Friday, May 2, 2014

last day posters and syncretic meandering website!


Photo Cube

Thursday 8 May – LAST DAY! poster sessions

You can see the whole gallery HERE.

Our midterm paper sessions have been turned into a website: creating a professional online presence for the class, its individual members, and their scholarly investigations.

The website is called Syncretic Meandering, and it is at:
It includes more pictures as well!

I continue to think about privilege and its multiple embodiments and possibilities:!LOLhr

Looking At Tears Under A Microscope 

One day Rose-Lynn Fisher wondered if her tears of grief would look different from her tears of joy, so she began to explore them up close under a microscope.

She studied 100 different tears and found that basal tears (the ones that our body produces to lubricate our eyes) are drastically different from the tears that happen when we are chopping onions. The tears that come about from hard laughter aren’t even close to the tears of sorrow. Like a drop of ocean water each tiny tear drop carries a microcosm of human experience. Her project is called The Topography of Tears.



29 Powerful Portraits Challenging The Definition of What It Means to Be LGBT

A few months ago, San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon decided to start taking pictures of the LGBT community in her area. Deragon asked her subjects to pose for the camera and submit their own personal identifier — their identity.

Importantly, these portraits are about the subjects taking agency in their own definitions, not allowing others to create labels for them. "Not only are the portraits striking, the participants in the project are playing with language, making up entirely new terms (transgenderqueer or inbetweener) and showing pride in their complex and ever changing identities," Deragon notes on her website.

The results were remarkable. From "Pansexual Gender Fluid Tomboy" to "Queer Butch Trans Top" to "Homo Queer Fag Bear Daddy" to "Daddy Femme Dyke Dom Queen," the community responded with a creativity and passion indicative of the beautiful diversity of the LGBT movement. While some of the labels may be familiar to the average reader, others are intricate, multi-layered, even whimsical. There is no right answer to the question of how people define themselves — and that's an empowering concept.

As the portraits went viral, the photographer realized "The Identity Project" had national, even global potential. With that in mind, Deragon has started an Indiegogo campaign in the hope of taking the project on the road to reach as many people as possible with her message.

I want to travel to five U.S. cities to photograph other queer communities. I'm committed to reflecting the beautiful diversity of our LGBTQ communities and I am actively seeking participants who are POC, trans*, bisexual, youth, elders, disabled, immigrant and otherwise identify as outside of the mainstream lesbian and gay culture. 

"This is an exciting chance for folks to define themselves, and don't we all desire that freedom to be honest about who we are?" Deragon toldPolicyMic. "As a photographer, people are asking me to 'see them,' and this is a wonderful way for me to give back to the community that has given me so much."

The positive reactions to Deragon's initial portrait series have only emboldened the photographer, proving that this is the perfect moment for a discussion on terminology, inclusivity and identity.

"I think that it is an exciting sign of the times that we're able to be so many things at once," she told PolicyMic, "[versus] just being shoved into little boxes and told to be one thing or another. Identities are expansive and this project is the perfect example of that."

Wondering about the depths of disillusionment as a very "metric" of one's privilege.... about how to experience all of it (having and even losing privilege, never having, the everyday violence of it all, its real time flow and confusions as always relative and relational -- thinking of this as "diving into the wreak" or perhaps "diving into the paradox"....  


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

reform and/or revolution?

So living in the middle of /media/ things! Let's think through those pesky boundary objects "second wave" whatevers, feminists "radical" but not "radical feminists," all those versions "feminists" anyway. Not to mention those who hate men and what the boundary object "hating men" might mean very differently across spacetimemattings. Why should anyone bother with these details? Whose are they, and what violence does it do to dishonor them or put too much weight on them or to turn them into weapons or make them points around which to practice belonging or to reject others from ones own circle/s of belonging or ...? When must one go to the sources? When can one move out and beyond and also know more about sources in a way that helps all round? (In case you wanted to know, or didn't, I'm not a Dworkin fan, but over time I admit that it is harder to judge. I have a great story about Audre Lorde telling me off for assuming she, Lorde, would be at odds with Dworkin.) 

considering ... both obvious and yet comes as a wondering ... what is AFTER THE CRITIQUE ... so many critiques assume what comes after, sometimes just "throw it all away." But after the critique is so much richer, harder, and more curious than that. thinking this is a big element of differential consciousness as I keep returning to Chela Sandoval's work.

Some on-going Katie-things in case you want to keep tabs on them: /es/systeming; tangled. artactweblib 

Given some of our conversation recently, I am thinking with interest about what it means to talk about "reform and/or revolution" as in this New Left Forum I just saw mentioned on Facebook. "Transformative Justice":  


Our Future Societies: Recursion:   



<<<SECTION III: worlds among worldings: timespots

Hanhardt. 2013. Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence. Duke. 9780822354703
Tambe. 2009. Codes of Misconduct: Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay. Minnesota. 9780816651382
(Another possible: Das. 2007. Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. California. 9780520247451)
Whittier. 1995. Feminist Generations: The Persistence of the Radical Women's Movement. Temple. 9781566392822
(Hewitt. Reference: 2010. No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism. Rutgers. 9780813547251)
(Berger. Reference: 2009. The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class, and Gender. UNC. 9780807859810)

Thursday 1 May – Whittier (Berger & Hewitt) >> Cork & Harris

Thursday 8 May – LAST DAY! poster sessions

Star, S.L., ed. 1995. Ecologies of Knowledge: Work and politics in science and technology. SUNY.

"We honestly believe that there are no positions that are epistemologically superior to any others. But I do at the same time argue with and try to overthrow those I don't agree with! Relativism in this sense does not imply neutrality--rather, it implies forswearing claims to absolute epistemological authority. This is quite different from abandoning moral commitments.”




Haraway, Donna. "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective." In Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, 183-201. New York: Routledge, 1991 [Originally published in Feminist Studies 14/3 (1988): 575-599].

187: "We also don't want to theorize the world, much less act within it, in terms of Global Systems, but we do need an earth-wide network of connections, including the ability partially to translate knowledges among very different--and power-differentiated--communities."

190: "These are lessons which I learned in part walking with my dogs and wondering how the world looks without a fovea and very few retinal cells for colour vision, but with a huge neural processing and sensory area for smells."

192: "A commitment to mobile positioning and to passionate detachment is dependent on the impossibility of innocent 'identity' politics and epistemologies as strategies for seeing from the standpoints of the subjugated in order to see well. One cannot 'be' either a cell or molecule--or a woman, colonized person, labourer, and so on--if one intends to see and see from these positions critically. 'Being' is much more problematic and contingent....We are not immediately present to ourselves. Self-knowledge requires a semiotic-material technology linking meanings and bodies."

image credit:


queering infrastructure, generations, (inter)interdisciplines
Katie King, Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park /
Contributions from Ethnic Studies, Women's Studies, LGBT Studies

1.     adding feminist technoscience languages: Susan Leigh Star & Lucy Suchman
2.     queering the infrastructure: Star
3.     elements of infrastructure: 5 prongs of our interdisciplinary studies
4.     circumstances of communication Suchman
5.     communities of practice: communications among political generations, (inter)interdisciplinarities

queering the infrastructure:
notes on Star's talk: "to queer: to challenge the basis on which categories are constructed. (reverses the usual use of categories to enforce behavior)... queering - associated with specific constituencies, willingness to send something up... any kind of category can be open to questions regarding whose category it is, who defines it." Note LGBT Studies: Gay sent up by Lesbian, both sent up by Bisexual, all sent up by Transgendered.

5 pronged infrastructure of our interdisciplinary studies:
·       administrative activism and innovation local, state, national, transnational
·       curricular alliances and reframings from department to (inter)interdisciplines
·       scholarly research, theoretical conceptualizations in international and interdisciplinary travel
·       new social movements in generational microcohorts, in layers of locals and globals
·       new technological infrastructures and their globalizing promises and terrors

all in intersection: the very instability of identities as resource: coming into being, altering, dissolving, morphing; thus identity politics in continual reconstruction: critical, self-valorizing, negating, abandonment; eg. "Gay" and "Queer" in their instabilities; "American" in its instabilities. See Sturgeon on direct theory. See Hennessy on foundational terminology and its transnational political uses.

circumstances of communication (think across movements, interdisciplines, generations):
Suchman: "... an increasingly dense and differentiated layering of people and activities, each operating within a limited sphere of knowing and acting that includes variously crude or sophisticated conceptualizations of the others.”

“Gradually, however, we came to see that the problem lay neither in ourselves nor in our colleagues, but in the division of professional labor and the assumptions about knowledge production that lay behind it.....What we were learning was inextricably tied to the ongoing development of our own theorizing and practice, such that it could not be cut loose and exported elsewhere."

“In place of the model of knowledge as a product that can be assembled through hand-offs in some neutral or universal language, we began to argue the need for mutual learning and partial translations. This in turn required new working relations not then in place.”

communities of practice:
Bowker & Star: "A community of practice (or social world) is a unit of analysis that cuts across formal organizations, institutions like family and church, and other forms of association such as social movements."

differential consciousness: think movement across communities of practice:
See Sandoval's "differential consciousness": "enough strength to confidently commit to a well-defined structure of identity for one hour, day, week, month, year; enough flexibility to self-consciously transform that identity according to the requisites of another oppositional tactic if readings of power's formation require it; enough grace to recognize alliance with others committed to egalitarian social relations and race, gender, sex, class, and social justice, when their readings of power call for alternative oppositional stands."
entry into activism: Whittier's political generations in micro-cohorts:
Whittier's model challenges age-stratification or stage in life cycle as definitions of generations, rather initial politicization during the same era define generations, which are internally volatile and divergent in micro-cohorts. Two large feminist generations: the Second Wave and the Third Wave. Second Wave separated also into micro-cohorts: initiators (1969-1971); founders (1972-1973); joiners (1974-1978); sustainers (1979-1984) [years refer to study in Columbus OH].
add micro-cohorts: multiple identities working in multiple social movements:
Extending Whittier's model to conceive of other micro-cohorts: for example, those with multiple identities working in multiple social movements, with different social & historical time lines: eg. various women of color, or queer activists. Cf. Sandoval's "differential consciousness."
add micro-cohorts: activist ages of different disciplines & interdisciplines:
Extending Whittier's model to conceive of different disciplines and interdisciplines politicized by <ethnic studies, women's studies, LGBT studies...> at different time periods and to varying degrees in particular institutions and departments and by diverse cohorts of <people of color, feminists, queers...> with a range of activist histories, generations and visions. In other words, some fields may have different "activist ages" than others, and some fields may be dominated by different political generations and cohorts than others.

queer as a generational politics:
in a politics of refusal Queer may be used in a limiting move, rejecting whole systems of political alliance and academic and political literatures, as a way of processing overwhelming weights of materials, inheritances, generational subjections, and illegitimate uses of generational and geopolitical power. Critiques of the term Queer might practice their own generational politics, constructing a self-valorizing history of political movement now misunderstood, rejecting as inaccurate and inadequate the political assumptions about the powers and resources of women's studies, feminism and women's movements, gay and lesbian studies and movements, as too various to be unilaterally rejected. Queer may create alliances across generations by virtue of its very instabilities.

recognizing boundary objects when we see them:
Bowker & Star: "Boundary objects are those objects that both inhabit several communities of practice and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them....plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints...yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. They are weakly structured in common use and become strongly structured in individual-site use. These objects may be abstract or concrete....The creation and management of boundary objects is a key process in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting communities....arise over time from durable cooperation among communities of practice... "

Some materials referred to:
·       Susan Leigh Star, "The Politics Question in Feminist Science and Technology Projects: the queering of infrastructure." Talk from the "Technology and Democracy – Comparative Perspectives" Conference, University of Oslo, Norway, January 18, 1997. Notes of talk were online at: (accessed 22 June 2000).
·       Suchman, Lucy. 2000. “Located Accountabilities in Technology Production” (draft). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University UK was at: (accessed 22 June 2000).
·       Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. 1999. Sorting Things Out: classification and its consequences. MIT.
·       Noel Sturgeon. 1995. "Theorizing Movements: Direct Action and Direct Theory" in Cultural Politics and Social Movements (eds. Marcy Darnovsky, Barbara Epstein and Richard Flacks). Temple.
·       Nancy Whittier. 1995. Feminist Generations: the persistence of the radical women's movement. Temple.
·       Rosemary Hennessy. 2000. Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism. Routledge.
·       Chela Sandoval. 2000. Methology of the Oppressed. U. Minnesota.
·       Katie King. 2000. "Productive Agencies of Feminist Theory: the work it does." Feminist Theory 2/1 (2001): 94-98.

·       Katie King. "Interdisciplinarity, Generations, Languages in Women's Studies: Sites of Struggle in Layers of Globals and Locals." ms. in preparation. Working paper online HERE.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Author visits this week!

We are lucky to have Christina Hanhardt and Ashwini Tambe talking with us this week! 

Hanhardt's web info HERE.  Tambe's web info HERE

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed: The Digital Campus 2014
April 21, 2014
How to Overcome What Scares Us About Our Online Identities


Thursday, April 17, 2014

interconnecting last four books: what are their intellectual virtues?


<<<SECTION III: worlds among worldings: timespots

Hanhardt. 2013. Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence. Duke. 9780822354703
Tambe. 2009. Codes of Misconduct: Regulating Prostitution in Late Colonial Bombay. Minnesota. 9780816651382
(Another possible: Das. 2007. Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. California. 9780520247451)
Whittier. 1995. Feminist Generations: The Persistence of the Radical Women's Movement. Temple. 9781566392822
(Hewitt. Reference: 2010. No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism. Rutgers. 9780813547251)
(Berger. Reference: 2009. The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class, and Gender. UNC. 9780807859810)

Thursday 17 April – Tambe, Das >> Haq & Madden
Thursday 24 April – Hanhardt, Whittier [Tambe & Hanhardt visit starting at 4:15]
Thursday 1 May – Whittier (Berger & Hewitt) >> Cork & Harris

Thursday 8 May – LAST DAY! poster sessions

= create a substantive scholarly research poster, individually, or as a member of a team of up to 4 members.
Posters should synthesize the work you have done in the class, bringing together in some interactive way yours and others’ presentations and research, readings, and papers. They should demonstrate your wide and specific use of course texts. They may play with data analytics in some fashion, they may have creative elements (although they need to do this for a professional context), they will be predominately visual rather than textual. They should include both the RESULTS of your synthetic analyses, and also a way of showing HOW YOU GOT THERE! In the sciences you would show the experimental set up, the results and your methods. How should these elements be transformed for your sort of poster? You should have a fantasy scholarly venue in mind for the poster you, perhaps in a team, come up with. Posters have long been a staple of conferences in the sciences, sometimes in the social sciences, and increasingly today, in the humanities, especially in the digital humanities. Humanities style posters are still in development, and digital humanities posters are often unusually creative, with an eye to data analytics and visualizations. We will discuss these in the class. NO POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. However Powerpoint is actually often used as a kind of graphics manager to create the single slides that become a poster. There are lots of ideas for all this online, and we will also discuss this as well. We will need a director of posters, who will troll the web for resources, work with poster makers generating ideas, and on the last day of class, coordinate two poster sessions. HOW TO MAKE POSTERS IDEAS HERE


SECOND PART OF CLASS: playing around with interconnections

We are going to start off the second part of the class today with some work in groups, interconnecting our last four books in ways that will be useful for all sorts of activities, among them comps and exams, lit reviews, and even using texts for our own research and careabouts, as well as teaching too.

I have developed some info sheets to organize ways of working with the books, to chart some of their features and concerns, how their apparatus produces important agential cuts, and to make some of their materialities easier to compare. Feel free to alter these as they prove inappropriate to texts or projects, and consider how to improve them, how to use them with caring concerns for the work being shared: yours, ours, theirs, whose?

Links to the sheets on google docs here:

Latour-style elements in a network (with citations & search strings):

Situation with social movements (with citations & search strings):

Apparatus of timespots and time claims (with citations & search strings):


Adrienne Rich on "Diving into the Wreck."