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Power theme

Well, power seems to be a huge theme! A few broad areas within this theme seem to be emerging for me so far though (and more will probably emerge in the future) - I'd be curious to hear what people think of these, which ones we are most interested in pursuing, whether people have more ideas etc.

a) Intersectionality and the relationships between various kinds of oppression - important for thinking about the power structures at work within feminism itself, and how these replicate (or, hopefully, avoid replicating) hegemonic power structures of society. We seem to want to particularly focus on race, ethnicity and/or national identity.

  • Jonasdottir, Bryson and Jones (2011). Sexuality, Gender and Power: Intersectional and Transnational Perspectives.

b) Feminist epistemology - questioning the traditional structures of knowledge at the theoretical level. This often means thinking about science and the philosophy of science, as feminist epistemology questions the androcentric (and white, Western, bourgeois etc) aspects of scientific enquiry.

  • Lykke, Nina (2010) Feminist studies: a guide to intersectional theory, methodology and writing - available here. See Ch 8, 'Rethinking Epistemologies'. This chapter presents the main debates in feminist epistemology in an accessible way.
  • Harding, Sandra (1986) The Science Question in Feminism. Open University Press. One of the founding texts of feminist epistemology.
  • Grasswick, Heidi, ed. (2011) Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science: power in knowledge. Springer. Looks like a very good, up-to-date collection of essays surveying the present state of feminist epistemological studies. Chapter 12, 'Liberatory Epistemology and the Sharing of Knowledge: Querying the Norms' looks potentially very interesting indeed, talking about sharing knowledge and open access issues in relation to feminist epistemology.
  • Barad, Karen (2007) Meeting the universe halfway : quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke UP. A key contemporary text repositioning the relationship between scientific enquiry and culture.
  • Battersby, Christine (1989). Gender and Genius. Women's Press. This states that it's about feminist aesthetics, not epistemology, but it seems related. I'll need to read it more carefully to figure this out fully. Also, Battersby is an emerita professor of Philosophy at Warwick. I think it would be great to get her involved in our project.

c) Education and pedagogy. This is a kind of applied feminist epistemology. Research in this area broadly asserts that traditional structures of teaching, learning and knowledge are deeply patriarchal. So, thinking about how to teach feminism and gender studies means thinking in self-reflexive ways about how to challenge these ingrained power structures within institutions of learning.

  • Ropers-Huilman, Becky (1998). Feminist Teaching in Theory and Practice: Situating Power and Knowledge in Poststructural Classrooms. Teachers College Press. The project involved interviewing many self-identifying feminist teachers and offers a number of pedagogical theories and methods for doing so. The same author has produced a more recent article here on similar issues - in this case exploring "Power and Caring in Feminist Education".
  • Paechter, Carrie (1998) Educating the Other: Gender, Power and Schooling. Falmer Press. Explores how girls and women are constructed as an "other" in the classroom, and offers strategies for challenging this.

Finally, this is a great encyclopedia entry on feminism and power: (Thanks, Katha!)