For over four decades, philosopher and writer Angela Davis has been one of most influential, controversial, and fearless activists and public intellectuals in the United States. She has been hailed as 'a courageous voice of conscience on matters of race, class, and gender in America.' Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Professor Davis is a leading advocate for prison reform and abolition and the founder of 'Critical Resistance,' a grassroots organization working to abolish what she has popularized as 'the prison-industrial complex.' Currently Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Professor Davis has taught and lectured internationally on feminism, African-American studies, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons." (from the ARHU website)

Perez 2007: 305-6: "The art of Chicana women is among the most vibrant today, and the most threatened by lack of funding, minimal acquisition, and limited exhibition and publication. Few of the more than forty women whose work is presented here are able to fully support themselves through the // sales of their artwork or writing alone, or by supplementing these sales with grants and artist's residencies. In spite of the overwhelming number of M.F.A.'s among their ranks and tenured positions in art, Chicana/o studies, and ethnic studies departments, the sobering fact is that very few of the artists studies here are employed in steady or even temporary higher education settings because of corporate-modeled university downsizing and its unwitting collusion with the cultural conservatism and neglect of many art history and art practice departments."

Perez 2007: 91: "...the altar has been a site for the socially and culturally 'alter,' or other, to express, preserve, and transmit cultural and gender-based religious and political differences." 92: "That altar-installation and related art forms have inspired Chicana artists can be more precisely connected to the search for, and expression of, alternative spiritualities and alternative art practices, particularly those that are visionary with respect to social justice and transformation."

[above at Smithsonian America Art site]: "Image of 'An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio' by Amalia Mesa-Bains. 1984 Amalia Mesa-Bains Born: Santa Clara, California 1943 mixed media installation including plywood, mirrors, fabric, framed items and decorative elements 96 x 72 x 48 in. (243.8 x 182.9 x 121.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program © 1991, Amalia Mesa-Bains 1998.161 Not currently on view." Who is Dolores del Rio and why would Mesa-Bains want to create an altar for her?


Friday, March 30, 2012

Making Worlds: how to see and experience realities

Tuesday, 3 April – Whose Worlds? Intersectionality and multiple identities
• Read Reed Ch 5-6: American Indian Movement & Film; Global Rock Activisms 
• Look at artists in Perez, Ch 4: Tierra, Land. Pick the artwork that speaks to you most. Learn about it and tell us. 

Art can speak powerfully about the worlds we live in, the differences among worlds created by uneven power and social structures, the forms of oppression and privilege that identities entail, and the histories in which some groups thrive at the expense of others.

How does intersectionality help us understand these complexities? How do we live as individuals and as groups at the intersections?

 How can we literally know more about realities and worlds?  

How does the experience we have embarked upon, culminating in Assignment Three, help us to figure this out, experiment and experience, reflect on how we work on all this, how we create processes of inclusion, solidarity, using intersectionality?  

• First twenty minutes today to make sure everyone has a partner or team. IF YOU HAVE NOT YET BECOME A MEMBER OF A PARTNERSHIP OR TEAM, CONTACT YOUR TA IMMEDIATELY! Your ability to get any credit for assignment three depends on your taking responsibility for this. If you have a class buddy who hasn't done this yet, please make sure they hear about this. An email reminder about this has been sent out on course mail too!

• Identity cards, and art activisms and curations lists handed out today too, along with copy of assignment three. [all but cards are available for download with links too.]


Celia Herrera Rodríguez of NEW FIRE from emiloid encina on Vimeo.

Vimeo: "Celia Herrera Rodríguez is the Costume and Set Designer of NEW FIRE - the latest production by playwright Cherríe Moraga. Please support Xican@ Indigenous Art and our cast of Master Indigenous Artists by donating or spreading the word on our Kickstarter campaign: kickstarter.com/projects/419411661/new-fire-to-put-things-right-again "

Kickstarter: "A World Premiere Play
NEW FIRE – To Put Things Right Again
Written and Directed by Cherríe Moraga
Designed by Celia Herrera Rodríguez

"After a fifteen-year hiatus, Cherríe Moraga returns to Brava Theater Center to help celebrate its 25th anniversary with her fourth Brava World Premiere production, NEW FIRE – To Put Things Right Again. Co-produced by the new-to-the Bay Area, cihuatl productions, NEW FIRE follows the sacred geography of Indigenous American ancestors to tell a post-modern story of rupture and homecoming. Of her return to Brava, Playwright, Cherríe Moraga, states: “It’s about coming home, returning to the same place, but as a different person, a different artist. The world has changed so dramatically in fifteen years, and I, along with it. I am older, yes… and the work, more mature as well. I have, with my collaborators, discovered the poetry of movement, of visuals, the music of silence, even as I continue to write with words. It’s a beautiful thing to return to Brava -- this woman’s theater -- changed in this way, to celebrate a homecoming with a play that requires return for each of us – man, woman, elder and the young.”

Alma Lopez. 1997. California Fashion Slaves
Perez 2007: 146: "The ideas of knowing your place and having a place are tied together and suggest that the personal sense of being at home, whether in society or in your body, whether it is a female, a queer, an immigrant, or a negatively racialized minority body, or a combination of these, is shaped by our sense of belonging socially. This sense of belonging is not untied from our historical relationship to the places in which we dwell."


Hooks 1984. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. South End Press.

Mexican segregation in Texas
Her story here about the small Kentucky town is a now classic statement of what feminists sometimes call "standpoint theory." Here she makes it clear that segregation meant that black people moved across the railroad tracks, and -- correctly -- saw the town on both sides. The town was literally larger to them than it was to the white people who stayed on their side of the railroad tracks, whose reality was thus more narrow and circumscribed. This violates any assumptions that "privilege" or having more or being advantaged means that you "know more" -- usually understood as having been better educated or schooled. But this work on standpoint claims that such education doesn't account for the knowledges about living in the world that are greater among oppressed people: what is sometimes called "subjugated knowledge."

This does not mean, however, that having privilege means having no way to know what subjugated people know. Or that oppressed people are even always aware of what it is that they know in these ways. Standpoint theory says that all of us need to raise our consciousness, to learn more about how to know what we know as oppressed people, and how to acquire knowledge about what we don't know as privileged ones.

This happens in many ways that require our struggles together: in the work of political solidarity, such as in coalition politics, in the kinds of consciousness-raising done in CR groups, in the kinds of multi-issue broad base mass movement work hooks calls feminist movement, in multicultural education where we learn about the histories of social movements and struggles for social justice, in work on intersectionalities: personal, collective, policy and research oriented, legal, activist, even philosophical or psychological. Different feminisms tend to consider some of these more important than others, often with an eye to the identities, movements, social justice issues they find most urgent.

Reed 2005, 152: "One of the most profound aspects of collective, social movement action, at least from my experience, is the feeling political theorist Hannah Arendt referred to as 'public happiness,' the sense of exhilaration that comes when one throws one's whole being into a principled cause. This feeling is seldom captured in film, with its bias toward individualized storytelling. But a sense of community, so much a part of native nations as well as social movement cultures, is conveyed well in the film [Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee]. It is summed up by Mary's remark that she never felt more 'free' thatn when inside the Wounded Knee camp. That one can indeed feel most 'free' when in jail for civil disobedience or when surrounded by the trigger-happy federal marshals and the FBI agents is a paradox of social activism rarely portrayed in the mass media.... the film's narrative moves toward collective power and communal responsibility." [American Indian / Native American Activism]

He/Man language: generic masculine: unmarked & marked categories: 
Martyna 1980, 489: "Empirical explorations of how we comprehend the generic masculine also indicate its sex exclusiveness. My studies of pronoun usage show striking sex differences in both the use and understanding of the generic masculine. Females use 'he' less often than do males, and turn more frequently to alternatives such as 'he or she' and 'they.' Males have an easier time imagining themselves as members of the category referenced by generic 'he.' Seven times as many males as females say they see themselves in response to sex-neutral sentences referring to a 'person', or 'human being.' In general, males appear to be using and understanding 'he' in its specific more often than in its generic sense. Females both avoid the use of 'he' and respond to its use with a more generic than specific interpretation."

(488): "Cognitive confusion is another consequence of the generic masculine, one particularly relevant for the academic disciplines. Joan Huber, for example, has characterized the use of 'he' and 'man' as 'an exercise in doublethink that muddles sociological discourse.' She cites the recent sociology text which proclaims: 'The more education an individual attains, the better his occupation is likely to be, and the more money he is likely to earn.' The statement is accurate only if the individual is male."

"Man can do several things which the animal cannot do....Eventually, his vital interests are not only life, food, access to females, etc., but also values, symbols, institutions." [Miller, Swift 1980: 12] 

[See also Wikipedia: Gender Neutrality in English ; and Markedness ]

unmarked categories: am I included? 
gender: man/(wo)man -- (cis)gendered/(trans)gendered
race: white/people of color
sex: sexuality/(homo)sexuality
ability: able/(dis)abled
class: middle class/working class 
age: young adult/children and the old
religion: Xtian/("heathen") range of religions and non-religions, from Jews and Muslims to atheists and nontheists and more
language in US: English (monolingual)/range of languages in multiple knowledges, from Spanish to Spanglish to bilingual to multi-lingual -- often coded for immigration status and race
nationality: citizen/non-citizens of many sorts, especially immigrants of various kinds

Notice how many people fall through the gaps between these? Mixed race people, bisexual people. Intersectionality tries especially to deal with that. Or how many change from one place to another? one time to another? who counts as "white" is very changeable in this way.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dare to Come Closer to Feminism....


SPRING BREAK – NO CLASS but there is reading!
• During the break read Moore and Prain’s yarn bombing book
• Check out the book website: http://yarnbombing.com/
• Look at Moore’s blog at: http://www.yarnageddon.com/
• Check out Prain’s tweets as: LeannePrain  
• You’ll also be reading hook’s very small book, Intro & Ch 1-8

Tuesday, 27 March – Working Out Visions
• Note hooks' description on the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_hooks 
• You can see her on video with this search: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=vid&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1052&bih=533&q=bell+hooks&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=  

What do you notice when we read about yarn bombing and hooks’ book together? How do each of these work out visions of social justice? How do they think about how to include “everybody”? Which social groups are interconnected through these projects? How do they help us understand identities and power and action?

"That's silly!" some people might say. "silly [from Online Etymology Dictionary: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=silly] O.E. gesælig "happy" (related to sæl "happiness"), from W.Gmc. *sæligas (cf. O.N. sæll "happy," Goth. sels "good, kindhearted," O.S. salig, M.Du. salich, O.H.G. salig, Ger. selig "blessed, happy, blissful"), from PIE root *sel- "happy" (cf. L. solari "to comfort"). • The word's considerable sense development moved from "blessed" to "pious," to "innocent" (c.1200), to "harmless," to "pitiable" (late 13c.), to "weak" (c.1300), to "feeble in mind, lacking in reason, foolish" (1570s). Further tendency toward "stunned, dazed as by a blow" (1886) in knocked silly, etc. Silly season in journalism slang is from 1861 (August and September, when newspapers compensate for a lack of hard news by filling up with trivial stories). Silly Putty trademark claims use from July 1949." 

click pic to go to Santos' website

• Male lawmakers to receive knit uteruses in the mail:

"Susan Santos is a 55-year-old Colorado blogger and housewife, but these days, she’s doubling as a uterus-knitting machine. Yes, you read that right. The mom and knitting fanatic is an organizer of a campaign called the “Government Free VJJ Project.” The goal of the initiative: to knit or crochet a vagina or uterus and send it to every male lawmaker in Congress." [pattern here


YouTube: Uploaded by jbadalament on Mar 6, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5ThEoA0ESA
"This is a clip taken from my film Gender Traps. I filmed bell hooks in conversation with Terry Real, in front of a studio audience at PS 122 performance space in NY."

complexities of identity: the part that makes us cringe and say "I don't want to be labeled!" is what Patricia Hill Collins calls a • "controlling image." But the part that names our communities of nurture, those groups of people that truly care for us and make our lives possible, those are pieces of what in feminism we sometimes call • identity politics. hooks makes us think carefully and caringly about how just talking a lot can be perceived as a stereotype, can be a strategy of empowerment or a half-understood thing one does that is not actually empowering. What is its liberatory version? How do we get from a controlling LABEL to an IDENTITY of power and meaning? Where are we coming from and how does that involve recognizing others?

hooks 2000, viii: "...if they dare to come closer to feminism they will see it is not how they have imagined it."

Remember all that stuff on "process" at the heart of Ass. #2? And how difficult it was somehow to take it seriously, to actually talk about it and analyze it in your groups, how in fact you needed to return to it, to redo it and think more about it all? It seems more important to put the product at the center of your attention, that thing you connect to your grade most, even when the directions say something quite different. Wonder why? Wonder what that is all about? When does it seem smart to make a very important END point justify a means to get there? Who has got the time to do all that process stuff anyway?  (and isn't it smarter to get the biggest grade you can for the least amount of work? or does that sort of being smart just outsmart the whole process of learning itself?)

What's the big deal? Well, let's use thinking and rethinking about process to wonder about this: how we work together in groups matters, how power figures in all that matters too. How can we tell what effects political process has on our visions and understandings of feminism, or, maybe better, feminisms in the plural? 

It's all about THE ACTUAL WORK IT TAKES to make feminism. And to make what hooks calls "political solidarity." To make that vision of including everyone REAL. Can it be done? What does it take? What do we have to know to even begin the processes involved? If justice is urgent, do we have the time and resources to take care of the process too?

hooks 2000: 17: "When contemporary feminist movement first began we had a vision of sisterhood with no concrete understanding of the actual work we would need to do to make political solidarity a reality. Through experience and hard work, and yes, by learning from our failures and mistakes, we now have in place a body of theory and shared practice that can teach new converts to feminist politics what must be done to create, sustain, and protect our solidarity." 

Theories and Practices to create, sustain, and protect our solidarity. Some of these are standpoint theory, intersectionality, differential consciousness. Each has important insights and tools to offer; each can be used a bit differently by feminists, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes the term "intersectionality" is used to include ALL the possibilities of understanding how to practice solidarity and coalition politics and understand simultaneous oppressions.

Your values and perhaps goals and visions. They might be, "inner peace," "independence," "connection with family," "academic achievement," "connection with others," "work life stability." What are yours? Write down six that matter to you most at this moment. 

==================> if each of these were a path, where are you now on that path? mark where you are now, where you would like to be. 

Name some controlling images that affect your life, those "labels" you are always trying to get out from under. And/or name some kinds of groups or communities that support you. Or maybe it is a mixture, sometimes they support you, sometimes you are not sure, but you know you are included in these. Sometimes you like that, perhaps others times you are not sure. 

INTERSECTIONALITY names "the complex mix of identities that influence the way an individual participates at all, or any, level of society. They include [at least] the following: age, ability, economic status, culture, race, family, social status, religion" -- gender, sexuality, language, nationality. Can you name others that matter to you, or that somehow don't seem quite included in this list from your perspective and life experiences? Why might it be hard to name every such identity? How do we feel out which ones are salient, that is to say, matter most at any time, for a particular person, in a certain situation, for a particular historical moment?


Sunday, March 11, 2012

What is feminism? Event, flyer and process

section presentations -- these take place in the lecture part of the course -- Be sure you are there -- it's part of the assignment!   NO POWERPOINTS OR SLIDE SHOWS! bring your flyer to share around. YOUR GRP HAS ONLY 7 MINS!

Everyone must say something, so as soon as you get to class, get together with your group and plan what each person will say. Each person has about one minute, so be detailed but brief! Try to say something new, and not just repeat what others have said: something special!  

HOORAY! WE GET TO SEE THE FRUITS OF YOUR HARD WORK AND THOUGHTFUL CONSIDERATION OF PROCESS! feminism in its collective aspects and processes is the heart of this assignment.

  • First everyone in turn will introduce themselves to the whole class. Tell us both your first and last name, slowly and clearly. 
  • Someone will read the group's definition of feminism.
  • Someone will describe the event the group came up with. 
  • Someone will describe the flyer and its design.
  • Someone will characterize who the flyer and event is directed to, their audiences and distribution.
  • One or more people will describe some relationships between the definition and the event. 
  • One or more people will talk about the group process, esp. how work was divided and how disputes were resolved.
  • One or more people will discuss how the process of the assignment helps us consider what is feminism.

one group's presentation link: sexist images
one group's presentation flyer website style : stop the violence