Welcome to our Course!

WMST 621 Spring 2014: 
Th 4:00pm - 6:30pm WDS 2101R
*although you can see this on a smart phone, please also do examine it carefully on the web, attend to the links especially!*

This course is required for WMST PhD & graduate certificate students. It is taught once a year in a faculty rotation among specializations. This version is a transdisciplinary course that takes up your feminist knowledges as you have them now, across interests and disciplines and political experiences. It is a seminar, but an unusual one in which you will experiment with new scholarly practices, perhaps prepare for your exams, and figure out how to learn in contact zones, at the edge of what we, individually and collectively, know. What you DON'T know will be a resource to the class, as well as what you do! 

Rethinking what we mean by both dichotomies of theory and activism as well as by genealogies. How do we work with all these as bits in emergent processes, rather than god's eye view analysts? Can we and what would it entail? Collecting thinking, working it all out in bits here: I have designed our version of this course for a particular set of folks among many knowledge worlds with many histories happening at different lag times. What we have wondered about as social movements tie things together in this course, but also become something quite new and different from what we have usually expected.

Katie's Spring 2014 OFFICE HOURS 2101 Woods Hall: Weds 10-12 pm. Please make appointment! Some TThs 10-11 am also, but only as special arrangement.

FOR OFFICE HOURS ALWAYS BE SURE TO EMAIL ME AT TO CONFIRM the morning you are coming too! otherwise you might lose your place! & note you can grab me after class! (Email me for office hrs appointments too please.) Office phone: 301.405.7294 (voice mail)


But best email for fast reply is:
KK’s website with MESSAGES:
You can follow Katie on Twitter @katkingumd

Course Description:

Direct theory is a way to name some of the complexities of just how it is that theory and activisms enfold: even when we think of ourselves as “belonging” somehow to one or the other in a kind of us/them distinction (from either end). Many “belongings” and exclusions are tapped into and felt out, with consequences macro, micro, quantum? We can talk about the double bind nature of such complexity, even of its abuses, as well as of its creativities. And in strange and interesting ways, in multiple “we,” different histories crisscross spacetimes such that what we have thought of as genealogies are also always properly unstable and fluctuating: the contexts are somehow INSIDE. Social exclusion and controlling images have new faces and we gather together not just with humans, but with animals, things, vibrant materialities, to live among them and alter with them. 

In dialectical materialism we call the point of potentiality "contradiction." Contradictions bring themselves and more into being, a very condition of existence. Perfections as well as mutually exclusive us/thems are thus in marxist theory pernicious illusions. As Leonard Cohen says: Forget your perfect offering! Our course and our planet need us to find many cracks now and let in much new light: lightning even as one author will put it....

We will explore materialities in terms ethical, ontologically coming-into-being, and epistemologically shaped as agencies in knowings and learnings that are not simply or only human. And “we” are humans, animals, things, and more, our agency captured in bodies, in collectives, across distributed infrastructures, among media and objects, and together with processes we participate in non-consciously.

From the languages of complex systems we take as method and companion some of what the term stigmergy enlivens…. You may know it as the sort of indirect coordinations some insects depend upon and that flash mobs arise from. Its being-ness enfolds singularity and multiplicity, and it works too as an affect, not just a mechanism, as not a gods-eye-view analytic, but as one way to describe how we feel it all happening WITH…

Be sure to look at these links!

<<<621: DATES AT A GLANCE>>>

just doing it: gathering among companions, at home and in the streets

Sandoval. 2000. Methodology of the Oppressed. Minnesota. 9780816627370
Keating. 2013. Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change. Illinois. 9780252079399
Reed. 2005. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle. Minnesota. 9780816637713
Flanagan. 2009. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. MIT. 9780262518659

  • Thursday 30 January – handouts
  • Thursday 6 February – Sandoval, Keating
  • Thursday 13 February – Reed, Flanagan (Sandoval)

/es/system-ing: agential cuttings and compost

Alkon. 2011. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability. MIT. 9780262516327
Cohen. 2012. Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, Vol. 1. OHP. [Free online.] 9781607852377
Dolphijn. 2012. New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Michigan. OHP. [Free online.] 9781607852810
Barad. recent articles. (Reference: 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Duke. 9780822339175)
King. talksites. (Reference: 2012. Networked Reenactments: Stories Transdisciplinary Knowledges Tell. Duke. 9780822350729)

  • Thursday 20 February – Alkon, Cohen (Sandoval)
  • Thursday 27 February – Alkon, Cohen (Keating)
  • Thursday 6 March – Dolphijn, Barad, King
  • Thursday 13 March – Dolphijn, Barad, King

Thursday 20 March – SPRING BREAK

Thursday 27 March – Sandoval, Keating, Reed, Flanagan, Alkon, Cohen, Dolphijn, Barad, King

Thursday 3 April – paper sessions

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 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

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