Knit a uterus for your member of Congress
Thank you Jezebel, for suggesting that we “Knit a Uterus to Donate to a Congressman in Need.”
Remember when we decided that Rick Santorum needed a uterus of his very own so he’d leave ours alone? Well, now there’s a similar idea being proposed for the members of Congress across this great land who seem so insistent on getting all up in our lady parts since they’re jealous they don’t have any of their own. So how exactly are we going to make that happen, since we can’t, you know, give them actual uteruses? Enter Government Free VJJ, a project which aims to have have ladies knit or crochet lovely versions of uteruses (plus cervixes and vulvas) and mail them to their representatives.
So kind of you to provide fabulous patterns for such wonderful projects as the Snatchel, Felt Cervix, and Happy Uterus.
Today is a good day for some craftivism.
Science and Technology in Society Day — LOTS of women
Science and Technology in Society Day Friday March 23, 2012
Location: Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Please join us for an examination of issues at the intersection of science, technology and society with new faculty Carla Fehr (Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology) and Heather Douglas (Waterloo Chair in Science and Society) and a variety of experts from the Waterloo area. The event is free, but pre-registration, for individual events or the whole day, is requested.
Register here: http://sciencetechsociety.uwaterloo.ca/
9:15 Coffee and Welcome
9:30 Café Scientifique I: Scientists and the Burden of Responsibility
What are scientists’ responsibilities with respect to society? While it is clear that scientists have responsibilities to not falsify data and to treat research subjects ethically, it is more controversial the extent to which scientists should consider the potential impact of their work on society. This lecture and directed discussion will delve into the basis and nature of those responsibilities and how institutional structures might assist scientists.
- Heather Douglas, Waterloo Chair in Science and Society, Department of Philosophy
10:45 Coffee Break
11:00 Panel Discussion I: Structural Obstacles to Scientific Investigation
How do community-wide practices, technologies, and standards alter which scientific knowledge is developed? This panel will examine cases of concern across a range of disciplines.
- Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute
- Trefford Simpson, School of Optometry
- Richard Wells, Department of Kinesiology
12:15 Break for Lunch
1:45 Panel Discussion II: Science and Technology: Who is in/Who is out?
What sorts of factors determine who gets to be a scientific expert? How does the distribution of expertise influence that way that science is conducted and the kinds of knowledge that science produces? This panel will examine patterns of inclusion and exclusion from philosophical, anthropological and psychological perspectives.
- Kathryn Plaisance, Centre for Knowledge Integration
- Christine Logel, Psychology, Renison University College
- Jennifer Liu, Department of Anthropology
3:00 Coffee Break
3:15 Café Scientifique II: If You Want Research Excellence, Fight for Diversity
Does a commitment to improving diversity in our science and engineering departments result in sacrificing research excellence? Research in the social sciences and philosophy demonstrates that the answer is “No.” This lecture and directed discussion explores ways that diversity improves the creativity and rigor of our research communities.
- Carla Fehr, Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology, Department of Philosophy
I find this juxtaposition of a great big physics machine with traditionally feminine art immensely pleasing. Artist Kate Findlay’s quilts and other textile artworks are inspired by the Large Hadron Collider.
“The Large Hadron Collider, a steely pinnacle of physics and engineering, doesn’t generally bring soft, snuggly thoughts to mind. But that may change for people who see Kate Findlay’s quilts. For four years, she has been making fabric-based artwork inspired by the accelerator and its experiments. “I’ve been living and dreaming and sleeping and eating hadron colliders,” she says.”
CFP Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education
Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education: Critical Theory and Practice
Tracy Penny Light, Jane Nicholas, and Renee Bondy (eds.)
This edited collection will provide educators with a theory-to-practice approach to implementing feminist pedagogy in higher education classrooms. Each chapter will discuss the use of feminist pedagogical practices in different disciplinary contexts, paying particular attention to the multiple ways that feminist theory is employed in the classroom, in curricular development and/or in community service learning. The authors interrogate the notion of feminism and its relevance for teaching today’s learners. Questions about the design of learning activities to engage students with this approach will be addressed as well as ways to evaluate learning within the context of the current structure and focus of universities, including the notion of engaging today’s learners in a meaningful way. The chapters will present a dialogue around this approach while providing concrete steps for readers to implement in their own classrooms. Authors will address how inclusive feminist pedagogy can challenge issues of racism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, and colonialism in the university classroom to make the space more accessible to all learners. In total, this collection will assess the past, present and future of feminist pedagogy in the university and will be of interest to teachers and administrators from all disciplines.
Call for Proposals
Feminist pedagogy places issues of social inequality and difference at the centre of the curriculum to engage learners in the process of constructing knowledge through inclusive teaching methods. These approaches seek to empower learners to struggle with course material in order to challenge traditional assumptions, to ask critical questions about the world around them, and to make connections between their learning experiences particularly with a view to making change in the world. As such, these approaches to teaching and learning typically critique received wisdom, reform the relationship between teacher and student, and respect and value the diversity of the personal experiences of all students while relating the learning in academic classrooms to the “real” world.
We invite submissions for papers that explore the role of feminist theory within current pedagogical practices across the disciplines. This edited collection aims to provide educators with a theory-to-practice approach to implementing feminist pedagogy in higher education classrooms. Papers that discuss the use of feminist pedagogical practices in different disciplinary contexts, paying particular attention to the ways that feminist theory is employed in the classroom, in curricular development and/or in community service learning are particularly sought. Authors should interrogate the notion of feminism and its relevance for teaching today’s learners and address questions about the design of learning activities to engage students with this approach as well as ways to evaluate learning within the context of the current structure and focus of universities. Papers that present a dialogue around this approach while providing concrete steps for readers to implement this approach in their own classrooms are of particular interest. Examples of topics that might be addressed in papers include but are not limited to:
- Interrogating the notion of feminism and its applicability in today’s classrooms;
- Teaching from a social justice, activism and transformative political perspective;
- Innovative approaches to bridging the divide between “traditional” pedagogical approaches and feminist approaches;
- Potential challenges/strategies for success in employing a feminist pedagogical approach;
- Exploration of the ways in which a syllabus might be organized for traditionally “non-feminist” topics according to feminist principles;
- Incorporating feminist perspectives into teaching of subjects that students may consider to be “non-gendered”;
- Feminist pedagogy and post-colonial interventions in women’s/gender/race/class studies, transnational feminist activism and politics;
- The role of feminist pedagogy in engaging youth to be responsible citizens.
Interested authors should send a 250-300 word proposal to the editors by April 3, 2012 and accepted proposals will be identified by May 1, 2012. Drafts of papers (6000-8000 words) will be due August 15 and a book workshop will be held in the fall of 2012 (if funding is available). Revised manuscripts will be due November 15, 2012. The book is under contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
For more information or to submit a proposal, please contact Tracy Penny Light firstname.lastname@example.org
Evolution, Gender and Sexuality, and ISH: a conference including women and feminist topics
This year’s ISHPSSB meeting, that is The International Society for The History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (fondly called ‘Ishkabibble,’ or just ‘Ish’), is fast approaching. While the deadline for submitting papers has passed, you can still register to attend, or just take a moment to be pleased with the inclusion of women and feminist topics! It will take place July 10-15, 2011 in Salt Lake City. Conference themes mentioned in the cfp include: Civic engagement; Race; Policy, science funding, and scientific progress; Sustainability, environment, energy, and economics; Gender and LGBT; Genetic testing; Evo-Devo; and Education. The conference committee is international and includes prominent women. And, the conference is associated with a forum on Evolution, Gender and Sexuality. Well done!
The Forum on Evolution, Gender and Sexuality
The University of Utah Department of Philosophy will be hosting a Biohumanities Public Forum to complement ISHPSSB 2011. It is scheduled from 7-9 pm on Thursday, July 14, following the final ISHPSSB sessions that afternoon. The topic of the forum is, “Evolution, Gender & Sexuality.” We are honored to be able to feature three panel members: Elisabeth Lloyd (Indiana University), John Dupré (University of Exeter), and Lisa Diamond (University of Utah).
The following is from the CFP:
Our expectation for the Salt Lake City meeting is that we will have more cross-disciplinary sessions than ever before. In addition, we expect that all sessions will be geared toward wider audiences. This was a major thrust of the discussions that came out of the Brisbane meeting in 2009. Every scholar has numerous meetings in which to present work to her or his peers: historians speaking to historians, philosophers speaking to philosophers, sociologists speaking to sociologists, and biologists from across the spectrum speaking to biologists within their specialty. ISHPSSB is uniquely situated to provide us the opportunity to talk to each other, across disciplinary boundaries, about biology studies. In order for this to happen, we need to think broadly about each other as an audience. We hope you will begin now to look for ways of collaborating.
Presenters should think about ways their work will potentially connect to other sessions throughout the meeting. We hope this can be accomplished by thinking about the larger themes that are illuminated by your work. These themes are meant to be broad and overlapping, but will help to provide benchmarks for organizing sessions as well as signposts for people at the conference seeking out areas of inquiry. Some themes we have identified include: Civic engagement; Race; Policy, science funding, and scientific progress; Sustainability, environment, energy, and economics; Gender and LGBT; Genetic testing; Evo-Devo; and Education. Details about several of these themes can be found on the bulletin board, and more will be posted as we move forward. Please note that not all papers and sessions are expected to fit into one of the themes, and we hope that as we see work that pushes beyond these categories we can all be more aware of the new directions scholars and members of ISHPSSB are taking.
And finally, here is the program committee:
Santesmases, María Jesús
Largent, Mark (co-chair)
Young, Chris (co-chair)
Local organizers are Matt Haber and Jim Tabery
scholarship for white men
The Texas non-profit, Former Majority Association for Equality (FMAE), is offering scholarships. According to their webpage “Scholarship applicants should be caucasian, male, demonstrate a commitment to education, and substantiate financial need.”
According to the scholarship application form, applicants have to be “no less than 25% Caucasian.”
Here is the organization’s Mission Statement:
Our goal: To financially assist young Americans seeking higher education who lack opportunities in similar organizations that are based upon race or gender. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.
We have a very simple mission: to fill in the gap in the scholarships offered to prospective students. There are scholarships offered for almost any demographic imaginable. In a country that proclaims equality for all, we provide monetary aid to those that have found the scholarship application process difficult because they do not fit into certain categories or any ethnic group.
Our short term aspiration is simple: Award a $500 scholarship to five individuals that meet or exceed our qualifications on July 4, 2011. Upon achieving this we look forward to giving at least five scholarships for each Spring and Fall semester. Awardees remain eligible for future semesters as long as one’s overall GPA exceeds 3.0. Scholarship applicants should be caucasian, male, demonstrate a commitment to education, and substantiate financial need.
One obstacle that we immediately anticipate is to not appear racist or racially motivated. We do not advocate white supremacy, nor do we enable any individual that does. We do not accept donations from organizations affiliated with any sort of white supremacy or hate group. We have no hidden agenda to promote racial bigotry or segregation. FMAE’s existence is dedicated around one simple principle, to provide monetary aid for education to white males who need it.
You can find more information here, here and here.
Sunday cats looking for homes: kitty midnight madness
For some reason I just can’t stop watching this…
No such thing as a rape victim?!?
On February 1 Jender brought Republican attempts to redefine rape to our attention. Now there is more. Georgia Republican state Rep. Bobby Franklin submitted a bill to change the state’s criminal code by removing the word ‘victim’ and replacing it with ‘accuser’ in cases of rape, stalking and aggravated stalking, obscene telephone contact with a child, and family violence. The survivors of rape, stalking, aggravated stalking, children who are subjected to sexually explicit telephone calls, and those who endure family violence would be, by law, accusers, not victims.
For example, here is the proposed revision to Code Section 16-6-1 (lines 63-67 of the bill):
“(c) When evidence relating to an allegation of rape is collected in the course of a medical examination of the person who is the victim accuser of the alleged crime perpetrator, the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged crime shall be responsible for the cost of the medical examination to the extent that expense is incurred for the limited purpose of collecting evidence.”
It would take a long time to tease out the possible implications of changing those two words. Here are just two:
Consider the number of survivors who are never legal accusers. Changing those two words muddles the difference between a crime being committed and the act of accusing someone of committing that crime. One can be a victim, a survivor of rape, without legally accusing anyone. Given the under-reporting of rape, this is not an empty possibility.
Consider that government funding is provided for abortion, in compliance with the Hyde Amendment, in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. What difference might it make to change our focus from a person being the victim of a crime, to being an accuser of a perpetrator? I worry that this can lead people to think that one only becomes a victim after a perpetrator is convicted, and then what would be the consequences for access to abortion?
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee reports on this bill here. The comments are (mostly) interesting.
Upside (?) of university restructuring in the face of financial crisis
In the face of fiscal crisis, Women’s Studies Programs are at significant risk. To name just two, Women’s Studies at Guelph University is no more, and the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Las Vegas, Nevada is on the chopping block. San Francisco State University took this challenge head on with their Women’s History Month Public Lecture Series, “Reading, wRioting, and Reclaiming: Feminism(s) Empowerment and the Crisis in Public Education.” The flier for this series says
California’s current fiscal crisis challenges the state’s promise to provide access to higher education to its citizens, to offer liberal arts as well as a professional and vocational curriculum, and to encourage its graduates to pursue lives of civic and social responsibility. Emerging from the activism of the 60s, feminist scholarship(s), women and gender studies curriculum have been integral to this vision, challenging and transforming the curriculum, breaking new intellectual ground, and opening doors and minds.
In times of budgetary stress it is common for institutions of higher learning to face backward and focus on ‘core areas of strength.’ Since Women’s Studies, and feminist work in general, are relatively new to the academy and tend to serve groups of students, faculty and the lay public, who are marginalized within the academy, these disciplines frequently suffer. It is easy to overlook their value. Dr. Ibram Rogers blogs that
Disciplines like women’s studies, queer studies, African-American studies, Latino studies, Native American studies, foreign languages and Asian studies should not and can not be funded, underfunded and eliminated based on the fiscal atmosphere of the times. But they will continue to be as long as they are segregated on the margins of the academy; as long as academics perceive them to be and relegate them as appetizers and desserts instead of main and vital dishes of everyday healthy student consumption.
While I do not want to trivialize the pain of university restructuring in the face of sharply declining revenues, it is important to note that it is at least possible for some of this wholesale restructuring to have some positive effects. While administrators continually develop ‘visioning’ and ‘long term plans’, it is rare for the faculty to really participate in these efforts. Further these efforts are rarely radical. Now, many universities are forced to consider radical change. Radical change could be an opportunity for redressing historical inequities that have become calcified in our institutional structures. Radical change could address the fact that white men make up the majority of the professoriate, but not the general population. Radical change could involve developing areas of faculty strength and programming that brings the demographics of our faculty more in line with the demographics of our states. Radical change could involve developing research foci and curricular initiatives that are more in line with the needs of a diverse tax payer base.
In comparison to the magnitude of university budgets, these programs are relatively inexpensive. The difference in cost between hiring a feminist scholar and, say, a physicist or an engineer is immense. We are cheap. Even so, it may seem like a luxury to think about the long term value of diversity, some of which does not immediately impact the financial bottom line of the institution. But, rather than only looking back at, and supporting, ‘core areas of strength’, we also need to look ahead to ensure that we are meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse society. There is an opportunity here for many of us to ask our leaders to face forward.