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: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnKellden/posts/YTKe7NwgmZU   



<<<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: https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1105/4730529360_0cb482905d_z.jpg


queering infrastructure, generations, (inter)interdisciplines
Katie King, Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park / katking@umd.edu
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: http://www.drury.edu/faculty/Ess/Technology/starr.htm (accessed 22 June 2000).
·       Suchman, Lucy. 2000. “Located Accountabilities in Technology Production” (draft). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University UK was at: http://www.comp.lancaster.ac.uk/sociology/soc039ls.html (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."


Monday, April 7, 2014

timespots, timeclaims and what else?


Working with Hanhardt13, Tambe09, Das07, Whittier95 and other stuff such as Weston02 Gender in Real Time. (King12 too.)

What social movements are mentioned in each text? How do you identify them? 

What social movements figure into its arguments centrally or otherwise? How can you tell? 
What are the names of some of these movements: your names, their names, someone’s names. Where do these come from in your own knowledge? 

What time periods constitute the background of the text? How did you figure this out?

What timespots matter most? Timeclaims? See Kath Weston’s Gender in Real Time and King’s comments on it King11 pp. 99-100

In its particular way, methodologically, with its political visions, from a set of careabouts and "intellectual virtues," each of the books we are companioning now in the class teaches us about the following: 

scale-making, time sequencing, chronology, time claims --
time frame: "history, infinity, chronology, generation, era, future/past"; 
modes of temporality: "regressing, moving ahead, modern traditions, coming back around": 
morality: "stolen futures, lost generation, better days".

our relative timespots: how do we name some? For example, how are the "waves" employed here today? how are they figured as morality? as modes of temporality? 

Create a timeline or other device for temporal visualization or dynamic use to put all these together in a syncretism that matters. Note the comments in previous post with links and other useful info. 

what globalizing scale-making is involved? which parts of the "global" as new, as not new? how is it a "radicalized, sexualized museum called the past"? 


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gallery of us! & Looking ahead....

Thursday 3 April – paper sessions

Click HERE to see pics dynamically!

Looking ahead: PRESENTERS!!! remember, think social movements and especially check out their versions called new social movements too! Compare with identity politics. All three Wikipedia articles will supply a rich list of movements to inspire your investigations. Use Sandoval00 and Reed05 as guides as well. Be sure to become familiar with Reed's social movement website materials for such resources as well: Social Movements & Cultures; Environmental Justice Cultural Studies  

Review Tab On Presentation, and note especially: "1) So do think 'social movements,' and do think 'who are these people, what are they doing now and where?' Those are the best places to begin. What social movements have these authors participated in? What are the timeframes involved in publication of texts, in professional lives, in activist experiences, in world historical contexts?" Remember, as we discussed, sometimes one is consciously committed to a social movement, working as an activist. Sometimes one is part of large social movements in their historical trajectories, whether one knows it or not, whether one works as an activist and/or as a subject in history. Presenters, help us fill in the historical developments and social movements that make sense to contextualize our readings and all the interconnections among them. TIMELINES or other historical devices for enfolding or temporal engagement are good for handouts too! (Word timeline help. Timeglider.) 

<<<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
•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 10 April – Tambe, Hanhardt
Thursday 17 April – Tambe, Das
Thursday 24 April – Hanhardt, Whittier
Thursday 1 May – Whittier (Berger & Hewitt)

Thursday 8 May – LAST DAY! poster sessions


The Promise of Post-Oppositional Politics: A Preliminary Conversation: By Layli Maparyan and AnaLouise Keating; from The Feminist Wire: http://thefeministwire.com/2014/04/post-oppositional-politics/ 

About both Sandoval00 and Keating13!! 

Neoliberalism, Austerity, Food systems: fr the UK journal new formations, a special double issue: http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/newformations/contents.html

"considers the conceptual status of neoliberalism as a discursive formation, a governmental programme, an ideology, a hegemonic project, a technical assemblage, and an abstract machine." 

Practice, Praxis, and Geneaologies among Worldings in an age of precarity: 
From Plan C in the UK: http://www.weareplanc.org/we-are-all-very-anxious/#.U0FCXV6SspH  

Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy, and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It 
Reposted with the kind permission of the Institute for Precarious Consciousness

1:  Each phase of capitalism has its own dominant reactive affect.
2:  Contemporary resistance is born of the 1960s wave, in response to the dominant affect of boredom.
3:  Capitalism has largely absorbed the struggle against boredom.
4:  In contemporary capitalism, the dominant reactive affect is anxiety.
5:  Anxiety is a public secret.
6:  Current tactics and theories aren’t working.  We need new tactics and theories to combat anxiety.

"If the first wave provided a machine for fighting misery, and the second wave a machine for fighting boredom, what we now need is a machine for fighting anxiety – and this is something we do not yet have. If we see from within anxiety, we haven’t yet performed the “reversal of perspective” as the Situationists called it – seeing from the standpoint of desire instead of power. Today’s main forms of resistance still arise from the struggle against boredom, and, since boredom’s replacement by anxiety, have ceased to be effective."

7:  A new style of precarity-focused consciousness raising is needed.

"In exploring the possibilities for such a practice, the Institute has looked into previous cases of similar practices. From an examination of accounts of feminist consciousness raising in the 1960s/70s, we have summarised the following central features:

  • Producing new grounded theory relating to experience. We need to reconnect with our experiences now – rather than theories from past phases. The idea here is that our own perceptions of our situation are blocked or cramped by dominant assumptions, and need to be made explicit. The focus should be on those experiences which relate to the public secret.  These experiences need to be recounted and pooled — firstly within groups, and then publicly.
  • Recognising the reality, and the systemic nature, of our experiences. The validation of our experiences’ reality of experiences is an important part of this. We need to affirm that our pain is really pain, that what we see and feel is real, and that our problems are not only personal. Sometimes this entails bringing up experiences we have discounted or repressed. Sometimes it entails challenging the personalisation of problems.
  • Transformation of emotions. People are paralysed by unnameable emotions, and a general sense of feeling like shit. These emotions need to be transformed into a sense of injustice, a type of anger which is less resentful and more focused, a move towards self-expression, and a reactivation of resistance.
  • Creating or expressing voice. The culture of silence surrounding the public secret needs to be overthrown. Existing assumptions need to be denaturalised and challenged, and cops in the head expelled. The exercise of voice moves the reference of truth and reality from the system to the speaker, contributing to the reversal of perspective – seeing the world through one’s own perspective and desires, rather than the system’s. The weaving together of different experiences and stories is an important way of reclaiming voice. The process is an articulation as well as an expression.
  • Constructing a disalienated space. Social separation is reduced by the existence of such a space. The space provides critical distance on one’s life, and a kind of emotional safety net to attempt transformations, dissolving fears. This should not simply be a self-help measure, used to sustain existing activities, but instead, a space for reconstructing a radical perspective.
  • Analysing and theorising structural sources based on similarities in experience. The point is not simply to recount experiences but to transform and restructure them through their theorisation. Participants change the dominant meaning of their experience by mapping it with different assumptions. This is often done by finding patterns in experiences which are related to liberatory theory, and seeing personal problems and small injustices as symptoms of wider structural problems. It leads to a new perspective, a vocabulary of motives; an anti-anti-political horizon.

"The goal is to produce the click — the moment at which the structural source of problems suddenly makes sense in relation to experiences. This click is which focuses and transforms anger. Greater understanding may in turn relieve psychological pressures, and make it easier to respond with anger instead of depression or anxiety. It might even be possible to encourage people into such groups by promoting them as a form of self-help — even though they reject the adjustment orientation of therapeutic and self-esteem building processes.

"The result is a kind of affinity group, but oriented to perspective and analysis, rather than action. It should be widely recognised, however, that this new awareness needs to turn into some kind of action; otherwise it is just frustratingly introspective."

Incredibly valuable resource now available at UMD: lynda.com. Info HERE. I've put a link into this site's link list (right hand side above) too.