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Call For Papers: Transgender Feminism

MP an online feminist jourmal
llhinkle@academinist.org

MP: Transgendered (Fall issue) – Deadline August 31, 2011

Can there be a multi-gendered feminism?  MP journal seeks submissions that explore the many facets of transgendered feminism.  How do transgendered people experience, embrace, reject, or practice feminism?  What is the role of feminism within queer studies?  What is the role of feminism for those who occupy the interstice between male and female?  Is gender performance feminist?  MP Journal welcomes academic papers, book reviews, and other well-written inquiries on the subject of transgendered feminisms. International submissions are encouraged.

Submissions may be in any accepted academic format such as MLA, APA, Legal Bluebook, Chicago Style but must be consistent throughout and thoroughly and carefully edited.  Please send the submission, a 50 word bio, and a CV before midnight August 31, 2011 to llhinkle@academinist.org

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
eighteenth_century
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
modernist studies
popular_culture
postcolonial
romantic
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond
arvan's picture

Meet me at WisCon #35

I wll be attending WisCon #35 this May 26-30. I  will be there with my family, enjoying the con.  I would love to meet any readers, bloggers, lurkers, writers and other Internet-folk at the show. 

Please contact me via twitter or email if you would like to grab a coffee or socialize. 

- arvan

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Announcing the Riot 2011 National Conversation Series: Who’s in Charge?

2011 National Conversation Series: Who’s in Charge?

May 3, 2011
June 7, 2011
July 12, 2011

Each 90-minute discussion begins Tuesdays at 2:00 pm Eastern

The Riot’s 2011 National Conversation series provides a forum for self-advocate leaders to talk about:
• What gets in the way of people being in charge of their own lives and support that helps people be in control (May 3rd)
• What gets in the way of self-advocates being in charge of their own movement and support that is helpful (June 7th)
• Ideas about what self-advocate leaders and others can do to strengthen the movement (July 12th)

Speaker List

Sharon Lewis – ADD Commissioner
Ari Ne’eman – ASAN
Beth Davis – self-advocate, Illinois
Betty Williams – SABE president, Indiana
Chester Finn – self-advocate, New York
Gayle B. Gardner – self-advocate, Oregon
Kate Fialkowski – Kennedy Policy Fellow, ADD
Katie Arnold – Sibling Leadership Network, Illinois
Sam Durbin – self-advocate, California
Stacey Milbern – NYLN, North Carolina
Steve Holmes – advisor SANYS, New York
Jennifer Knapp – advisor, Illinios

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

ADD (the US Administration on Developmental Disabilities) is currently hosting five regional summits to discover what is happening with self-advocacy across the country and develop recommendations for action to strengthen the movement at the state and national levels. Self-advocate leaders from up to 30 states are attending to speak up about the movement in their states.

The Riot wants to hear from self-advocate leaders in all 50 states, Canada, and elsewhere about the self-advocacy movement in your state. Self-advocate leaders everywhere are invited to participate in the Riot 2011 National Conversation series to speak up about Who’s in charge!

Jaded's picture

Borrowed Memories And Half-Sounded Syllables

Last week, I saw ‘A Passage To India‘ with my parents and grandma, it started out as a hilarious exercise in pointing out just how many racist elements could one mesh in a movie — turns out more than we can ever count! — and making cynical notes in my head like, “Not all Indians are always smiling all the time, okay?” and “Not all brown women keep their gaze centered on their feet, no not even always in colonial times!” to the part where my grandma started laughing at the “Silly white women trying to speak Hindi!” and then she started telling us about her school days — some 65 years ago when she was roughly about 12 years old¹ — where she and her friends would race to the Colonial Bungalow near their school in Pune, about running right home whenever they’d hear the horses hooves — for almost always it was the British in their town on horses — and trying to touch the fence of the Bungalow but being too scared to physically try it out, to the time when she and her older sister got caught and were lashed for ‘something’ which she doesn’t tell us. She was laughing at how uneven and rough their Hindi sounded, but didn’t know what the movie was about as her English isn’t as good – partly because of the time she was born in and in part because of her own decision to never ‘learn that tongue’ as an adolescent – and for a bit there, mum was transcribing what was happening on-screen and stripping the dialogue, settings from its inherent racism — pretty ironic for  a woman who once protested against the ‘White Imperial Capitalist Hegemony’ in the mid 80′s I thought — and by the time my grandma fully understood why were the White women speaking to the sari-clad-purdah-observing women, it wasn’t funny anymore to her. It took her a couple of days and a few sleeping pills to ‘become’ herself again.

Something like this isn’t a routine occurrence in my household — contrary to popular belief I don’t crumble and break down every time I pass a colonial structure or when I watch English movies or while reading English books — but a movie as specifically racist to Indians as ‘A Passage To India’ or going to the museum, looking at weapons that may have been used on some of my student’s great-grandparent’s are times when I want to re-write history or break away all ties with ‘my’ colonial past — whichever comes first. When faced with historical markers in specific situations, it becomes a tad difficult to view things objectively², to take the position dad took while viewing the film that, “This was an anti-racist book written in the colonial times! Pretty courageous on Forster’s part, no?”, to concede it under the label of This Is How Things Were Back Then. On some level I do understand that Forster like Joseph Conrad was ‘trying to do the right thing’, critiquing colonialism while it was going on — not a terribly popular opinion at that — but I find it very hard to applaud individuals who were more ‘humane’ than others — seeing how both perpetuated harmful and lingering stereotypes of the ‘native’ they were both writing of — to give Shiny Activist Medals™ to Dead White Dudes — a formidable camp on its own — that in no way produced any nuanced critiques of the Empire, not even ‘back then’. While Forster was writing ‘A Passage To India’, talking about Memsahibs and the ‘fascination’ all Brown men must inherently have with White women, we had writers like Premchand³ and Pandey Becan Sharma Ugra writing decidedly postcolonial literature — and many, many Dalit and tribal writers whose accounts  live primarily in their specific community’s oral traditions considering they ‘lacked’ Premchand or any other upper-caste Hindu writer of the time’s privilege to education and position in the caste-hierarchy.

arvan's picture

Call for Papers: Sexuality in Muslim Contexts

WUNRN

WLUML – Women Living Under Muslim Laws

CALL FOR PAPERS – SEXUALITY IN MUSLIM CONTEXTS

Women Living Under Muslim Laws is inviting papers for its forthcoming Dossier 32: Sexuality in Muslim Contexts. Since the 1980s, across the globe and in many Muslim contexts women have witnessed and contested a rising tide of politico-fundamentalist movements, in which social conservatives and actors linked to the religious right invoke Islam to control the expression of women’s sexuality. This control comes in myriad forms and includes restricting women’s mobility, socialisation and modes of dress, and their autonomous control of reproductive rights, as well as women’s ability to make free choices concerning marriage and sexual partners.

Young women are often denied access to comprehensive sexual education and sexual health services. Within marriage, women are also often denied the right to use contraception and protection, even when their husbands may have HIV or other STIs. This control of women’s sexuality is increasingly being legitimated across Muslim nations by legal means; through strict legislation and the creation of moral police forces charged with the right to reinforce, often violently, adherence to proposed moral codes. Across contexts ‘anti-pornography’ laws are being brought to the table, and sex work remains criminalised and stigmatised. Queerness and transsexuality remain incredibly taboo, though women’s movements in Muslim contexts are increasingly taking up the challenge of breaking these silences.

Besides papers that explore such topics, we are also interested in receiving short reports (1,000 words) on various initiatives that women have taken up to promote women’s sexual autonomy or to counteract and resist limitations imposed on women by state or non-state actors.

Possible topics to explore include:

· Violence against women as a mechanism of controlling women’s sexuality (‘honour’ killings, stoning, femicide, female genital mutilation, etc.)

· Sexual politics of human rights

· Transsexuality

· Anti-pornography legislation

· Sex work

· Moral policing

· Sexual orientation

· Dress codes

· Women’s autonomous control of their reproductive rights

· HIV and sex education

· Autonomy in marriage and divorce

· Marital rape

The above list is not exhaustive and we are also open to other relevant suggestions.

Articles should be 4,000-7,000 words including references. We would like to have abstracts submitted by 25 April 2011, with full papers received by 20 June 2011. We will also consider published papers which are not freely available on the internet that may be relevant to activists focusing on issues concerning various aspects of sexuality.

Please email abstracts to the WLUML Publications Officer: pubs@wluml.org

arvan's picture

TEDxBG 2011 - Yana Buhrer Tavanier - The Forgotten People of Bulgaria

Social activist Yana Buhrer Tavanier shares the shocking stories of the children and adults in Bulgaria's orphanages and social institutions.

Jaded's picture

Writing Over Bodies

My book obsession is quite well known, in most circles I move and am allowed in; there is a long-standing joke that I don’t need food but just a fresh page to live. So when my student asked me rhetorically whether I ‘ever tire of theory’, he was rather surprised to know I did — can’t entirely blame him for holding this view, after all I did spend the last seven months talking solely in theories and of texts — in fact, I agree with Spivak¹ when she accuses prose of ‘cheating’. We are taught theory in a manner that we will be able to ‘frame our realities intelligibly’ – pretty problematic on its own already — but when it comes to translating words to practice, somewhere we break and falter. I teach English to children of lower caste and socio-economic backgrounds — technically speaking — this is the space I should be unleashing my postcolonialism in, making sure the harmful ideas that say, “Only a person speaking Good English will ever get a job anywhere”, but I can’t. The truth is, they do need a functional level of English to be employed anywhere  and if I start saying, “Forget the Empire’s tongue! Let’s subvert it and smash the system”, I will confuse them and even humiliate them — for subversion happens once you’ve mastered the tongue — and as first-generation learners of English, learning this tongue is hard enough as it is. On most days, the best I can do is not scold them — as the institution ‘requires’ me to — and not shame them when they code switch² to their native tongues.

(Un)Ironically, what I do end up doing is teaching postcolonialism, Said, Spivak and others to my IB students who are at times even more caste and class privileged than I am. We talk of the Subaltern, while when talking to the Subaltern — my code-switching students in this case — we still re-enforce the most heinous ideas concerning them, their languages and perhaps most importantly, routinely erase their Englishes. When this broken pattern of relating to people above and below us in the hierarchy of being is brought to light, the best we do is, “acknowledge privilege” and then hit a dead-end. The only difference is that now we have Shiny Good Activist Medal™. This isn’t to imply that my students — or even the Subaltern itself — don’t know about the neato colonisation thing, or the reason why certain texts are canonised and others weren’t, we’ve talked of those things — but that’s what it really is: rhetoric, words and talk. These words swirl out of my tongue, out in class, they nod and ask questions and we study on. When they see exam questions using standard forms of English — one they haven’t mastered particularly well — and their ‘intelligence’ is rated on how they fare in these exams, that are designed in an Othering tongue, so to speak. Then we hear stereotypes like,” Those damn Dalit buggers! We educate them, but what use? They still fail exams and waste our time and money. They are basically a waste of space and seats, I tell you!”, when we’re making sure they remain in the same position — one step under us.

arvan's picture

on gaga: how being in the news is not news

[Warning: I will actually be criticising white people, lady gaga and several sacred cows of white culture]

Lady Gaga is all the rage.  She loves her some gay people and she even sings a song that takes up the banner of gay rights - "Born This Way". 

Before anyone derails this into a conversation about music (it's not), my taste (I have none), why I don't like gaga (I think she's talented enough), any theory of me being anti-LGBTQI (wrong again, camel-breath) or my dislike for white people (I am white and harbor no such thoughts) - be clear: this is about the institutionalized cultural appropriation has been served up to and consumed by cis-gendered, heteronormative white audiences.

These are the lies we are told in order to maintain division and inequality by those who profit from our ignorance and cruelty toward each other.

I have had my reservations with a reliance on some short saying such as "born this way" to justify the identity of LGBTQI persons and I am not the only one.  I am not saying that people are not "born this way".  Some are and it is for each of us to decide for our own selves, whether this is true or not. 

-  I do not recognize the authority of others to demand from me or anyone - some accounting of how I got to be the way I am.  I don't owe anyone such an explanation and I don't need to convince them that I am a valid person.  I think that there are no shortcuts.  For me to accept that LGBTQI persons owe some sort of explanation for whom we are is victim blaming.  No different to me than slut shaming.  It is placing the power in the hands of the bullies while releasing them from accountability.  I may have been born this way or I may have chosen to be this way - either way, I cede no power to anyone challenging my rights to be.

arvan's picture

Sex+++ Documentary Film Series is looking for grant application advice

I was speaking with Lisa Junkin at the Sex+++ Documentary Film Series last week.  She said that the success of the series has endeared it to the community, shown value for the Museum and University.  It has also grown beyond the budget they have set aside for it.  Lisa is now looking to convert it into something viable and something that can reach even more people.  Her background is not in grant application or funding in general and I suggested that she write up a description of what she is looking for so that we can post it for you all to see.  So, here is a brief note from Lisa about what the film series needs and the kind of help they could use.  -a

Hi, my name is Lisa and I co-organize the Sex Positive Documentary Film Series, an educational film and discussion series about diverse aspects of sexuality, particularly at the margins. I have a question about funding sources for this program and am hoping that the community here could weigh in.

This series is run by my employer, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which is a part of the University of Illinois Chicago. We have hosted this series for more than 2 years and it has been highly successful, but we have never acquired a grant for it. So far, the program has been entirely funded by the museum's resources and by generous donations by individuals and private businesses. But we're lining up our next two years of AMAZING films, and the costs are adding up.

We would like to find a grant or other funding source to help pay for our expenses, but so far it has been difficult to find a good match.  Our content is, as you can imagine, a bit unconventional for some feminist or woman-oriented funding sources, and we can't accept major funding from places like Playboy because of concerns at the university level (though note that we count among our private donors a dungeon and a sex toy shop.) Other foundations relating to sexuality tend to be either policy-driven or are oriented to address issues of rape and violence, which doesn't match our focus closely enough.

Thoughts? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Our program goals are as follows:

+Screen and discuss documentary films with a positive, informative spin on human sexuality
+Establish a conversation about positive sexuality among communities that aren't currently cross-pollinating
+Support filmmakers creating new work on sexual identities and topics
+Create a replicable model for excellent sex positive programming and community building

For more on the series:
http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_programsevents/_upcomingevents/_events/sex+++/sex+++.html

Film list from our first year:
http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/01/15/the-sex-positive-documentary-film-list-finally-here/

Lisa Junkin
Education Coordinator
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted Street, M/C 051
Chicago, IL 60607
(312)355-5301
www.hullhousemuseum.org

Jaded's picture

Re-Membering Ties; Re-Forming Bonds

Last week, I read Houria Bouteldja’s essay on Decolonial Feminism And The Privilege Of Solidarity and came away with agreeing with most of it, though there are some big problematic themes hazed over — like the ‘question’ of Islam and feminism co-existing (hint: this shouldn’t take consideration) or even the notion of ‘decolonisation’ mentioned many times in the essay, making it seem as if a ‘decolonial’ state of being is indeed possible (without using time-bubbles that too!) that there will be a time when colonisation will be washed clean from under our skin or given the radical left Maoist thrust of the website, the essay doesn’t mention ‘rescuing’ Marxism from Marx’s colonialism — but all of this disappeared as I read the speaker subverting the concept of ‘solidarity’ — physically and viscerally – by standing in solidarity with White women, which was her way of disrobing White feminists of extending ‘sistersong’. I read, “Solidarity with [insert nationality here]” and impulsively liked how ‘solidarity’ as a privilege was reverted, like Caliban cursing at his master¹, the act of reversing roles was more important than focusing on what she actually implied. Considering the speaker is an activist, her goal was to level the uneven power dichotomy of ‘solidarity’ when practiced by White (Imperial) feminists and possibly for her solidarity ‘ends’ there, and not in likening herself to any White feminists. All of this I knew and acknowledged as I read the essay for the first time; I’ll admit that the Calibanian instinct didn’t die away even after days. So for a while, I started believing that solidarity is a desirable concept when disrobed of imperial and neo-colonial intent and action, even prioritised theory over action so to speak, forgot that my dusty skin cannot be cataloged either way quite this easily.

Co-incidentally two days after reading the essay I ended up taking my students to the Prince Of Wales museum for a ‘field visit’ — calling the museum by a glorified Maratha hero’s name doesn’t change where it originates from or that it attests our colonial past — and somehow while constantly saying “no you can’t touch it” and “yes, that’s a naked body, that’s nothing to laugh about!” we were  standing in front of the Ratan Tata wing — yesthose Tata’s – and all the artefacts that came directly from their family heirlooms. One minute I’m telling them to stop giggling at the nude paintings and next moment we come to the section where weapons ‘of the Empire’ are displayed. Rows of guns, whips, knives, pistols — some from the Maratha period, some from the Empire — which were used on ‘natives’; seeing the old Grandfather Clock which still works by London time and finally the cutlery and silverware exposed our (in)visible history. If I were to re-trace ‘that history’, I’d have to look at the gaps and spaces between these narratives and presentations of history, as ‘my’ past is infinitely linked with ‘theirs’. If I were to imagine ‘Indian history’ has a voice, then for the better part of last two centuries it is silenced² judging solely by the artifacts present in the museum, you’d think there were no Indians who lived in India for the time British people hung out here. Had I gone alone to the museum, this would have been the time for me to leave and give in to the crying fit, but my students were around and still wanted to know if those weapons were ever used on us. I must have nodded ‘yes’ as suddenly everyone was quiet for a while. Finally, standing around the creepy, stuffed animals of the Natural History section, one student tells me that his abbujan’s father — great-grandfather that is — used to be a footman to a British naval officer; we don’t look at each other as he wonders out loud if the weapons we saw upstairs were ever used on his abbujan’s father. At that moment — and even today — my first instinct is to cut away all my ties with such a history or a collective past.

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