‘A Critical Cartography of Feminist Post-postmodernism’ is a fascinating article by one of my favourite feminist writers, Rosi Braidotti. It’s in the most recent issue of Australian Feminist Studies
The article draws on other work I’ve read by Braidotti about nomadic activism. She states her position as one which is “a situated and highly politicised attempt to rethink the subject in terms of his/her embodied singularity” (page 174). She discusses examples of women in former Yugoslavia (among other examples) to demonstrate, in her words, “the political efficacy of nomadic, post-nationalist European identity and multicultural citizenship” (page 174).
The article goes on to discuss post-humanism, technology and materiality (with many links to Haraway). Here is a taste of what she has to say:
Post-humanism is a fast-growing new intersectional feminist alliance. It gathers the remains of post-structuralist anti-humanism and joins them with feminist reappraisals of contemporary genetics and molecular biology in a non-deterministic frame. Feminist cultural studies of science attempt to disengage biology from the structural functionalism of DNA-driven linearity and to veer it instead towards more creative patterns of evolutionary development. Post-humanism also has some inhumane aspects, thus Vandana Shiva stresses the extent to which the bodies of the empirical subjects who signify difference (woman/native/earth or natural others) have become the disposable bodies of the global economy. A disposable body is a set of organs disengaged from organic unity, consistency or integrity: a collection of organs that is up for grabs. Contemporary capitalism is indeed ‘bio-political’ in that it aims at controlling all that lives, as Foucault argues. From a feminist perspective, however, bio-power has already turned into a form of bio-piracy in that it aims at exploiting the generative powers of women, animals, plants, genes and cells. The self-replicating vitality of living matter is targeted for consumption and commercial exploitation. Haraway recognises this trend and pays tribute to the martyrised body of onco-mouse, as the farming ground for the new genetic revolution and manufacturer of spare parts for other species. Looked at from the angle of the disposable bodies of ‘others’ of the dominant subject, the ongoing new scientific revolution is neither very new nor particularly scientific.
The article is heavy on the politics and incredibly profound. Enjoy!
Barbara Guzzetti from Arizona State University pointed me to this article she wrote about girls and zines. It’s available online in an enhanced version as well, with photos and audio of the girl’s voices. It’s a really fantastic piece and has everything, from the performance of gender to the ways literacy and identity are interconnected. Here’s the abstract:
Reading Research Quarterly : October/November/December 2004 : Zines for Social Justice: Adolescent Girls Writing on Their Own
Despite the popularity of self-published teen zines, few studies have been conducted of the adolescent girls who write and read them. Past research on teens’ reading and writing shows that adolescents read and write along stereotypical or gendered lines. This study explores the out-of-school literacy practices of three adolescent girls who write and publish their own zine by writing against gender, race, and class stereotypes. The study identifies what motivates and enables these girls in writing differently on their own and describes how young women use and develop their literacy skills to enable them to form and express their identities. Methods of participant observation were used to address these questions. Findings have implications for student-centered instruction by identifying relevant ways to engage adolescents in literacy activity.
Abstract from Guzzetti, B.J., & Gamboa, M. (2004). Zines for social justice: Adolescent girls writing on their own. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(4), 408–436. doi:10.1598/RRQ.39.4.4
The adolescent girls in this study are amazing, creating their own zines in which “their political pieces aim to disrupt power relations that create inequities. In addition to these themes of social justice, these young women incorporate articles on liberal social causes and political issues, such as animal rights and demilitarization of the border between the United States and Mexico, as well as pieces done for humor or entertainment value alone” (page 9).
And they are really articulate about their identity as young women - from writing poetry as a response to seeing images of “ther perfect girl” to song lyrics and other articles. They share thoughts about their Barbie dolls and their emerging beliefs about what feminism is for them.
I really enjoyed reading how the researchers felt about their research and their relationships with the participants. A definite must-read article!
Another one of those crazy days today - and added on top of the stress I left the office at 7:15pm without my umbrella and was caught in a dastardly storm :/ It took me hours to dry off and feel warm again!
Anyway, I was preparing my lecture for next week on Spelling. Usually for me this lecture is the most boring to prepare but seems to be the most exciting lecture of all for the students - they do love a lot of practical examples!
I found some fabulous images of children doing different types of spelling activities so I have made the slides 100% visual to be starting points for several ‘what’s happening here and why’ moments in the lecture.
I also have the infamous text messaging esay that caused a furore a couple of years ago to bring the focus out of the activities and back to the issues of the changing nature of language, the cultural aspects of language, and the politics and panic of language. It’s more interesting for me to include these ideas, and I hope the students will see the relevance of it.