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Flora's picture

still thinking

I am so incredibly thrilled that Susan Stryker is going to visit our class tomorrow! Her essay, "My words to Victor Frankenstein", is the most engaging piece I've read all semester. I hugely admire her writing style because of its integration of the personal with hugely sharp academic and political rhetoric. I'm not trying to ingratiate myself. This is true. Ask my friends sitting near me when I read the article what my reaction was and they will confirm my awe.

All that being said, here are some questions I'm thinking about for our discussion tomorrow...

1. Earlier in this course we discussed Linda Kaufman's essay, “The Long Good-bye: Against Personal Testimony, or an Infant Grifter Grows Up.” One of the most hotly contested parts of the piece was the following quote: "Too often [personal testimony] reinforces the blind belief that we all deserve to be happy. My happiness, frankly, is not very important in the grand scheme of things. I never thought feminism was about happiness. I thought it was about justice" (274). You close your essay with the "monstrous benediction" "...May your rage inform your actions, and your actions transform you as you struggle to transform your world" (254). How do you see happiness interesecting with this powerful rage and ensuing transformation of a world?

2. In the interview we read for class, you say that "...I want to educate and motivate people on trans issues and activist causes, and I felt like I could be a more effective rabble-rouser as a filmmaker than a writer." Do you still think this is true? This statement seems to highlight a possible tension between your activism and your academic work. Do you find tension between your academic work, personal life, artistic work and activism? How do you manage it?

3. Many of us students in this class have expressed our fears and insecurities about writing or speaking about personal views or experiences in a public forum. Do you have any advice for young scholars who are struggling to find confidence in the merit, relevance and/or potential of our work?


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