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Towards Day 23 (T, 11/25): Planning the Future

Anne Dalke's picture

I. Several things/announcements
* Welcome back to this circle!

* My experiences doing radical feminist work in a corporatized setting in Puerto Rico:
lot of time tracking Chandra Mohanty (and bell hooks, and Angela Davis, and, and...)
very much the experience Mohanty wrote about re: living/working in the 1/3 world,
while making political choices that placed me “alongside the 2/3 World"

* Hummingbird's class notes re: your discussion of Persepolis--
how would you feel about their going up as a private posting on Serendip?

* a few moments to reflect on our shared experiences @ the Mutter...?

* Kristin, Sara and I want to meet with each of you the week after classes end,
to review your experience in the 360 overall. I am also free to meet  w/ you about
the last paper for this class: you have a proposal for that due this coming Monday, 12/1,
and the paper itself the following Sunday, 12/7.

I'm expecting a paper about on some dimension of international or global feminism;
I'm hoping you'll use a theorist like Mohanty or Nnaemeka to do a close reading
of Americanah or Persepolis--but am, as always, open to other possibilities.
Before proposing the paper, go back and read my response to your first one,
written about intersectionality in late September--to see where/how
I was nudging your writing @ that point.

* Of course I also read your second web-event,
your reports on your listening conversations,
with great interest; it’s clear that some very good things happened in these engagements;
I'm very glad you hosted them.

It also seemed inappropriate for me to respond to them on-line;
I really don’t know what I might say that would be helpful or useful;
I certainly can’t evaluate the quality of the listening (which each of you testified to),
and it seems inappropriate to try and draw out larger conclusions--
though I do have some very concrete questions
(such as why bridgetmartha agreed to a a time she couldn’t make;
although you all described learning something important from her leaving and returning,
it is still a problem that she was not there to participate in the exercise).

I also noted that all the conversations were fairly insular/didn't go far outside our circle.
Have been thinking about the insularity of this cluster...
Nkechi's group made your posting private; can I share it with Monsoon and Benaifer?
(They are of course quite eager to hear what you all were able to do with their method...)

II. Three very specific tasks for today--and I'm going to keep us on task!

1) reviewing instructions for portfolio and checklist--
what questions do you have about this process?
[confusions re: post, webby posts, collaborative ones...
also: tagging your posts re: 3 classes, and as web events;
see /oneworld/eportfolio/Hummingbird
for how this will display...]

2) planning for last two weeks of class discussion: what to read?
excerpted from your p
osts #11:
: I'm a fan of theory, but…find it easy to get lost…I would feel much better working on my web event if we spent another class on both of Mohanty and Nnaemeka (egofeminism)
sunshine: agree with Sula that it would be very helpful to have some more theoretical framework to work off of… would be really interesting to read [Marilyn Waring’s] Counting for Nothing!
abradycole: Like smalina and sunshine, I'd like to read some theoretical texts…having Anne explain some…and then transition into conversation. 
khinchey: I agree…am aiming to be more objective with this paper and theoretical framework is something I have been struggling with. I would also maybe like to use one of the last classes to decompress together….
rosea: I agree with all that has been expressed…I definitely think that Waring's work will help us as we move closer to our last web event. bridget: I also would like a stronger theoretical framework, and Signs would offer a variety of opportunities to look at intersectional feminism…Evolution's Rainbow also looks quite interesting… in a different direction than our previous discussions.
nbarker: Like many of my peers…I would be interested in getting more of a grounding in feminist theory… reading some of bell hooks' work would be lovely, and fascinating!...In addition, I would love to discuss the Nnameka article further…
rb.richx: I would find it more helpful to move forward rather than cover former texts… I really enjoy having a breadth of ideas… a bit more theory…Definitely interested in…“Bringing Together Feminist Theory and Practice,” SignsEvolution's RainbowEdgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics…I've already read a ton of bell hooks and I could really take or leave Judith Butler
ndifrank: I would really be interested in reading/ discussing the emperor's new clothes as well as Marilyn Waring's piece… I wouldnt want to read any really dense pieces because I feel that in this point in the semester it would bog us down.

1: hooks: (and 1 “no”)
1: Williams (“emperor’s new clothes”)
1: Mohanty (“under western eyes”)
1: Brown (“feminism unbound”)
2: Roughgarden (biological diversity)
2: Nnaemeka (negofeminism)
2: Signs (with one vote for 1996 economics essay,
“Bringing Together Feminist Theory and Practice”)
3: Waring (feminist economics)

2 votes for “theory” but no specifics (khinchey, abradycole), and
0 votes from Hummingbird, Name and Rebeccamec

(depending on where those votes land) it looks like this plan makes sense:

T, Dec. 2:  Obioma Nnaemeka. Nego-feminism: Theorising, Practicing, and Pruning Africa's way. Signs 29, 2 (Winter 2004): 357-385.

Th, Dec. 4: Heidi Hartmann, Ellen Bravo, Charlotte Bunch, Nancy Harsock, Roberta Spalter-Roth, Linda Williams and Maria Blanco, “Bringing Together Feminist Theory and Practice,” Signs 21, 4 (1996): 917-951.

T, Dec. 9: Marilyn Waring. "Preface by Gloria Steinem," "Introduction to the Second Edition," "If Counting was the Limit of Intelligence,""Epilogue." Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth. Second Edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. xi-li, 224-241, 256-264. If you'd prefer to access Waring's work in video form, watch Who's Counting?

Th, Dec. 11: work on final project and decompressing? (or could read selections from Roughgarden’s book, Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People)

3) planning our final on-campus “intersectional” event:
what will it be?
What have we learned that would be most useful to share with others on campus?
How best to showcase and share our work? What form should this sharing take?
I put up links to what my earlier 360s have done; Sarah, do you want to tell us about some of those?
And what room do we have reserved from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12?

So: what does “Identity Matters” want to do?
precis of your #12 postings
(didn’t hear from Nkechi, Rebecca, so please join in here…)
something of a tension between showing your work and working w/ others
(ndifrank: “I think we shouldn’t aim to educate but to work with the community”):

of those who posted, there was unanimous agreement
that you should show your (selected) artwork:

* with some explanation (“keeping in mind Riva's notion of ethical display
requiring a subjective narrative along with whatever pieces are displayed”):
* a “live gallery”?
* standing by the portraits to speak about the experience?
* with something written to accompany them?
----a blurb/caption/plaque like you might see at a museum?
----Riva’s asked for a posting, one vivid story of your experience
----additional pictures of Camphill and a written or spoken presentation of our trip?
* leaving it up for a while (not possible, since the villagers are coming to get their portraits on Monday of finals week);
* publishing a ‘zine to give out at the exhibit?

There was also a strong shared desire to model what we learned about close listening
from Monsoon and Benaifer
(“it's really important that we find some way to
share their method with a larger body since it is so valuable”)

but there no agreement on how to do this:

*in a way that encourages people  to take it to their classrooms and relationships?
* display a conversation while people watch: tell about our experiences
in the 360 in a story-telling format (“if it's messy, all the better”)
* have our visitors not only gaze, but also participate in some way
(an ongoing silent discussion)?
* incorporate a meditative or mindfulness activity?
* invite audience into a conversation--on intersectionality (“it's especially important
not to close off this discussion until we've made space for other voices”)
* " if it can’t be done whole-heartedly, does it defeat the purpose of the technique all together?”

Two other suggestions were to
* draw up list of words or phrases that we would want the community to learn about, such as queering, cripping, “not seeing color”; and
* to make a make a documentary/ documentation of our experience, run on repeat in the gallery space with our artwork, and accessible to all.

In the next ½ an hour: we need to agree on the program and figure out who will do what;
I’m especially concerned about outreach: how to let people know, spread the word, etc:
who is our audience and how will we get them there? and what about food?