About amwalker

Posts by amwalker:

Why Spanish women don’t write…

by Sue Burke, writer and certified translator living in Madrid, Spain

Why do women in Spain write very little speculative fiction (SF)? This umbrella term refers to science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and horror, since they share overlapping authors and readers. It’s the genre I love and write in, and when I began to search for locally written SF when I moved to Spain thirteen years ago, I found lots of excellent work, but hardly any of it by women.

In the English-speaking world, things are different. Statistics from Broad Universe show that one-third of the SF authors are women and one-third of the published works are by female authors, although the data also reveal continuing problems and raise the question of why fewer women than men write SF in English. This is why Broad Universe, dedicated to promoting women writers in SF, is a busy organization.

(Mainstream writing suffers from similar problems, according to statistics in The Count by VIDA, which explores critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women.)

AdaScreenShot

Equivalent statistics for SF in Spain haven’t been collected, but I have a piece of raw data at hand that in my experience is fairly representative. Among this year’s candidates for the Ignotus Awards, the top award for SF in Spain and equivalent to the Hugos, there are no women among the five nominations for novels, three out of five for novella, and only two out of seven for short story. Compared to the pool from which the nominees were drawn, women writers may actually be over-represented as candidates. Yet despite encouragement and recognition, Spanish women write hardly any SF.

The reason why takes us into a broader examination of Spanish culture. Laura Freixas, author of the book Literatura y mujeres (Literature and Women) and president of an organization for gender equality in culture, has provided some statistics about women in the arts:

On any given week, female authors account for 10% of the best-selling fiction by Spanish writers. Only 7% of films are directed by women. Only 5% of art exhibitions are of female artists. Only 24% of executives in the communications industry are women, though they are 46% of the professionals. In theater, among the candidates for the prestigious Max Prizes in 2008, 25% of the directors and 19% of the authors were women. Between 1977 and 1987, only 3% of the winners of the annual National Prize in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry were women; between 1998 and 2007, that number increased to a whopping 13%. In the leading magazine about literature and ideas, Letras Libres, only 8% of the correspondents are women.

“The absence of women among the creators of culture,” she concludes, “produce contents that legitimize and normalize the absence of women, and vice versa.”

Women may be absent in Spanish culture, but SF is an import, and it has its own rules even within Spain. Although the genre started in the United States, like another US invention, rock music, it grew across borders. And as it grew, SF developed certain trappings. These include a close connection to its fan base and rituals like annual conventions. This year, 6,060 people attended the 71st World Science Fiction Convention in San Antonio, Texas; next year, fans will gather in London. Spain celebrates a national annual convention similar to any other SF convention worldwide but unlike anything else in Spanish literature.

The worldwide SF community has always been connected by regular face-to-face meetings and by the best technology of its day. Decades ago, the letters columns of fanzines contained lively debates; now those debates have moved to the Internet. The worldwide web keeps the community connected with such sites as Europa SF, Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards, countless others, through both personal blogs and organizational web pages. Fan and writers anywhere in the world can easily learn about authors like Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ken Liu, or Aliette de Bodard. And they can observe the continuing, noisy debate about gender equality in SF: for example this entry in Justine Larbalestier‘s blog. These debates become fodder for discussion in many languages.

What does that mean for the world’s female SF writers? Equality is the stated norm with an open, active, even acrimonious effort to achieve real equality. Another norm is the encouragement of new authors, so anyone who wants to write can get useful advice from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. A good place for a thematic analysis is Ada, a journal of gender, new media, and technology; the genre has a deep past and present, and writers who understand it will write better.

But for female writers in Spain, the big hurdle to taking up the pen is located outside SF but within national borders. That seems harder to overcome, and the loss extends beyond the SF world.
For other writing by Sue Burke, visit: http://www.sue.burke.name

FemTechNet classes meet in Second Life

By Jade Ulrich

This week Professor Alex Juhasz’s Feminist Dialogues on Technology class at Pitzer College and Professor Sharon Collingwood’s Gender, Sex and Power class at Ohio State University (OSU) attended class with OSU students, digitally…in Second Life (SL). Professor Collingwood teaches class every week in Second Life, but SL was new for the majority of students in Professor Juhasz’s class.

To prepare for this class, the students went through an independent orientation using Virtual Ability Island, an island on SL that is designed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. There they familiarized themselves with SL, getting acquainted with how to navigate and interact with the space. They were asked to answer questions such as, A virtual exhibit has many ways of communicating its message. For example, it could put up big signs to tell you why you are there. That’s a pretty obvious way to do it, but there are also subtle ways of having an effect on the viewer. It could be something that you see out of the corner of your eye, it could be something that moves, it could even be something that you trip over. Has the creator included anything like this in the exhibit? What effect did it have on you? Following this orientation, Pitzer students began preparing for Professor Collingwood’s class by doing her assigned reading.

This week’s topic was Reproductive Justice. We read articles that included “Do Pregnant Women Have the Right to Refuse Surgery?” and “The Only Good Abortion Is My Abortion”. We also took a quiz offered by the Guttmacher Institute that tested our knowledge of sexual and reproductive health. When all of this work was done, the plan was that we would be able to participate in OSU’s digital class, along with the rest of Professor Collingwood’s students.

Sure enough, there were Pitzer students and OSU students, all sitting around a presenter screen with Professor Collingwood’s avatar front and center. On this research and teaching center within SL, known as Minerva Island, we were given the lesson plan for the class and eagerly awaited the field trip that we had been told we would be going on (to a women’s clinic in SL).

Professor Collingwood led a quick voice check, and eventually, most students got their microphones in order and were able to participate both visually and aurally. She began with a short lecture about the confrontation of women’s biology with traditional social structures. Then one of her students gave a fascinating presentation on cesarean births. This jumpstarted the Pitzer students’ involvement, and soon students from both classes were interacting with each other about the subject matter.

An hour flew by, and before we realized it, we were teleporting to the Slenz Midwifery Project, a birthing center that is inspired by the real life natural birth centers that are currently being built by the New Zealand government. Our students were in awe of the clinic and how much they learned about Reproductive Justice through this digital medium. I have already received enthusiastic responses from Pitzer students about their time within SL.           FemTechNet seeks to bring students together, in dialogue, both physically and digitally, and this specific joining of two very different classroom setups speaks a great deal to the work that FemTechNet is doing to make its mission a reality, virtual and otherwise.

Feminist Pedagogy Initiatives

by T.L. Cowan, The New School

When groups of DOCC 2013 faculty met in July 2013, we realized that we were convening not only around a project, but also, importantly, around a process. As we came to decide how the course would be structured and how we would use online capacities (and work around online limitations) to do collaborative teaching across institutions, we wanted to figure out ways for our students to have access to a number of DOCC 2013 faculty, since one of the core principles behind the DOCC is that it matters not just what you are learning, but who you are learning with. So we devised this idea to hold online Open Office Hours that would be open to all DOCC 2013 students. These office hours can be found in the yellow highlights in our calendar http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/teaching-learning-resources/the-calendar/. During these office hours, students can contact faculty from many institutions and disciplinary backgrounds and have the opportunity be in an online discussion with students from diverse learning locations.

FTNPedagogyCalendar

Another crucial aspect to the DOCC 2013 is that this is a world-making project not only for students, but also for faculty. DOCC faculty have collaborated on all aspects of the course: sharing syllabi, skills, funding and other resources, co-producing Video Dialogues, generating closed-captioning for the Videos Dialogues, and building the (always in development) online space that is the FemTechNet Commons. Through this course-building process we realized that most of us crave the opportunity to learn about teaching from other teachers, to have a chance to talk about our classes, assignments, grading habits and innovations, and to cultivate and share our pedagogical philosophies and practices. So we developed Open Teaching Hours for faculty (in green on the calendar), as times for us to converse about what we’re thinking and doing when we’re teaching. In addition to these Open Teaching Hours, we have also scheduled Focused Pedagogy Sessions for faculty to share their expertise on special topics related to DOCC 2013 specifically, and on feminist pedagogy more broadly.

These Focused Pedagogy Sessions (also in green in the calendar) include discussions on the following topics:

September

Making Keyword Videos – by Alex Juhasz – Pitzer College – This session is passed, but you can read about the key assignment: http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/key-word-videos/.  You can also learn how to make a Keyword Video here: http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/docs/videoinstructions/ thanks to the prowess of AJ Strout.

And you can check out Keyword Videos up & running here: http://vimeo.com/channels/femtechnetkeywords Stay tuned for new videos throughout the term.

October

Object-Making/Gift Exchange – cross-institution collaborative project– Alex Juhasz, Pitzer College and Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University –

http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/object-making/

You can watch a video of the discussion here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaarwUPyOMA

Mark your calendars for upcoming Focused Pedagogy Sessions!

November

Effective Blogging – Liz Losh, University of California, San Diego – Wednesday, Nov. 13 12pm PST

http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/blog-commenting/

Feminist Mapping – Karen Keifer-Boyd, Penn State University –  Friday, Nov 15 – 3pm EST http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/feminist-mapping/

Feminist Online Pedagogy – T.L. Cowan, The New School – Friday, Nov 22 – 12pm EST

December

Grading Non-Traditional Assignments – Laura Wexler, Yale – Monday, Dec. 2 – 1pm EST

Building Activities Across (International) Contexts = Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University – Wednesday, Dec. 4 – 4pm EST

Digital Storytelling – Karen Alexander – Rutgers University – Thursday, Dec. 12 – 2pm EST

In addition to this work, DOCC Faculty have been doing amazing things: from collaborating on accessibility and ensuring that all of our Video Dialogues are available with closed captioning/subtitles (go here to find them: http://ats-streaming.cites.illinois.edu/digitalmedia/download/femtechnet/embeds.html), to holding a course for self-directed learners, run by Penelope Boyer – http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/selfdirectedlearners/ and here https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/102819821160046892301?cfem=1

You can also check out Sharon Collingwood’s DOCC 2013 hosted on Second Life http://elliebrewster.com/2013/09/02/update-on-the-sl-discussion-group-on-feminism-and-technology/

These activities reflect the ways that DOCC 2013 faculty appreciate feminist pedagogy as an ongoing collaboration—across disciplines, institutions, stages of career and employment status. We learn from each other’s successes and failures; we build on each other’s knowledges and borrow from and add to each other’s teaching work, design, and principles. No one holds the trademark on feminist pedagogy—it is collective intellectual property.

For more on the feminist pedagogy informing this work, see the FemTechNet White Paper here: http://femtechnet.newschool.edu/femtechnet-whitepaper/

Digital Access, Authority and Agency in the Afro-Francophone World

By Katrina Spencer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Quiz Item 1

Which of the following is a French-speaking nation?

A. Senegal

B. Cameroon

C. Togo

D. Burkina Faso

The correct answer is E., all of the above. French is spoken as a language of importance and repute in 29 countries. The answer to the first item on this “exam” is a freebie.

Francophone_Mao

Although when we think of the land of berets and baguettes, we in the United States tend to envision ‘European,’ ‘white,’ the Eiffel Tower, escargot (snails), Napoléon, Les Misérables, the Champs Élysées and delicious chocolate croissants, ‘reading France’ within such a narrow panorama of stereotypes and cultural production would be to deny its colorful, multifaceted diversity and

Quiz Item 2

A. rich

B. rancorous

C. rife

D. wretched

history in the Caribbean, in the Maghreb (a region on Northern Africa that includes primarily Islamic countries like Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) and importantly for this post, in Sub-Saharan or ‘black’ Africa. It would be akin to saying the United States is hamburgers, Lady Liberty, American Idol and nothing else. And that’s not true, right?

Quiz Item 3

Like the Spanish, the English and the Portuguese, the French

A. approached

B. invaded

C. discovered

D. colonized

a broad swath of territories on both sides of the Atlantic (and sometimes, to a lesser degree, the Pacific) which has problematized the ideas of nationhood, citizenship, sovereignty and independence. Perhaps it needn’t be said, but this type of historical domination has ushered in a long era of instability throughout ‘post-colonial’ Africa. This is reflected in much of its underdeveloped infrastructures that challenge consistent digital access to open sources of information like Wikipedia, a central theme to this post. What’s more is that widely disseminated and popular depictions of the continent and its people are rarely created, framed, drawn or written by African authors. Despite the foreign voices that have supplied these images and scribed these stories, both have been widely published for and understood as truth by global audiences.

Now that you’ve completed your history quiz, know that Afripédia, in conjunction with Wikimédia France, has initiated a project with two major goals: one is to supply a number of Francophone (French-speaking) African countries and their residents with offline access to Wikipedia via plug computers like this one, given that many African nations still negotiate the difficulty of acquiring regular and high-quality connectivity to the Internet; the second goal is to supply these same parties with the authority, the opportunities and the instruction to digitally publish information and construct narratives about their places of origin, national events and developments. In other words, Francophone Africans are being provided with the platforms necessary to create information about themselves, to meaningfully shape archives, chronicles and narratives about themselves and to disseminate them all throughout the world.

Born in the summer of 2012, Afripédia comprises a series of campaigns aimed to educate Francophone Africans regarding the use of Wikipedia. Included in this instruction are themes centering on how to create a Wikipedia article, how to edit its existing articles, how to add images to these articles and more. The program has been met with a good deal of enthusiasm and supporters in the 11 participating African regions have been numerous. The program, however, is not immune to local hindrances: challenges like university strikes, restricted so far to two cities have delayed the speedy and effective implementation of the program in otherwise interested and invested sites. Afripédia’s  next step is to widen its scope by including countries like Madagascar that form part of the Afro-Francophone world, but have yet to engage these initiatives.

This program is unique in that it seeks to promote and respect an admittedly rare concept of African agency. Instead of assuming an entirely paternalistic role in indicating what articles must be written, how, why and when, the program has taken on a fraternal one in providing the tools necessary for Ivorians (people from the Côte d’Ivoire), the Beninese (people from Benin) and Chadians (people from Chad) and many more to craft their own histories and stories with a great degree of liberté. Afripédia’s ethos wins our admiration as it demonstrates a desire to reconcile an at times turbulent past and to welcome a newly defined, post-colonial legacy of teamwork and mutual, international and intercontinental support.

Updates on the program’s progress can be followed via Twitter @Afripedia. Any party interested in becoming involved is encouraged to contact Adrienne Charmet-Alix at the following e-mail address: adrienne.alix(at)wikimedia.fr. With regard to the remaining multiple choice questions for Items 2 and 3, please create your own answer key and grade yourself accordingly.

“New Domesticity” and Technology

By Angie Stangl*, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

After opening Pinterest for the first time in months, I remembered why I had avoided signing in; pins of cute babies in home-knit jumpers, DIY home organization solutions, canning basics, and cute little lunch ideas fill the screen.  It is not that these things aren’t cute, fun, or enjoyable but rather that they make me feel inadequate. These callings toward “domesticity” are all over the web and are popping up in most of the social media space I occupy.  Further, a pressure to participate in these domestic activities challenges the balance I’ve struck between home, work and graduate school.

baked cookies on a cooling rack suggest gendered domesticity

Emily Matchar in Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity (Simon & Schuster, 2013) examines the rise of this DIY culture and defines a “new domesticity” to explain the current movement of women participating in these things. Most importantly, in her book, Ms. Matchar illustrates many of potential pitfalls of areas that are a part of this growing new domesticity movement.  The new domesticity movement is not addressing the need for financial independence and a flexible workplace for women, it is largely disrupting gender-balanced parenting, and it is a movement for those who can afford to participate (often solidly middle class women with alternative sources of income).

To further complicate some of the arguments in Homeward Bound, technology is playing a key role in this movement as well.  The spaces that this new domesticity are being expressed are often online in the form of blogs, forums, and websites.  These online communities can offer support to fellow participants who partake in aspects of new domesticity but at the same time these are spaces that can be exclusive and reinforce the feeling of inadequacy for those who cannot find the time or money to participate.

Additionally, we need to be cognizant of the consumerist forces driving this movement, as is highlighted in the book.  Many blogs today have advertisements or the blogger writes about using (or not using) specific products or services.  Whether we want it to or not, these things shape our views.  Blogs voice personal opinions, so following a blogger’s advice may not feel so different than taking advice from a friend.

What I’d like to know is how is this new domesticity different than earlier notions from years ago about women wanting to have it all?  Haven’t we realized that we can strike a balance instead of trying to “do all the things”?  As much as aspects of this movement are compelling, I think we need to reconsider how technology has captured us and pushes us into this movement without considering some of the concerns raised in Homeward Bound.  Realistically, it is not possible to do it all.  So, how can we use technology to participate in a meaningful way (i.e. being inclusive and reversing the damage new domesticity has done)?

Here’s an interview with Emily Matchar.

*Angie Stangl is a participant in the UIUC Dialogues on Feminism and Technology graduate seminar.

Upcoming Video Dialogues

L to R in front row: Maria Fernandez, Anne Balsamo, Lisa Nakamura,
in back row: L to R: Kara Keeling, Wendy Chun, and Faith Wilding

The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) contributed this week’s dialogue on Difference, just recorded and edited this last month with Shu Lea Cheang and Kim Sawchuk moderated by Sara Diamond.

Shu Lea Cheang and Kim Sawchuk, and moderated by Sara Diamond.
–>Hat’s off to Katie Kotler for dedicating an enormous part of her graduate school hours to taping and editing this video, and figuring out the upload issues all in short time!

At Brown University, March 2013 L to R in front row: Maria Fernandez, Anne Balsamo, Lisa Nakamura, in back row: L to R: Kara Keeling, Wendy Chun, and Faith Wilding

Next up is a dialogue on the Body, just recorded at The New School, featuring Skawennati and Heather Cassils moderated by T.L. Cowan. That video will be launched October 21. At the end of October, we will launch Machine, done at Brown University last March (2013) with Kelly Dobson and Wendy Chun.

Editing, transcribing, captioning–it is all coming together! The first captioned videos should be ready next week…never as fast as we’d like, but we are moving in the right direction.

Canaries in the Coal Mine

By Ellie Brewster

We spent most of our first session talking about the Anne Balsamo / Judy Wajcman dialogue, although we did go off on a few tangents. We meet in Second Life at the Ada Lovelace Library, on the Ohio State Virtual Campus, (image courtesy of Sharon Collingwood).

Most of us are information workers, and there was a vigorous nodding of avatar heads when we discussed this quote from Wajcman:

“in creative industries, or whatever terms you use for these kinds of industries, that people are working extraordinarily long hours, they’re not unionized, they’re a perfect example of the blurring of private time and time for their employer, although they are self-employed and don’t think of it this way.  In old terms, we would think of it as very exploitative labour relations.”

I liked Wajcman’s analysis of the importance of reputation and autonomy for these kinds of workers — I think that many people are willing to give up a lot to be working outside the control of large corporate structures, and I think we should be very careful in examining what that means. We talked about this for a while, and wanted to do more on skilled, unskilled and deskilled labour.

FTN in Second Life

I liked a lot of what Wajcman said. She reminded us that there was a time when people asked questions like “why shouldn’t people who work in workplaces be part of running those workplaces?”  Why, indeed?

The dialogue ended on a positive note. As Anne Balsamo said, one robin doesn’t make a spring, and one swallow doesn’t make a summer. Although we are still dancing around the essentialist point that being female somehow grants us a better perspective on human relations, many agree that a critical mass of females in the upper echelons of power will change our culture.

What the dialogue didn’t bring up, and what I wish we had talked more about in our group, is why women, or anyone, would want to support such a toxic system by striving to succeed in it.  It reminds me of what Audre Lorde said shortly before her death: we race for the cure for cancer while we are drinking, eating, breathing, and bathing in carcinogens. Lorde was critiquing the breast cancer industry, but I think she identified a pattern that we see elsewhere. Can we really change the system by subscribing to it.

In the face of all the problems we have to deal with today, perhaps the breaking the glass ceiling is at least an achievable target. However, I wouldn’t want a focus on corporate success to distract us from other ways to effect change within the workplace.

Our discussion group meets in the virtual world Second Life on Sundays at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern, and 7pm GMT. Find our island by typing MINERVA OSU into the address bar of the Second Life browser, or use this link to arrive in the classroom (you must have the group “Minerva Guests” activated):
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Minerva%20OSU/189/70/40

Awkward, Cumbersome, Inclusive and Sensitive?

Katrina Spencer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Many Romance languages, like Portuguese and Spanish (and French to a slightly lesser degree) have a grammatically ingrained predilection for sexism. As you’ll remember from your high school “SPAN 1AB” or college “SPAN 101” course, whenever there is a group of people and any one of them is male, they are referred to with “los,” the Spanish language definite article, as in: Los chicos, María, Juan e Isabel visitan la playa todos los veranos.

This default mode for masculine markers also shows up in what we call “demonstratives” in the world of language:  Otros, por ejemplo Fernanda, Marcos, Luis y Estrella, prefieren ir a las montañas.

As you can see in the two examples above, female figures either (1) represent the majority of characters in the statement or (2) represent exactly half of the group, but the masculine article is still used.

This is an interesting and problematic space to explore for me as someone who is working as a translator for this feminist collective. On the one hand, I’ve been taught for years that respecting the conventions of formal language use is a vehicle of strong communication. This applies in arenas such as the use of the subjunctive, indirect object pronouns and precise vocabulary. On the other hand, as a 21st century learner, employee, woman and feminist by essence and association, I realize how exclusive these conventions can be when it comes to conversations about the sexes. The “o” in “los” excludes, ignores or overshadows the females it represents. What do we do?

Hi, my name is Katrina Spencer and I have used sexist language.

In this area of the FemTechCommons, periodical press releases can be found regarding the goings-on in our community. As a “grad hourly” at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate School of Information Science, one of my jobs is to translate these press releases from English to Spanish in order to include wider and even international audiences. The sexist language constraints I’ve described, however, are ones I encounter, consciously or subconsciously, every time I open my mouth to speak Spanish.

It is my belief that a good deal of the pedagogical resources shared in this space are intended for women and used by women. As a matter of fact, for every ten females I see using this space, I have seen only one male. But when I translate a document about FemTechNet users, my inclination is to type, “los estudiantes” and “los instructores.” Grammatically speaking, I’m “right” but socially I am diminishing the strong, ubiquitous and pulsing female energy that has created and developed FemTechNet.

Is there an easy solution?

María González Aguado, another FemTechNet-er like myself, brought this to my attention, although it wasn’t the first time the issue had been raised. In her words, “Feminist scholars and women’s associations consider that plural in masculine invisibilizes women, so we try to use non-sexist language using an x or @ to avoid linguistic sexism.” So, per her suggestion, the statements above would appear as Lxs chicxs, María, Juan e Isabel, visitan la playa todos los veranos. OR L@s chic@s, María, Juan e Isabel visitan la playa todos los veranos. The other sentence would be: Otrxs, por ejemplo Fernanda, Marcos, Luis y Estrella, prefieren ir a las montañas. OR Otr@s, por ejemplo Fernanda, Marcos, Luis y Estrella, prefieren ir a las montañas.

Yes, okay, that’s fine, but how, now, do I pronounce it/ say it out loud/ read it aloud?

Also, what happens when I want to say “The participants in the Video Dialogues will include Judy Wacjman, Anne Balsamo, Julie Levin Russo, Faith Wilding and many others”?

Indulge me for a moment. The only participants listed are female. “Many others” does not identify sex. Should the sentence start off as “Lxs” or “L@s” in order to leave the possibility open of men participating in the future? Or should it be “Las” because up until this point, only women have shared the space?

And given that “lxs” and “l@s” cannot be pronounced, should every sentence sound like, Los miembros y las miembras publican sus opiniones en los foros?

Is it acceptable for language to be awkward and cumbersome in order to also be inclusive and sensitive? What does “fair” and “feminist” language representation look like? Do you type/write “s/he” when referencing a figurative, anonymous and sexless third person?

Join the discussion!

Knee-deep Feminist Waters at Colby-Sawyer College

By Chloé Di-tommaso, Colby-Sawyer College

As week four of the semester approaches, our team at Colby-Sawyer College is now knee deep into feminist waters. Together, we have studied the history and impact of Riot Grrrl and have had the opportunity to express our thoughts and opinions on Judy Wajcman’s Technofeminism. The readings define feminism in similar terms, however, each approach takes on the diversity of feminist thought, with entirely different techniques. Riot Grrrl preached their need for feminism through punk rock, poetry, and DIY technology.

Students and Melissa Meade at Colby-Sawyer College meeting for the first session of the DOCC2013 nodal course.

Wajcman’s needs are portrayed through groundbreaking research in science and feminist studies. Such different methods has confirmed to us (our class) that feminist theory and activism are diverse and still relevant. With this understanding, our team is currently brainstorming ways in which we as a class can “promote” feminism together. A more comical approach to this campaign we found would be to string together an array of bras, on which we will iron-on and print the many moving quotes given by both Wajcman and the Riot Grrrls. We will continue to plan and organize our campaign during this week’s class meetings.