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Over the past few weeks I have been cross-referencing the syllabi and have some suggestions and questions for CFS...

*Week 4/16/13 of the graduate course is discussing the welfare state for older adults--i.e. welfare identity--> maybe in CFS they could read some Theda Skocpol to discuss the gendered welfare state--pretty feministy! ha!  It could be cool if they read something by Anaya Roy to discuss microfinance, we talked about it in my class with Professor Fairbanks this semester.  We didn't get to dive into the gendered politics of this, but it seems to operate in contrast to Dean Spade ideology that is anti-capitalism.  Even though Roy is trying to provide an alternative to neo-liberal capitalism, it's reliance of wealth, ownership, and consumership--worthiness of who deserves to be supported by microfinance is all very much embedded in identity politics.

*Instead of the Gender Workbook... I am having a hard time locating a book that is focused more on the big picture.. pieces like "Master's Tool" and "Feminism" Political Praxis" seem too tangible to soon at this point... over the summer I plan on returning to some of my political theory books about identity politics.  Maybe Behdad or Spade might be cool here?  I'm not sure...

*What is going to happen during the section on feminist disability studies for your class?  For crip time are you going to do the same exercise?  We talked about Bryn Mawr so much at this point in our class and the relationship between time and identity in reference to BMC...  would there be a way to talk about caregiving/wellness/balance/ and time--at Bryn Mawr it seems that both (self)-caregiving and time are not very compatible in our rigorous academic environment?  What institutions do this?  Why does this happen?

*The end of all of your syllabi are synced really well--especially the graduate school course and yours.


*In the 4/2/13 week of the graduate school course focuses on diversity and the experiences of adults and older adults... in the syllabus there was a reading on medicine and stigma...

Since I think we did talk about this to some compacity in CFS last fall in the reference to the normative "construction" of gender.. pretty much all the time like it was always relevant since we constantly debated worthiness of bodies--stigma...

I think it could be cool if we talked about this in terms of personal experience--What is the relationship between identity and medicine--specifically how does one's identity impact the ways in which they are able to interact with Bryn Mawr's "healthcare system"--i.e. Health Center:  Medicinal and Counseling and the Gym

-I think that this would be a site of community for many people possibly?  I have heard many people complain about stigmatized treatment at the healthcare because of their class, race, gender--I think it might be interesting and allow them to relate to the 360's general curriculum


I think that is all I have for now... maybe I should post this so I can reference/add/remove from the list--I just didn't know if it was private?

Right now this is a rough breakdown of each lesson plan and some ideas with the readings:



I am not sure if this would work well more in the beginning or end of the class--it seems that it could go somewhere around feminism unbound in your class... I think that this is the same time that there is discussion about the US welfare state in the Social Work class.  Essentially through this exercise I want to be able to bring the meta to the tangible--commit some form of resistance/activism... through a medium other than a typical essay. 

Rationale:  I think that often times it is very easy for us to place and remain passive within the "ivory tower" of academia, I was very inspired by Anne's notes from the Dean Spade's lecture at the college as his calls to active disobedience and usage of normative/linear paths for justice.  After having conversations with several students and reading the notes, it seemed as if people were very motivated to look at Bryn Mawr and use tactics of coalition building to create change within our undergraduate population.  Given that many of the readings for Criticial Feminist Studies are rather theoretical, I want help students facilitate different ways to express their identity and the politics surrounding it.  I want this to be accessible, sustainable, and interactive--MOST OF ALL FUN!!  I have been very inspired this year by fellow black feminists on twitter, I think that this year specifically more activist of marginalized identities have been able to use this as a medium to discuss and create discourse both within and outside of their actual communities.  In recent news the notion of #hashtagactivism has been very controversial, many doubting that there is no actual change happening--this is all talk.  However I do believe that this dialogue has the power to create change, through twitter specifically there is active listening and speaking amongst a broad group of people--that is inevitably sustained by building connections and relationships with others.  For this exercise I want students to use "non-linear" mediums to express their identity, with the intent to commit an act of resistance/civil disobedience/activism.  I also want this to be sustained--however this does not mean that the content of their medium cannot evolve/change/shift in direction. I want them to ACTUALLY express these theoretical ideas of identity and political activism, through their our presence/identity. 

Goal for this lesson:  Explore different mediums to commit an act of resistance or activism deriving from student's own self-affirmed intersectional identity. These mediums do not have to be created for this project specifically, I would actually prefer for students to use an already established medium/platform.


Ideas for mediums:

-Curated playlist/imagery sets


-Twitter: #hashtagactivism

-Any other social media sites

*Please bring up any issues with accessibility!!!!

 Readings/Additional Materials:

**I was really interested in Dean Spade's notes... I have a couple of questions that I would like to elaborate on but I think that the overall message of consciousness and activism through tangible field work empowering.  I felt that his discussion on American identity a bit problematic and maybe something to be discussed in class--possibly through one of his texts?  It was the part when he said that when settlers embraces he American identity they are essentially embrace colonialism...  I guess I am taking issue with the term "settler"--enslaved Africans became forced settlers building and acting as the economic foundation for the United States.  I am a Black-American, this is the identity I embrace because I have been displaced by colonialism--I have no other "home" "nationality" than American, but I don't think I can be identified as a settler?

I'm not sure... what do you think?  Does he have a text/article when he specifically talks about this? 

**Suey Park interview:

**Master's Tools?  Audre Lourde

Classroom Breakdown:

10mins:  List all of the mediums that you think you express/define your identity--whether you think it is fragmented/distorted or holistiC 

15mins:  Break up into groups and share lists

Discussion Questions: 

*Which medium do you think expresses you identity in the most "accurate" way?  Why?  Did you create it... meaning was it not required of you in some capacity?

**Big Group:  Discuss the readings and conversations in groups**

 *Is distortion inevitable?  Why is it attached with such a negative stigma?  Why are expected express ourselves in the same way, if we do this through numerous mediums--often simultaneously.

Lesson Plan 2:

Rationale:  Although the topic of affinity groups are often controversial--I believe that this is due to a lack of knowledge of what purpose they serve and the assumptions about inclusivity and exclusivity in relation to membership.  Given the amount of hostile racial discourse in relation to affinity groups and allocation of resources that has resulted in language thematically embedded in "us versus the other" rhetoric, I thought it would be interesting for students to interact across different respective identities as groups tend to remain homogenous--racially.  Although I think that Bryn Mawr as an institution and individual students are believers, participants, and advocates in calls for allyship across different identities, I think that this term is often left undefined and unable to build/sustain actual community and understanding.  In this assignment I am asking for students to attend a group meeting (preferably some sort of racial affinity) that they do not self-identify with.  During the meeting I would encourage students to LISTEN, do not attempt to assimilate these voices.  This does not mean I do not want students to participate in discussion, however I would remind you to be conscious of your tone and word choice--be aware that these spaces operate as many students only "safe space".  I know for myself Sisterhood is a place where I can speak unfiltered--without having to explain, defend, or substantiate feelings/opinions about race, specifically my identity as a Black-American woman.  I believe that this activity will expose students to a different identity, illustrating the heterogeneous narrative and nature of marginalized affinity groups/identities.  After the meeting, I would encourage students write notes immediately after in order to have fresh and accurate notes (data)--it is also important that they ask to participate and inform members of the group of the assignment.  Please write down your notes, then write a brief reflection on your experience. 


***I also think that this would be a good time to discuss the adaptive unconsciousness reading--as I think that Ann Berlak's narrative would be good here.  And I also think that this relates to "ethical listening"--maybe we can tie it in to their assignment or it can be an extension of it?  Might be cool to have people of different affinities in classroom pair up and do this with one another?

Goals:  Simulating a short observing-participant exercise, by attending a affinity group meeting that is different than their own.  I hope this that will allow for students to be pushed outside of their comfort zone.  Although many of identify with a group that would be considered to be marginalized, it is also important that we recognize different of lived experience and narrative.  We will also discuss theoretical terms and explore academic works (listed below).  I hope that this exercise will also help us define community--is Bryn Mawr a community?  If not, can a community be fragmented--fractured?  Is community-sameness-homogeny against radical feminism--is difference politics compatible with community and feminism?

Reading:  "Cosmopolitan Canopies" Elijah Anderson,"Politics of Difference": Iris Marion Young, an excerpt from Ann Berlak



Rationale:  Wendy Brown's essay on "feminism: unbound" was thought-provoking, I felt as if it rested on an informal but also understood definition of feminism that was a bit provincial.  Although feminism has been a hot topic for the past few years, there has also been rise of intersectional feminism.  This has manifested in an emergence of feminists that have been historically, still VERY currently marginalized.  However given that these people remain outside the mainstream bounds of feminism, it is interesting that their mediums have been "non-traditional".  This is a shift from the academic "stamp" that continues to represent white socio-economically privileged cis-gendered women, these acts of claiming "feminism" through speech, music, and general media content have been contested and challenged. 

As a member of the BEYHIVE, I have been inspired by her album and self-claimed feminist identity.  Beyoncé is more than just the QUEEN *bow down* of music, she was able to cultivate and essentially brand her own feminist ideology and mantra into the pop culture.  Of course there has been much debate on whether she is a feminist or not, but her ability simultaneously use multiple mediums of expression to declare herself as a feminist is feminist within itself.  Since there is no real definition of feminism, I believe that if we are able to recognize it's fluid nature this would allow for more inclusivity, intersectionality, and praxis within feminist discourse.  In this assignment I would like for students to address the topic of "FEMINISM: UNBOUND" though a media project.  THIS IS VERY FLEXIBLE.  What is feminism: unbound--does it exist?  if so for who?  Where--Bryn Mawr?

Reading:  maybe my mantrafesto?  **I want them to watch videos--I will discuss in person, maybe they can share some of their fave visual media displays of feminism on serendip for inspiration?

***I don't expect students to do all of these, almost just pick one they like, let them know when it will be due--I want it to go with the course material...


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