[-empyre-] queer is everywhere

Amanda Phillips aphillips at umail.ucsb.edu
Fri Jun 8 17:35:47 EST 2012

Alex, thanks for this really crucial and timely addition to the
conversation. I hope to hear other people's thoughts about this, as well.

I would also identify feminism as an "anchor" of sorts for my queer work,
although I waffle a lot as a young scholar and educator between the desire
to engage in a kind of identity politics as a whatever-identified scholar
and the recognition that those types of identifications aren't sufficient
anymore - and sometimes they can be detrimental. I have started just making
absurd lists of academic/identity categories on my Twitter and other
profiles - queer, feminist, mixed race, antiracist, antiableist, etc etc
etc scholar who loves everyone and wants to make the world a better and
more equitable place.

I know it's silly. But as Sharon Bridgforth would say, it's my authentic

There is a way in which queer studies and new media studies seem hip right
now where feminism does not quite anymore - though feminism does seem to be
enjoying a moment of cool in the blogosphere with places like the Crunk
Feminist Collective and Shakesville pulling in massive views and publicity.
But students resist the f-word like few other things in my classroom
vocabulary (okay, except maybe "white supremacy"), and I feel like it would
be a disservice to them and to myself not to press them on both of these
issues and try to turn them around.

So yes, feminism is a central category I think is important to be out and
proud about. I tend to push back on post-identity-politics frames a little
because they sometimes seem to be seeking to close the book on some issues
a little too soon. But this is a complicated and dangerous line to walk, so
I'll stick with my absurd lists and keep trucking along....

On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM, Alex Juhasz <Alexandra_Juhasz at pitzer.edu>wrote:

>  On Micha's request, I'd like to introduce you all to a project I am
> currently working on with Anne Balsamo, who was last month's discussion
> organizer here.
> It's called FemTechNet and the connections and points of contention with
> this conversation seem critical.
>  First a little intro to our project and an invitation, then some
> discussion:
>   I am part of a global effort--FemTechNet--to archive and teach the
> history of feminism and technology and invite members of this list to join
> us in our collective efforts in building the world's first MDCLE.
> “Dialogues in Feminism and Technology” is a Massively Distributed
> Collaborative Learning Experiment: a feminist rethinking of a MOOC. For our
> feminist endeavor, teaching and learning are adaptive, dispersed, and
> shared.
> As technology remakes academia and the arts, we see that critical analysis
> of gender, sexualities, and race have been absent in much of this
> re-thinking of disciplines and practices.  Feminist scholarship that made
> great strides in the pre-Internet era may be lost in the digital era.
> Feminist who work in a variety of disciplinary and institutional homes may
> not share histories or current work.
> ****
> *Course Description*
> Produced collectively by FemTechNet—a network of hundreds of international
> feminist scholars in a variety of fields and disciplines—“Dialogues in
> Feminism and Technology” delivers (and grows) ten weeks of course content
> covering both the histories and cutting edge scholarship on technology
> produced through art, science and visual studies. Recorded conversations
> between luminaries in these fields will anchor each of ten weeks of themed
> content, but from there, each professor will tailor a course best-suited to
> her students, institution, locale, and discipline from a diverse, robust,
> and growing database of “Objects that Learn”—readings, media,
> web-resources, and conversations that are submitted and peer-reviewed for
> teaching by the network. Shared assignments will link learners across
> disciplines, institutions and national boundaries as their own efforts
> become part of the feminist database and dialogue.****
> You can join the network by joining our listserv which sits on the
> fembotcollective.org site under the pull-down "Register"
> Thanks and I hope to be collaborating with many of you soon.
>  Alex Juhasz
> Media Studies
> Pitzer College
>  One of the areas of some contention regarding the FemTechNet effort,
> that will not surprise anyone here I think, is how expansive and/or
> endangering might be the term "feminism" to include all the people and
> practices we see integral to this project. I would be interested to hear
> people on this Queer New Media discussion talk about the role of feminism
> for their work.
>  Speaking personally here about my lived and adaptive intellectual,
> artistic and political history in media making, activism and criticism, it
> was my feminism, laced onto AIDS activism via lesbian and gay love and
> politics that initiated and still anchors (my) queerness. My "old media
> work"--AIDS activist videos, feature documentaries, feature fake
> documentaries that are actually narrative films--are usually "queer" in
> that they are often lesbian work and/or AIDS work, and because I am queer.
> But my work is and was first and foremost feminist. When I recently
> produced the micro-budget lesbian or perhaps queer feature, "The Owls<http://www.theowlsmovie.com/>"
> (Cheryl Dunye 2010), working with a collective of primarily queer people of
> color in LA, the role of both gender and feminism were highly debated
> within our collective in relation, it felt, to individual's lived
> experiences of their "post" identity (politics): particularly in relation
> to the words and experiences umbrellaed under ther terms "woman" or
> "lesbian" and then by default, their handmaiden: "feminism."
>  When I posted Shu Lea's video, "les cles e<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk7TOUiQ7-Q>"
> yesterday, I gestured to the beautiful and provocative ways that this gem
> is about no queer or sexual issues, or people, whatsoever: how it falls or
> flies (like an angel) outside of identity (politics), into form and fantasy
> and even philosophy. However, because we hear Shu Lea, this moementary
> flight from radical sex and technology is anchored to, and laced across my
> awareness of her body of work, and her body, and so to her ongoing radical
> feminism and queerness. I think, as culture changes, and words are de, re
> and unfanged, the term "feminism" to me currently points to radical
> political commitments to world-and self-changing in a way that "queer" has
> often been a bit flattened or softened by corporate culture. However, as I
> think through this post, it is both the quiet and loud that I seem to be
> most drawn to; any (queer) media that refutes an identity, or its practices
> or sociality, that can be bought and sold and known with a click.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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