I’ve been working a lot on alt-scholarship like webtexts (Kairos, DHQ, Enculturation). I’ve always thought of it within the tradition of various avant-garde lineages. However, I recently realized how privileged and limited such a scope is (Sullivan 2012). At the same time, I’ve been teaching feminist theory in my classes. It occurred to me that alt-scholarship is pretty darn feminist in nature. It feels like Cixous’ L’ecriture feminine, Lorde’s body writing, and a lot like queering scholarship. This is a new thought to me (I know, it shouldn’t be), so I’m stepping carefully. I want to begin this conversation by asking if digital scholarship is inherently feminist. And if so, why is DH so not feminist (see Jamie Skye Bianco and others for this revelation)? In my own work, I want to figure out ways to remember the feminist push for embodied, non-linear writing without just stealing it for myself (I’m a white dude). So, that’s where I want to start, but for the most part, I want to shut up and listen. Thanks!
In her 2010 Ted Talk, Courtney Martin, blogger at Feministing.com, the most widely-read feminist publication in the world, highlights the impact the Internet, digital networking, and social media have made on feminist activism saying, “Feminist blogging is basically the 21st century version of consciousness-raising.” In the last few years informative and cheeky hashtags like #yesallwomen, #bringbackourgirls, #menexplainthingstome, and #bindersfullofwomen have raised consciousness about national and global women’s issues.
While it may be clear that feminist activism and consciousness-raising has gone digital, what implications does this have for Women and Gender Studies as a field? What about the activist nature of the Feminist classroom? How can we (students, scholars, activists) embrace digital consciousness raising without becoming arm-chair activists? I’d like to lead a conversation that attempts to answer some of these questions–and I can provide relevant scholarship on feminist pedagogy–but I hope participants will have their own ideas and stories to tell as we work to understand these ideas together.
I have been asexual my whole life, but I didn’t know it until I came across the term on the internet my freshman year of college. It was such a validating experience to see that other people felt the same way about sex that I do! But if it weren’t for the internet, I never would have found that my sexual orientation was shared by thousands of others, as I have never met another asexual in person.
I would like to talk about the value of the internet, new media, and technology for raising awareness of identities and experiences like asexuality, both as a way to reach people trying to understand themselves and for others who do not know about sexual orientations beyond the usual gay/lesbian, heterosexual, and bisexual categories, especially when information is coming from the commuity members themselves rather than scholars. This discussion can/should also include ways to include these non-scholarly texts into our classrooms, campus activities, and research.