Saturday, May 15, 2010


Hey everyone,

Several people requested my brother's marshmallow recipe, so I thought I'd share it here: (It's got lots of step-by-step pictures, which is quite helpful!)

I was also requested to share links to the exciting queer porn I'm always talking about (you're all over 18, right? I kid.): Pink and White Productions -- and, and --

Good luck on your final project/journals, everybody!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 16-Discussion Question

McKeachie's teaching tips offers a great source of information for college instructors. Many Professors may be experts in their field but they are not experts in the classroom. Chapter 2: "The Countdown for Course Preparation" talks about being ready for class while Chapter 4: "Reading as Active Learning" discusses ways to actively engage students. Describe one book or assignment during your higher education career that has stuck with you? explain why you have been able to keep this learning experience or book in your memory.

Week 16- Vivian's Current Event

I have two current events that I have been following. I could not decide over choosing a local current event or an international current event. They are both important so I will post both and talk about one in class. The first current event is about Nigeria's new president, Goodluck Jonathan. I am very interested in the Nigerian civil war and the ethnic and religious tensions between the many communities in Africa's most populous region. The new Christian president will be taking over after the death of the Muslim leader, Umaru Yar'Adua on May 7th, 2010. He is likely to choose a Muslim vice-president to help calm the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities in Nigeria. You can find more information on the nationall public radio website. The other current event that I wanted to briefly touch upon is the upcoming election in June where voters will be chosing to install term limits on the county supervisors that have all been there for over 15 years. I would love to hear the class' thoughts on that issue.

Disucssion Question Wk 16

In chapter 4, "Reading as Active Learning," the authors of describe strategies for not only getting students to read, but strategies for getting students to engage with what they are reading in order to truly connect with and understand the material. One strategy is reading quizzes and another is reading journals.

Given that many of us will be teaching courses with assigned reading, which strategy do you think you will employ? Keep in mind the extensive academic housework that grading reading journals entails (Thank you Dr. Lara for reading all of those sentipensante journals and your valuable insight and comments). This type of journal assignment may be much more difficult when there a 40 students in a class. I'd like for us to discuss the realities of the authors' strategies for getting students to read, and talk about when and where we should place limitations on what we take on.


Discussion Questions, Week 15, Laura

In Ch. 2 from McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, the impact of having clear goals for the class and saving time for self-reflection as a student/teacher are repeatedly emphasized...
1. Are there any personal goals or professional goals that this course on Feminist Pedagogies has helped you achieve or develop for the future?
2. On pg. 27, McKeachie discusses some examples of self-test questions that can help teachers and students in the process of getting to know each other better by revealing doubts, questions, and insecurities before the class begins to learn about the course material, what other questions do you think would positively contribute to the set of self-test questions?
The self-test questions McKeachie shared were: Are you rigid? Will you really try to help students? Are you easily rattled? Are you a person as well as a teacher? Can you handle criticism?

See all you womyn later :)

Activity for May 12_Irina

This week we read about various methods in preparing for class and getting the class started. considering that today is the last day of class, let's have an activity for closure.
  1. Choose one person in the class and briefly describe what you have learned from them
  2. Then briefly describe what you have gain from the class as a whole

Discussion Questions for May 12_Irina

In Ch. 4, "Meeting a Class for the First Time," McKeachie describes methods for breaking the ice on the first day of class.
  1. Please describe what method you would like to use in a class for an ice breaker and why (you do not have to discuss a method proposed by McKeachie).
  2. OR...Please describe a method that one of your professors used for an ice breaker and why you did or did not like it.

Discussion Question 5/12

In Chapter 2 "Countdown for Course Preparation," McKeachie describes the list of things that need to be done in order to prepare for teaching a course before the the first day. What types of practices have you learned as a student from taking other courses that you have found helpful and may consider using if you were to prepare to teach a course using a pedagogical approach? Take a few minutes to think back and recall on any favorable experiences that you may have encountered or if not, what could have the teacher/professor done prior to the class in order to be better prepared?

Hope my question makes sense!

Current Events: Technology and Resistance

In the past few years, cell phone video technology has been used to capture several incidents of students being tasered and/or arrested for creating disturbances in university classrooms and libraries. One example is the UCLA Taser Incident in 2006; a more recent incident occurred at the University of Wisconsin earlier this semester. A video of the latter is below (warning for conflict and violence):

Incidents like these raise a lot of questions for me. How are campus safety policies used to discriminate against students of color, or students from different cultures? At what point would you feel the need to call campus security? At what point does student hostility become a threat, or out of control? Regarding the above video, how would you have reacted if you were the teacher in that situation?


I also wanted to share a really fascinating article about a local UCSD professor who uses art and technology to protest immigration policies and raise political consciousness--and the negative consequences he's facing as a result.

Week 16 Discussion Question(s)

This week's readings offered a plethora of practical tips not only for teaching, but for constructing the best possible learning experience for students. Without a doubt, to succeed at this requires us to understand our students as well as possible. In Chapter 2, "The Countdown for Course Preparation," and Chapter 3, "Dealing with Student Problems and Problems," the authors advocate for understanding who our students are, and what they need from us.

Drawing from our personal experiences in the classroom--both as students, and as teachers--how must our teaching strategies vary depending on the different types of college/universities we are at, or the different student groups we teach to? Have you had any experiences with adjusting your pedagogical strategies to fit students' needs that you'd like to share? Thinking reflexively, what could you do to make your pedagogy more flexible and spontaneous?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Interesting Seminar @ UCSD

"Uiversity of California San Diego
Division of Public Health
Department of Medicine
Seminar Presents

Jay Silverman

Harvard University, School of Public Health
Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health

“Sex Trafficking:
A dark and neglected corner of
gender‐based violence and HIV risk.”

Thursday May 13, 2010

UCSD – Institute of the Americas
Weaver Conference Center"

Interesting Seminar @ UCSD

"Uiversity of California San Diego
Division of Public Health
Department of Medicine
Seminar Presents

Anita Raj

Boston University, School of Public Health
Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences

“Considering Gender, Culture and Context
When Addressing Sexual and Reproductive
Health in Marginalized Populations”

Wednesday May 12, 2010

UCSD - School of Medicine
Leichtag Biomedical Sciences Building
Room 107

*Lunch will be provided."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Discussion Question for 5/12

Hello Everyone!

Hope you are well. This last weeks reading give some suggestions on some of the practical teaching practices. My question comes From Chapter 5, the author talks about active learning but what does active learning look and feel like from a feminist conocimiento(s)? What are your thoughts on this?

At the beginning of the Chapter 5 the authors discuss the goals and objectives for incorporating discussion in class--(Page 35)
What can be added to the following list Svinicki and McKeachie provide in the chapter.

Something totally apart from the readings is my reflection on Chelsea's last post. My reflection of the seminar is powerful and it's an experience that I will continue to share with others around me. This class was transformative, not only did I learn about pedagogical practices from a feminist perspective but I also became aware of other communities as well as it's diverse identities. I think that overall, I became aware more of the relationship between my bodymindspirit and how that impacts every teachable moment. Moreover, this seminar encouraged me to feel, smell, understand, question, and see different social locations. I thank all of you for being part of this process and all the new (des)conocimientos.


Okay, okay...

...what the...? (click on the link)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My last post...

It has been a wonderful semester with everyone! I've learned so much from the course, but more importantly I've learned so much from you as people and participants in our community of knowledge. I fail at accurately articulating how transformative this semester has been but I thank you for being a part of that journey. Whether you realize it or not, you played an important role in it!

For my final post and weekly question/pedagogical practice, I am curious to know what you think has been your biggest "ah-ha" moment, what you will most take away from this seminar or how you have changed since January in part due to this course. As my pedagogical practice this week, please take a few moments to reflect on the 696 journey and write whatever response comes to mind. If we have time, those who wish to share may but no one has to.

Thank you for a wonderfully eye-opening and inspiring semester, everyone!

Friday, May 7, 2010


I saw this news article about students wearing shirts with an American flag on them. It's unclear what was said or done by the students but what are your initial thoughts?

The first four paragraphs outline what happened (some of it alleged at this point) but from paragraph five on it gets interesting discussing the polarization of race and culture in American schools and education programs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Film Festival Link- Current Event by Laura Macias has a lot of great films about racism, class/environmental exploitation, and other issues we have discussed in class, if you click on the archives tab you'll find resources for all the films they've included in their festivals, I just saw "A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil" and I think it's a good complimentary film for the topic of the impact of environmental feminists on creating sustainable cities(the topic of one of my projects) :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maggie's Discussion Question

Happy Cinco de Mayo! See you all in class today =)

In the articles “The Power of No” in the Feminist Teacher Anthology and the article by Fonow and Marty on “Lesbian Panels in the Women’s Studies Classroom,” the authors discuss strategies for opening up the classroom to share personal stories and experiences through a panel or in a class circle.

Fonow and Marty use a constructionist approach to open students’ minds to the root of homophobia. To what extent would it be valuable to use this same approach in a “No Circle” to explore the roots of violence against women? What type of pedagogical strategy would be most effective?

5/5- Question about encating "the personal is political in the classroon"

The reading that struck me the most this week was "Dangerous Responses" by Michelle Cox and Katerine E. Tirabassi. When Sara arrived to her dorm hall drunk, she was approached by a sophomore who had sex with her and later two other college students that did the same. The reaction by the students was saddening. The article brought me back to a personal incident. I was very shocked that many students did not believe Sara had been raped because she was drunk(did they think it was consentual?). Alesha Durfa's "Teaching Sensitive Issues" addresses ways to discuss difficult issues. She indicates that students come from many different backgrounds and not everyone will share the teachers point of view. I sympathised with one of the instructors in "Dangerous Responses" that could not get her students to agree on rape in her terms. Even her best attempts could not change the student's mind about Sara's own blame. When presenting a subject that you have a very strong opinion about, how do you interject without sounding too biased or disappointed in the students that do not share your point of view? Sometimes the goals of teaching a feminist classroom contradict each other. When upholding views about social inequality is trumped by wanting to empower students to give their point of view(even if that view is racist, sexist and just plain wrong)...would you chose student empowerment over upholding views of social justice?

Current Event: Border Issues

I found this today in the San Diego News on Sign on San Diego. It's great news to hear that our city leaders oppose the immigration law in Arizona.

Here's the Article below:

San Diego council opposes Arizona law
Immigration measure is ‘un-American,’ Gloria says


Originally published May 3, 2010 at 5:18 p.m., updated May 3, 2010 at 11:16 p.m.

SAN DIEGO — With references to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews and the struggle for civil rights in this country, San Diego’s leaders said they felt compelled to formally oppose the new immigration law passed in Arizona.

The symbolic gesture, which urges Arizona lawmakers to repeal the law, won City Council approval Monday on a 7-1 vote, with Councilman Carl DeMaio voting against the resolution.

The law makes it a crime to be in the state without legal status and requires local police to question people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Proponents of the law say it is necessary because of the federal government’s failure to curb the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants across the border. Opponents say it will lead to racial profiling and harassment.

Councilman Todd Gloria said the law is “fundamentally un-American.”

“Those who do not speak out often come to regret their silence in time,” he said. “Today, this council, through this resolution, will make clear that we will not stand by and watch the erosion of freedom in our own backyard.”

The council’s resolution states that the Arizona law encourages racial profiling and violates the U.S. Constitution.

Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad, who supports the law, said the resolution’s language shows that city officials never actually read the law.

“It’s just astonishing how quickly elected officials would jump off the cliff on this thing,” he said. “The facts don’t matter here, it’s all political posturing.”

DeMaio voted against the resolution because he said it needed to include clarifications that Arizona passed a subsequent bill that made several changes to the original law, such as specifically prohibiting racial profiling. In addition, he wanted to add language urging the federal government to take immediate action to secure the nation’s borders.

“We need to speak from a position of principle and a position of fact as well as a position of balance,” DeMaio said.

Councilman Tony Young refused to add DeMaio’s language to his original motion to approve the resolution.

“I won’t do it because … the legislation is flawed from its beginning,” he said.

The audience, which included dozens of people who spoke against the law, responded with loud applause. There were no public speakers in opposition.

The resolution will be forwarded to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Craig Gustafson: (619) 293-1399;

Craig Gustafson: (619) 293-1399;

Current Event (5/5)_Irina

Calif. Senate OKs Bill Responding To Richmond Rape

[Click to zoom.] Click to enlarge
1 of 1
Police cars sit parked outside Richmond High School on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, in Richmond, Calif.



numSlides of totalImages
Related Stories

* Bill Prompted By Richmond Gang Rape Moves Forward
* 7th Richmond Gang Rape Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
* Richmond Gang-Rape Accuser Recants Story
* 7th Suspect Charged In Richmond Gang Rape

Witnesses to the murder, rape or lewd acts victimizing a child under 18 would be required to notify police, under a bill approved by the state Senate.

The bill was written in response to the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl outside of a Richmond High School homecoming dance in October. Seven males have been charged in the case, and investigators say as many as 20 people watched without reporting the crime.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco amends current law, which requires reporting such crimes against victims age 14 and under.

A violation would be a misdemeanor punishable with a $1,500 fine or six months in jail, the same as under the current law.

SB840, passed Monday on a 29-0 vote, without debate. It now goes to the Assembly.

It's interesting to me (and problematic) that this bill involves amending the currently law which requires report to authorities for a minor age 14 and under. Now the law will be to report witnessing a crime against a person under 18. But what about crimes committed against a person over 18?

This law does little to prevent future gang rapes but at least the law should protect all possible victims, not just a portion of them. What do you guys think?

5/5 discussion question_irina

In the piece by Michelle Cox and Katherine E. Tirabassi, they bring up the question of whether or not to self-disclose in a classroom. They question: “How do we know when our self-disclosure to a whole class is justified, helpful, and in the best interest of our students and ourselves?” (236). Cox and Tirabassi conclude that choosing not to self-disclose was the best option because it would have moved the focus from the text to the teacher. Considering the statistics on rape, it is likely that some of the students in class had been raped themselves, not just their “friends”. The writers agree with Brenda Daly’s statement, “I have not overcome the powerful taboo against bringing personal (and emotional) issues into the classroom. I fear that, if I become emotional, I might lose my ‘professional’ composure, my authority” (246).
1. By not disclosing their personal experiences, do they reinforce the taboo of brining personal stories into the spotlight? Do they reinforce the misogynist idea that women are too emotional?
a. OR….is not disclosing a better option because it allows the students to focus on the text? Is one more important than the other (the text versus the real life example)?

Student Disclosures

What can we realistically ask of our university/institution in terms of recognizing and compensation for assisting students with crisis, revelations or disclosures? Is there a way to work with other services offered through the university in addressing these issues and the time constraints that may arise?

What can we do for ourselves in order to not "take home" some of the more harrowing or difficult stories/disclosures we may hear as educators of sensitive issues?

How can we effectively, but sensitively, disengage from assisting a student when we feel that our "personal limit" has been reached without alienating or silencing the student?

Week 15 Discussion Questions

In the articles "Teaching Sensitive Issues: Feminist Pedagogy and the Practice of Advocacy-Based Counseling" by Alesha Durfa and "Dangerous Responses" by Cox and Tirabassi, the teacher and advocate counselor are both protectors and nurturers of students by adopting different strategies such as self-disclosing painful experiences, feelings, and vulnerabilities, attentive listening, maintaining confidentiality, refusing to control the student by taking up a decision maker role, and trusting the students integrity.
Educators invest a lot in emotional labor, what can be done when a teacher's spirit and attitude becomes pessimized by students who abuse their careful reactions to sensitive issues? How should educators react when frustrated students exploit their holistic approach to create an oppressive environment for other students?

Pedagogical Practice for Week 15 5/5

"Survivors of Gendered Violence in the Feminist Classroom," by Janet Lee, "Dangerous Responses," by Cox and Tirabassi, and Estelle Freedman's "Small-Group Pedagogy: Consciousness Raising in Conservative Times," each illustrate a very real need to address issues surrounding violence against women and gendered violence from a sentipensante approach. Students often experience difficult/uncomfortable/painful emotions when learning about discussing violence, and professors are not immune.

As students engaging with course material regarding pedagogical practices for teaching about gendered violence, we too are put in a position where spiritual, "physical and emotional tensions arise" (Thompson 1998:70). This may be especially true for survivors of gendered violence in our seminar.

The authors suggest various methods of addressing this tension. How about we try one of their exercises out in order to address ours? (Class chooses one Pedagogical Exercise).


1. We will form a c.r. group (or story telling group) in seminar where we will each take turns to speak uninterrupted for 1 minute, then we will have one more minute to wrap up our thoughts. Just as Freedman tailored her student's c.r. prompts to the lecture for that day, I would like folks to speak to how reading about (teaching about) gendered violence made them feel. If you are uncomfortable speaking, please invite the group to meditate on this prompt for your 2 minutes. During this practice we should engage in active listening, as described by Dr. Lara throughout the semester.


2. In the spirit of Martha E. Thompson, let's form a "NO Circle." In the circle will each take turns calling out something (rape, stalking, racism, etc.) we would like to say NO to, something we want to stop happening. In the no circle we can channel our anger, frustration, sadness, or whatever into our voices. When each of us has contributed, we will all yell "NO" to gendered violence together on the count of three. When we are finished we can reflect on the usefulness of the exercise.

See you in class,


Week 15 Discussion Question(s)

In Mary Margaret Fonow and Debian Marty’s “The Shift from Identity Politics to the Politics of Identity: Lesbian Panels in the Women’s Studies Classroom,” the authors address the "impression management" that lesbian panelists often struggle with while discussing their sexual identity in front of a classroom. Similarly, Michelle Cox and Katherine E. Tirabassi both questioned whether to self-disclose their experiences with rape to their students in “Dangerous Responses.” How do we determine which of our personal disclosures--particularly those that are deeply emotional or deal with trauma--have pedagogical value, and which are better left unsaid? When, and to what extent, may students be more enriched by our silence than our voice? And at what point do we draw the line in regards to our vulnerability?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Possible Discussion Question 5/5

Hello Everyone! This week readings discussed an important aspect of teaching. The authors share their experience with conversations of self-disclosure in the classroom. They share the common challenges, questions that may arise, and possible strategies that can assist professors in situations like these.

This topic is complex and it requires educators to be sensitive, critical, and reflective if we were to encounter situations like the one's described in the readings.

My question then is what are the tools and supportive partnerships on this campus that either are here to train professors or just help with sensitive and personal issues? If there is a strong base established, are they effective and how is this measured?

See you you all soon.

Nancy Huante

Monday, May 3, 2010

OTHER TONGUES: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out — Submissions Due May 15, 2010


OTHER TONGUES: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out

Co-editors Adebe D.A. and Andrea Thompson are seeking submissions for an anthology of writing by and about mixed-race women, intended for publication in Fall 2010 by Inanna Publications.

The purpose of this anthology is to explore the question of how mixed-race women in North America identify in the 21st Century. The anthology will also serve as a place to learn about the social experiences, attitudes, and feelings of others, and what racial identity has come to mean today. We are inviting previously unpublished submissions that engage, document, and/or explore the experiences of being mixed-race, by placing interraciality as the center, rather than periphery, of analysis.

Please send one (1) submission of up to 2500 words of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or spoken word as a SINGLE attachment to

Black and white images and artwork should be 300 dpi and sent as attachments in jpg. of tiff. format. Artwork and photography limited to three (3) per applicant.

Please include your contact information, including your name, address, phone number, e-mail, title(s) of work submitted, type of submission, and a short artist bio (50 words max) in the body of the email, with your name and the type of submission in the subject line (e.g. “Jazmine – Poetry Submission”). All submissions are due May 15, 2010. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

If you prefer that your contribution remain anonymous, please include this preference at the top of your submission. All personal information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the Editors, Adebe DeRango-Adem and Andrea Thompson, at

For more information:, or visit us on Facebook:

We look forward to reviewing your submission!

Current Event - Jessica Spain Week 15

Hello everyone!

So below I have posted a very short piece taken from Anarchist news dot org, a "non-sectarian source for news about and of concern to anarchists" (About Us).
The piece is titled "WE’LL SHOW YOU CRAZY BITCHES: TAKE BACK THE NIGHT" and it details an event that took place last week in Brooklyn, New York. (Take Back the Night was 4/29).

I think it would be very interesting to discuss this piece and possibly have a conversation about radical anarcha-feminist politics and activism. What emotions, if any, does this piece evoke for you? Do you feel that these efforts are effective ways to address violence against women, why or not? Hopefully we will have time to discuss on Wednesday.

See you in class!


BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – Dressed in matching black skirts and masks, dozens of women gathered on Saturday evening for an anti-capitalist Take Back the Night march, stopping traffic on Bedford Avenue, overturning trashcans, and breaking windows. Tired of tamely shouting slogans on campus sidewalks, we took the night back by taking it, refusing the structural mechanisms that create rapists and their victims.

Although in recent years Take Back the Night has been co-opted by liberal feminists, it has its roots in the widespread unrest of Italy in the late seventies. In 1976, a seventeen-year-old was gang-raped in Rome. A year later, when her case went to trial, she was gang-raped again by the same men: and this time, her whole body was slashed with razors in an attempt to keep her silent. Within hours, fifteen thousand women mobilized, uniformly dressed like the sex workers common to the district; “NO MORE MOTHERS, WIVES AND DAUGHTERS: LET’S DESTROY THE FAMILIES!” was the cry heard in the street. They came just short of burning the neighborhood to the ground.
[1 block of cars windows broken = burning neighborhood?]

Forty years later, we marched again, to refuse the violence that continues to force us to be housewives and fuck-toys and mothers and daddy’s girls, to refuse to understand women’s oppression in the private sphere as a simple cultural or ideological matter. We address capitalism and patriarchy as one intrinsically interconnected system. We are not asking for rights: we are demanding something else entirely.

A woman on the street stopped and attempted to begin an argument: “Why are you doing this?” A swift reply: “Because we have grown tired of rape and makeup.” The woman responds: “Just get drunk and get laid – deal with it.” But this is no longer enough for us. We are not asking for a right to the streets, we are taking them; we are not asking for advertisements that do not objectify women, we’re destroying the commercial mechanisms that objectify women; we are not appealing to male power for an end to rape, but threatening: “If you touch me, I will fucking kill you.”

For once, the mechanisms that create and maintain identities of womanhood were refused, and our desires were our own, our bodies were our own, and our violence was our own.

See original post here ->

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I thought this blog was interesting...

I thought this blog was interesting, one of my Communications professor recommended it... it integrates issues of racism, sexism, classism, and other topics we have covered in class. "Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. " Hope you all enjoy it :)

See all you womyn next week!
Keep it movin',

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WS696: Current Event(s) 4/28

At The Women's Center at UCSD, an event called "F-Word Shorts: A Series of Short Films Exploring Feminism" will take place on Thurs. May 13 from 5 to 7pm, the short films expose feminist issues and social justice issues from different perspectives to challenge traditional assumptions, as well as resources for future activists. More information is available at...

In Chapter 10: Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy, the topics of 'forging collectivity: transforming individualism" and "the collective is more powerful than the self" were brought up and I found a link to a blog,
that is based on bringing together collectively feminist thoughts and principles in an online blog. The authors describe their work as the "Crunk feminist collective" which promotes "a crunk feminist mode of resistance that will help you get your mind right" "as we divorce ourselves from "correct" or hegemonic ways of being in favor of following the rhythm of our own heartbeats". The collective includes posts named "We are not your weapons, we are women", "Do you remember the time when you fell in love with activism", and "looking for love in all the wrong places".


In Ch. 4 Katherine Orr regarded her student's experiences as "texts to be unloaded" . Each student was able to unload their text in the classroom by sharing their experiences but unlike learning from a text they were able to personally apply their learning through self-reflexion. The community work done by the students encouraged them to view themselves as subjects of a historical period. In addition, the students added another layer of complexity by examining race and gender in their present experiences. The issue of race was crucial for many of her student's who seemed to have developed a new understanding of their place in the world through a new lense. For example, one Mexican student whose family immigrated from a higher class was able to see his similarities to a yound boy (who happened to be the son of a Mexican janitor). In Ch. 16 Rebecca Anne Allhyari also examines the process of learning and gathering data by discussing "Becoming Feninist Cyber Ethnographers". If you had to describe yourself within a historical context or explore your own ethnography, where would you begin? How would you begin this journey of self exploration?

4/28 (irina)

In chapter 4, Catherine Orr discusses Robert Rhoad’s article on community service. Rhoad states, “Too often, community service is structured as a one-way activity in which those who have resources make decisions about the needs of those who lack resources” (page 51) and Orr then asked her students whether what they were doing was “simply…charity” (51). I think Orr brings up a very interesting point, a point that should be considered by all activists.

This section in the article reminds of me the fundraisers that are put together when disasters happen (or general fundraisers for causes such as homeless children or something like that). Consider the fundraisers for hurricane Katrina or for the quake in Haiti. Do you think these fundraisers are simply charities or are they more than that? Please Explain.
If they are simply charities, how do you think they can be improved to be more than that?

In Chapter 11, Simona Hill discusses her experience with a campus organization called Sisterhood. A discussion was held on campus called “IGNITE A KITCHEN FIGHT1” Some students were upset with the title of the event because it seemed to portray violence and a sexist message that women should be in the kitchen. During the discussion, the facilitators explained what the term kitchen fight means. At one point, the facilitators told the audience to develop discussion rules for the rest of the event on sensitive topics. Why do you think the facilitators did not just put together the discussion rules themselves? What is significant about allowing the participants to make up the rules?
Would you implement this practice in your own class in the future? Or would you provide your students with the rules that you come up with?

Current Events/Media for 4-28 Readings

See this link for an article discussing some of the work done by the group Sisterhood at Susquehanna University.

These links are to the website. The first is an activist project meant to implemented on college campuses in order to bring attention to and to decrease sexual assault.
The second link is a useful article explaining the connection between theory and activism and the benefits in taking Women's Studies courses for activists.

The next link is a youtube clip of the University of Central Florida's Clothesline Project. Working with the clothesline project was part of a service learning course offered at the school.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the clothesline project please check it out at the link below.

SDSU Women's Studies program & the Clothesline Project
• April: THE CLOTHESLINE PROJECT: This project began over a decade ago as a way for survivors of domestic and relationship partner abuse to express themselves. The students were provided with blank t-shirts in which they drew and inscribed messages of survival and affirmation. All t-shirts made a statement against violence against women--regardless of whether the students had experienced it personally (many had). The T-shirts were displayed at the high school to let other students view their work and their important messages. Note: creative projects of this nature are also very popular and frequently repeated. A variation of this is a collectively made quilt. On each square, students were asked to articulated salient features of their ethnic/racial/geographical heritage of which they are proud. One such completed quilt is on permanent display at Hoover High School.

For 4/28

Sorry it's late...but

RE: Chapter Four: Challenging the "Academic/Real World" Divide by Catherine M. Orr

Orr discusses the corporatization and commodification of education and how students have become consumers and/or products of the university on page 37. How does this interact with, or complicate, feminist pedagogical goals and teaching strategies? Where do these changes maybe overlap, if at all, with our idea of what "education is" or "should be"?

Discussion Question 4/28

In Catherine Orr’s “Challenging the ‘Academic/Real Word’ Divide” in chapter 4, she explores the idea of bridging the divide between “academic/real world, theory/practice, and self/other divides” (37) between experimental/service learning and the classroom. What type of pedagogical feminist strategies would you incorporate into your classroom or learning community to help bridge this dichotomy? Do you have any ideas for assignments to help facilitate this process?

See you in class!


Discussion Questions, Week14

sorry this is a bit late...

In Chapter 4: Challenging the "Academic/Real World" Divide, Orr's arguments support Agathangelou's observation that "our fear of revealing the unequal distribution of privileges and vulnerabilities within the classroom made it difficult to move away from criticism of who or what was "bad" or "good""(pg.141), what would be some creative strategies/activities that will challenge students to share their cultural assumptions about other students to begin the process of solidarity building and overcoming feelings of discomfort? Creating a list of community/classroom values?

In Chapter 10: Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy, Agathangelou states "utilizing three major processes- critique, communication, and confrontation/negotiation- students become agents to enact their own physical, material, and discursive movements, their strategies of resistance, and their envisioning of a progressive future in which they actualize self and communities,"(pg.152), what would be a good way to approach/confront students that use those three major processes without integrity and honesty? Should the risk of wouding from internalized dominance and intellectual/emotional manipulation be issues that a feminist teacher should address/expose early in the course to assist students in developing decolonized minds?

See you all in class, keep it movin' :)

Discussion Questions for Week 14

1. In Cathrine M. Orr's article "Challenging the Real World/Academic Divide" she describes the ways in which the students in her feminist theory class "began to doubt their own abilities and even motivations to intervene in the practices of domination and subordination that pervade people's lives, including their own", and that discoveries made by students in the feminist theory class, such as the shortsightedness and contradictions made by so many of the contributors to the conversation on feminist theory played a key role in to students inability to act for social change/transformation.

Why do you think that revealing the shortcomings of feminist activism in the West is internalized by the student leading them to "paralyzing guilt?" Rather than anxiety and the retreat from activism, what are some alternative scenarios that might have played out among the students after having discovered the "shortcomings and contradictions" of feminist and women's studies activism?

2. In "Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy" Anna M. Agathangelou complicates GLOBALIZATION to reveal the ways in which students can use globalization to reinforce AND/OR challenge systems of domination and subordination. She assigns her students activist projects asserting that, "decolonization requires more than just a accumulation of knowledge about globalization and feminist theorizing on such social relations." As university students, what do we think about this assertion? Are we choosing to live by this credo? How are we working to decolonize ourselves and our communities OTHER than by accumulating knowledge and understanding? I hope this can serve as a "getting to know one another" sort of exercise in that we can hear about the community/activism important to each of us.

M.I.A "Born Free" music video

Have any of you seen the new M.I.A. music video, "Born Free." I suggest you watch it, because I would love to hear what you all think about what she is saying here. What does it means to use these images in this way? How are various characters in the movie represented, what do those representations mean? Who is her audience and what does she want them to take away? I have some swirly thoughts about it myself...

I hope this link works. Controversy: Youtube removed the video. (It is NOT work safe!)



Week 14 Discussion Question

In light of Catherine M. Orr's "Challenging the 'Academic/Real World' Divide" and Rebecca Anne Allahyari's "Becoming Feminist Cyber Ethnographers," I wanted to reflect on the idea of creating activist narratives through new technologies.

Orr discusses how her students struggled to see themselves as a part of the history of women's activist movements, and how they were equally troubled by the idea that no singular narrative of the women's movement might exist. Considering Allahyari's discussion of cyber ethnographies, how might the organization histories found on most organization's websites serve to either distance students from narratives of activism, or make them feel closer to it? In other words, can technology provide different experiences and interactions with history than books can? Also, given the multiplicity of perspectives/information available on the Internet, is there a danger of reinforcing the lack of cohesiveness and commonality between women's different forms of activism?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Discussion Question 4/28

Hello Everyone!

This week I decided to frame my question around both Chapter 10 Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy and Chapter 11 Activism and Alliance within Campus Sisterhood Organizations.

Both spoke about making alliances across borders while critically interrogating difference and our own experience (common theme through out the seminar). Both authors share their theory and practice in and out of academia; however, within these different processes where do the current struggle of indigenous people now? I think many times discussion on globalization, feminism, racism, sexism, etc. tends to briefly cover the location and standpoint of those who identify as indigenous. In addition, in my past experience courses treat these experiences as something from the past. So how can educators continue to "unfold" in this context and how do we include this particular community in the "unfolding process"? How can we effectively use the "three major processes---critique, communication, and confrontation/negotiation"(p. 152) and feminist pedagogy to engage in discussion with indigenous communities across social locations that in my opinion are forgotten?

See you all in class.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Multi-culturalism and Feminism

I saw this article on neo-lib groups/people appropriating cultures (particularly that of Native Americans or American Indians) as a fashion sense in Bitch Magazine. Given everything that we've discussed in class from Keating to hooks and more, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this "phenomenon" and the blog author's response.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Question for 4-21

Sorry for getting these to you all late...
1. How can we develop a syllabus that doesn't reinforce the banking method while at the same time providing the class with a certain amount of structure?
2. Do you think that the advantages of teaching distance education classes in women's studies (e.g. facilitating widespread access to those who might not otherwise be able to take them)out way the difficulties in implementing a feminist pedagogy?
See you in class!

Mahmood, France and the Veil

On the heals of class last week discussing Mahmood and the veil and the west's representation of Islam, here's the newest news from France in regards to the veil. Those of us who took 601 may recall our discussions about this!

April 21st Discussion Questions_Irina

1. (Chapter 10) In her article, "This Class Meets in Cyberspace," Rose describes
many of the limitations of teaching distance classes. Do you think the
limitations outweight the benefits of teaching in this way or do you think
distance learning is worth it and should be implemented? Please Explain.

2. (Chapter 12) In, "Homophobia and Sexism as Popular Values, Bleich describes
how students were "outraged" to read Shirley Jackson's story in which a woman is
picked annually to be stoned in a ceremony. Students were "more concerned with
whether the victim had a right to complain (which she did) than with the fact
that such a practice was stipulated to begin with" (156-157). Bleich states that
she could have "told" them WHAT to discuss but chose not to because in this way
she could observe what the students' values are. Explain what you would have
done in this same situation (and explain why).



1. In Colwill and Boyd’s article “Teaching without a Mask? Collaborative Teaching as Feminist Practice,” they examine team teaching and the impact of language as power in the classroom. Here is an excerpt on an incident that occurred: “Words were spoken without considering their impact on others in the room; people slipped, at times, into language of ‘us’ (insiders) and ‘them’ (outsiders), language that erected boundaries and borders among ourselves . . . (235)

Have you as a student experienced a time in your education where you felt like an outsider in the classroom because of the language that was being used? Did you confront the teacher or professor about it? Please explain. How can we as educators confront an issue of language in the classroom if one arises?

2. In David Bleich’s article “Homophobia and Sexism as Popular Values,” he explores different reactions and discussions with students on homosexuality, homophobia, and socialization in the classroom. To what extent as educators do you feel responsible to educate students on these topics? Do you think the education on diverse populations should begin before entering the university? What role can the public school system play on educating students and having these types of discussions?

Discussion Questions for Week 13 - Jessica Spain

1. In Colwill's piece about team teaching she describes a scenario in which a student makes a comment that completely disrespects and dismisses the real experiences and more nuanced circumstances of undocumented Mexican immigrants to the United States. Needless to say, this comment is in complete discordance with the team-teachers' learning objectives for the students enrolled in the experimental interdisciplinary course.

Obviously, situations like these can not be contained to the professional realm, and professor's personal feelings of insecurity and anxiety often come into play.Colwill wonders if the student would have challenged professor authority and course materials in this way had her co-teacher, who is a man, were leading lecture than day, and a male co-teacher wonders what he is not teaching in his time spent with the class that is preventing any expression of student resistance.

All of us are, were, or will be teachers in one way or another and may experience resistance in the classroom that leaves us feeling lost, and perhaps even betrayed some student. What are some strategies we can develop in the face of these hardships to keep a healthy bodymindspirit? How can we nourish ourselves from a sentipensante approach when the going gets tough in this way.

2. In "Gender, Race, and Radicalism" Joy James
describes her experiences teaching a class on radical Native and African American woman activists. The texts assigned include the woman activists' autobiographies, and students were given the opportunity to engage with material that illustrates political circumstances as the actor experiences them, ans well as her opinions, reflections, fears, and aspirations.

How might choosing to teach the class with autobiography assist students, who are keeping their own journals throughout the semester, in reflecting on their own experiences with racism. How might a text book, or some other way of engaging with the material, limit students as they relate to the material in a way that inspires dedication to radical antiracist action despite the obstacles posed by conservative (and liberal)university settings?

Discussion Question- Laura

In Chapter 12: "Homophobia and Sexism as Popular Values" by David Bleich, the concept of "socially masculine thinking" is used to explain how normalized sexist and homophobic attacks against women and homosexuals have become, what are some ways that teachers can inspire students of all genders and sexual identities or expressions to reflect over generic feelings about themselves and others? What pedagogical activities can be helpful in encouraging students to reflect over their "own strong responses" to sexism and homophobia "as the result of the social repression" of homosexuality(LGBTQI) and women's empowerment(Goddess, witch)?

Discussion Question-Vivian

In Ch. 19, "Gender, Race and Radicalism", Joy James compares Native and African American Activists. She compares communities of color to counter notions that women of color can only be compared to "normative" Euro-American activists. Teaching radicalism is not easy, as noted in the reading, because institutions have given students a negative notion of radical activism especially when dealing with women of color who act against the state. James tries to counter the negative view by focusing on the activism of Angela Davis and other prominent figures that were triggered by unjust situations. However, the author does mention that many students in her class may not be fully engaged because they are not activists. What would be a good method to engage non-activists students who have internalized the institution's negative view of radical activism? Does a student need to be engaged in activism to better understand a class on the subject? If so, would encouraging students to engage in protests against current injustices, such as student fee hikes or racist policies, cross the line?

Discussion Question 4/21

My question comes from the Colwill and Boyd article but I think it also connects to the major theme of the seminar which discusses how collaborative learning looks like and how it can be collaborative.

Although simple, this question invites us to really discuss and reflect on the process of team teaching or of teaching in general. Describe how the process of developing a team teaching course would look like and your response to challenges (e.g. assumptions, authority, voice) encountered in the process.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Question(s) for this week...

In Colwill and Boyd's piece they discuss how "team teaching remains a more vexed process than is typically acknowledged, precisely because our teaching personas are deeply rooted not only to our conscious choices, but also in enduring, and at times unconscious, structures of self" (216). Thinking about your own personal identity as an educator or teacher, in formal or informal settings, have you come across a co-teaching experience that has produced such inter-personal or inner-personal conflicts that they mention in the article? What, if anything, did you learn about yourself, your teaching style or your assumptions?


In a similar vein, do you think Ellen Rose's experience with distance education could have been mitigated by team teaching? How might team teaching factor into distance education? Do you think it would make it harder or easier? How might students benefit or how might their assumption of power and presence complicate matters?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chapter I'd like to read...

Here are the chapters that look most compelling to me:

Teaching Feminist Activism:
1. Chapter Four: Challenging the "Academic/Real World" Divide by Catherine M. Orr
2. Chapter Ten: Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy by Anna M. Agathangelou
3. Chapter Sixteen: Becoming Feminist Cyber Ethnographers by Rebecca Anne Allahyari

McKeachie's Teaching Tips:
1. Chapter Two: Countdown for Course Preparation
2. Chapter Five: Facilitating Discussion: Posing Problems, Listening, Questioning
3. Chapter Thirteen: Dealing with Student Problems and Problem Students

The Feminist Teacher Anthology:
1. Chapter Six: The Power of No by Martha E. Thompson
2. Chapter Twelve: Homophobia and Sexism as Popular Values by David Bleich
3. Chapter Seventeen: Would You Rather by a Goddess or a Cyborg? by Suzanne K. Damarin

Reading Selections_Irina

The Feminist Teacher Anthology:
Chapter 5 (Resistance to Generalizations in the Classroom)
Chapter 12 (Homophobia and Sexism as Popular Values)
Teaching Feminist Activism:
Chapter 2 (The Dynamics of Critical Pedagogy, Experiential Learning, and Feminist Praxis in Women's Studies)
Chapter 7 (Bridging Feminist Theory and Feminist Practice in a Senior Seminar)
McKeachie's Teaching Tips:
Chapter 5 (Facilitating Discussion)
Chapter 19 (Teaching Large Classes)

Discussion Questions for Week 12 - Sorry for the Delay!

4/14 Week 12: Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Beyond: Teaching from Intersectional, International, & Transnational Approaches

Feminism, Democracy, and Empire: Islam and the War on Terror
by Saba Mahmood

Discussion Question:
Saba Mahmood begins by asserting that Western feminism played a historical role in validating and promoting colonial rule throughout the world. She goes on to argue that this same discourse is being redeployed in contemporary feminist writings, its purpose being “justifying the United States’ war of terror upon the Muslin World” (pg. 81), the justification being that the U.S. is “liberating” women from their repressive cultures. She goes on to ask several questions. First, how are the ideas of “freedom, democracy, and gender equity,” which are goals promoted by most Western feminists, used to promote the U.S. imperialist agenda? Second, how does this layering of ideologies works to obscure said agenda? Third, what forms of violence does it condone?
Pedagogical Practice:

Watch YouTube Clip:

Bill Maher - Burqa Fashion Show (1-4:02)

Take a few moments to journal on the following: What are the consequences of Western feminists’ views of the veil as oppressive to women, and their subsequent analysis, that any women who advocates them is operating out of a false consciousness? How might video clips, like the one included in this exercise, develop a space for dialogue about the practice of veiling in the Middle East among students? How might using video clips be effective in a different way than simply reading about these concepts?

Let's share our responses with one another.

Reading Selections by Jessica Spain

Selected Readings for the Next Few Weeks

- Cohee, et al in The Feminist Teacher Anthology
  • Chapter 17 , "Would You Rather be a Goddess or a Cyborg?" by Suzanne K. Damarin
  • Chapter 19, "Gender, Race, and Radicalism: Teaching the Autobiographies of Native and African American Activists."
- Naples and Bohar, Teaching Feminist Activism
  • Chapter 9, "Global Feminism and Activism in Women's Studies Practicum" by Kayann Short
  • Chapter 10, "Globalization and Radical Feminist Pedagogy" by Anna M. Agathangelou
- McKeachie's Teaching Tips
  • Chapter 4, "Reading as Active Learning"
  • Chapter 13, "Dealing with Student Problem and Problem Students (There's Almost Always at Least One!)

4/14 Reading Question

What are the dangers of using a few narratives to characterize the experiences of all Muslim women and all forms of Islam?

How do contextualized knowledges work to challenge the cultural hierarchy in which Islamic and Western societies are constituted?

Laura's Discussion Questions for April 14

1. In the article "Making "Racialized Misogyny" Visible: Internationalizing Women and Violence" by Heather S. Dell, one of the techniques that she used to teach about dowry death and feminist activism was to examine the myth of people of color as "tradition-bound".
a. What are some examples of experiences or moments in which you have been experienced being the object of "tradition-bound" myths?
b. How have you reacted to or how has your identity been shaped by "tradition-bound" myths?

2. In the article "Teaching Globalization, Gender, and Culture" by Deborah S. Rosenfelt, the author discusses the theme of "globalization through mass culture of Western criteria for beauty, the refusal to perform in a standard Western dialect could also be read as a resistance to a standardized aesthetics of the body"(173), and she also describes how cultural criticism may be difficult for undergraduates to discuss. I suggest for a pedagogical activity that we use flashcards with different terms on them like 'eurocentrism, decolonization, Third World, clitoridectomy, globalization, free markets ' and discuss how we feel about those terms.

Discussion Questions for April 14_Irina

1) Activity: in her article on racialized misogyny, Dell explained some of the assignments she uses in class. One of the assignments is Response Cards. Dell asks students to write their immediate responses and then to share them. This way, the students do not have time to rephrase their immediate thoughts and make them sound politically correct. I think it would be great to try this in our own class. Maybe read a short article about a certain issue (in class) and then do the response cards. We do something similar via our discussions but most of us have had time to think about the articles we read or the questions posted. So it would be interesting to try these Response Cards.

2) In, “Making ‘Racialized Misogyny’ Visible: Internationalizing Women and Violence,” Dell explains how “racialized misogyny…in both white and Black communities has placed women of color in the unnecessary position of having to decide whether to identify themselves as Black or as women” (280). This choice of identity can be found in many situations. For example, sometimes I have to choose between my identity as a feminist and as my parents’ daughter.
a. Please provide an example of when you had to choose an identity and explain your action in that situation.

3) In, “Investigating the Transnational Dimensions of Class, Race, Gender, and Sexual Identity: Engaging the Students in Research,” Pershing describes how she leads her class and what she assigns to students.
a. Imagine that you are teaching a class about the issue of choosing between identities (as described in the article by Dell). Please briefly describe your assignment to help students understand this concept and begin to question such accepted practices and expectations.

reading selection for remaining weks

I forgot to post my interest about chapters in the remaining reading's in class.

I really have no preference, they all sound interesting its difficult to chose. I am open to anything.

See you all soon!

Discussion Question for 4/14

The readings this week discussed the importance, design, and implementation of multicultural, transnational, and international perspectives in gender studies. My reflection question pedagogical practice comes from the Cohen and Stewart article and Mohanty's Chapter. Both of these brought up important topics to consider when designing an inclusive course integrating multiculturalism, transnationalism, and international perspectives in gender studies.

The feminist pedagogical practice I suggest is something I thought about when reading Cohen and Stewart, in reference to their point on page 446 which states: "Among important pedagogical issues, it may be constructive to recognize that a great deal of this material may be uncomfortable for students". My response is students have been comfortable and learned nothing why not have students feel uncomfortable and gain consciousness.

So, I suggest that maybe having a "box of conocimientos". The box would be open for students to write notes, questions, ideas, questions, or concerns on anything that they feel uncomfortable or want to have discussion on; they would drop their statements in the box. Each week or class day depending on schedule someone would draw one of those statements out of the box and then break up in small groups to discuss it.

In a sense, then students begin to voice their discomfort and speak to the challenges and fear of talking about some of the complexities of the topics discussed in the readings this week. In addition, like Mohanty explains its important for students to "pay attention to the processes of [their own racialization]" thus, transforming their understanding about the world they live in. This process may or may not work and I think a foundation of conocimientos would have to happen before implementing the box, but its an idea.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week 12 Discussion Question + Reading Choices

Our readings this week explored the importance and implementation of multicultural, transnational, and international perspectives in gender studies. My contribution this week is part exercise, and part question: what books/articles, documentaries, videos, media, or pop culture examples have you encountered in the past that helped to promote international and transnational perspectives?

Together, perhaps we can collectively build a list of resources that can be used in our classrooms to promote global perspectives and multicultural understandings of gender, race, sexual orientation, transgender/intersexual experiences, disability/ability, age, religion, ethnicity, body politics, labor, and cultural borderlands. I'll be including some of mine in a comment to this post, and I invite you all to do the same.

Here are my choices for next week's readings (I gravitated toward the technology-oriented pieces):

- Cohee, et al in The Feminist Teacher Anthology
  • Chapter 10, "This Class Meets in Cyberspace: Women's Studies via Distance Education" by Ellen Cronan Rose
  • Chapter 17 , "Would You Rather be a Goddess or a Cyborg?" by Suzanne K. Damarin
- Naples and Bohar, Teaching Feminist Activism
  • Chapter 16, "Becoming Feminist Cyber Ethnographers" by Rebecca Anne Allahyari
  • Chapter 11, "Activism and Alliance within Campus Sisterhood Organizations" by Simona J. Hill
- McKeachie's Teaching Tips
  • Chapter 13, subsections "Class Management Problems" and "Emotional Problems"
  • Chapter 17, subsections "How Will Technology Enhance Teaching and Learning?" and "Teaching with Technology"

Question for 4/14

Does the cover of Encompassing Gender: Integrating International Studies and Women's Studies challenge and refute or uphold and reinforce the assumptions, binaries and dichotomies discussed by the authors that we read? How so?

How do ideas of nationality and the "state" get played out on gendered bodies (both male or female)?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Below is a link for the conference I was telling you all about in class today. There are descriptions of the various workshops being offered and information about keynote speakers, etc. Registration is free! There will be must, performances, etc.

Also, Irene was right and the SDSU Diversity Conference is also on April 24th. Here is the link: I was not able to locate workshop descriptions for this conference. Also, registration is not free, but is anywhere between $5 and $15 depending on when you register.


April 7th post-Vivian

In Imagining Differently: The Politics of Listening in a Feminist Classroom, Cevenak, Cespeden, Souza and Staub explore the concept of Latinidad. Latinidad(solidarity on the basis of bieng a Latina woman) is deconstructed to understand the complexities of sisterhood and solidarity. According to the article, internalizing an identity such as belonging to a "Latina group" can actually be counterproductive. The article cautioned against internalizing identities. According to the article, if a Latina accepts and internalizes her identity then she is also internalizing the state's narrative of what that role is.
Do you think accepting an identity as part of a group means internalizing the nation's narrative of that group? In other words, is identifying by race or gender counterproductive because it assumes essentialized notions of truth?

April 7th Question_Irina

In Anne Donadey’s article, “Negotiating Tensions,” Donadey explores the difficulty in balancing when to respond to students’ comments and when to allow other students to speak up (214-215). How would you handle a situation in which a student speaking up makes racist remarks (or remarks that reproduce ideologies of dominance)?
.........What would be your initial reaction?
.........What would be your thought-out reaction?

Pedagogical Practice for April 7th, 2010 - Jessica Spain

This pedagogical practice is geared toward students in a 101 level women's studies course and aims to support Ann Donaday's assertion that women's studies courses must, from the very beginning, resist monist (gender-only) discourse when analyzing oppression in favor of integrated curriculum that engages students in feminist discussion of race and class (and other systems of dominance).

The practice itself has been taking from the women's studies textbook Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings by Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee (p. 61). Rather than creating my own pedagogical practice to shed light on the way each of us experience varying degrees of privilege and oppression based on our multiple subject positions, I intend to make use of, and add to existing tools that have been developed by feminist teachers before me (this exercise was created by authors and is based on Peggy McIntosh's "White and Male Privilege," a featured reading in the text's second chapter, "Systems of Privilege and Inequality in Women's Lives."

learning activity:

Unpacking Your Knapsack
Author Peggy McIntosh lists a number of ways that she experiences White privilege.
Based on your various non-target statuses*, make lists of the ways you experience
the following categories of privilege:

Middle or upper class

*Target groups are groups that are targeted as “less than” or different because of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and/or other differences. Non-target groups are defined as groups that are more likely to receive privileges and benefits in a society, i.e. part of the dominant group.

Addition to exercise for graduate students: Share with the class one or two lists of the ways that you are privileged based on your various non-target statuses, and take a moment to speculate (on paper or verbally) how taking responsibility for your social location is important to a holistic and integrated women's studied curriculum that highlights intersectionality. How might this exercise benefit you as a future teacher of women's studies? of some other discipline? in non-traditional teaching environments?


Question/Pedagogical Practice for 04.07

In the feminist classroom we focus on decentering authority and power by valuing, empowering and encouraging experiential knowledge of students allowing for critical thinking and engagement in, or challenging of, ideas, theories and thought processes presented by the professor/teacher. Student resistance, monist thoughts, racist/sexist assumptions, or reproduction of dominant ideologies (through subtle and not so subtle ways) complicate this decentering of power. How as feminist teachers do, or can, we navigate between both a decentering of power/valuing of students' experiential knowledge and still work towards an anti-sexist, -homophobic, -racist, -classist, -ageist, -ability(ist?) course? In other words, what strategies can we use to maintain a feminist pedagogy valuing experiential knowledge of our students when our students come from, are vested in, informed by, marred by, or are products of an otherwise racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, ageist and ability(ist?) society?


This is a quick write that does not have to be shared; it is a personal self-reflection that might illustrate or highlight some of your own assumptions, fears or investment in power. Donadey's piece examines how fear can inform student resistance to anti-racist or anti-colonial theory. Fear can come across as defensiveness, anger, and refusal. She discusses ideas of unsettling assumptions, solipsism, vested privileges, and reaffirming the myths that justify one's dominance. She also mentions that a truly radical pedagogy "would integrate emotions in the epistemological model". As such, take a few moments to think about a time in a class, CR group, or other discussion wherein you found yourself as angry, defensive, or refusing to engage with the material. Why? Thinking back now, was the material challenging a privilege in which you were/are invested? How did/n't this change your perspective on something? What did your anger, resistance, or refusal to engage reveal about yourself?

Week 11 Discussion Question

As several of this week's readings demonstrate, the likelihood of encountering resistance in the classroom remains high, particularly when discussing issues of racism; and as feminist teachers, we must prepare ourselves for addressing such reactions. In Donadey's chapter, she takes time to share several readings she assigns in anticipation of students' confused and upsetting emotional responses to racism. Audre Lorde also speaks about the importance of recognizing the "uses of anger" to overcome paralyzing feelings of guilt, or the fear of confronting with other women about racism.

What other specific methods, materials, and assignments could we use to find productive uses for anger--both the anger of students of color, and white students' anger at being confronted with their privileges? How might our pedagogies help to creatively channel that anger into productive change, as Lorde urges us to do, and what would these practical strategies look like in a syllabus?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laura's "Twenty-First Century Feminist Classrooms" Question

Twenty-First Century Feminist Classrooms- Question...

My question is based on on the reading from Chapter 5: "Negotiating Subject Positions in a Service-Learning Context" by Tamara Williams and Erin McKenna

Williams and McKenna state that the "central goal of a feminist service-learning class is to ask students to move beyond their own experiences, to see life from other points of view in order to gain a critical perspective on how they have understood their own lives"(142), are there any other strategies that teachers can use to challenge students to see life from other points of view besides service/experiential learning? What are some creative ideas that the lowest spending school districts (the ones that are least likely to invest in service/experiential based learning) can use to challenge students to move beyond their experiences with the help of feminist pedagogy?

See you all later!


Conocimiento Walk Fall 2009

I was at home sick on the day our class went on a conocimiento walk, but for the purpose of sharing my reflection and contributing to the blog, I will share my experience from my first walk. It was last semester in Irene's US Women of Color course and there were about 40-50 students in the class. We went on our conocimiento walk in between the music building (where our class was located), and between the Adams Humanities building in the grassy area.

I remember feeling quite silly because it was such a large group and we looked like a trail of ants in a line walking around the bordering grass areas. I remembering thinking I wonder what the students around us are thinking and what everyone else in the class was thinking as well. I finally let the silly feelings go and I really tried to take in the time in this walk. I remember feeling the sun shining down on my skin. It was a nice day with a little bit of a fresh breeze that flew by which made me very aware of the environment and how much I wished to be free mat the beach enjoying the weather. I remember a group of girls on a team practicing in the field in view playing soccer. It brought me back to memories of when I used to play and it made me miss it greatly. I just wished I had the time to participate in team sports like I used to through childhood and as a teen. A lot of flashbacks occurred at that point and I was happy for those girls that are still able to make the time to play.

The walk continued back to the class and I remember feeling refreshed and excited to discuss with the class how we experienced our first conocimiento walk. I think everyone felt a bit goofy at first, but then they allowed themselves to really cherish those few moments and were able to take something from it. Writing this blog and reflecting on my first conocimiento walk from last semester has sparked some feelings for me to go to my spot at the Coronado docks to just be and take in the environment there. I hope to find some time to do that later this week!

Hopefully we can do another walk this semester when I'm not sick! =)