By Christine Overall
Our universities are the locus of ongoing debates over the politics of gender, of sophistication, of drawback and disability—and over the difficulty of "political correctness." In A Feminist I Christine total bargains wide-ranging reflections from a first-person viewpoint on those concerns, and at the politics of the trendy collage itself. In doing so she consistently returns to underlying epistemological issues. What are our assumptions concerning the ways that wisdom is built? To what measure are our perceptions formed by means of our social roles and identities? long ago iteration feminists have led the best way in recognising the significance of such questions, and recognising too the ways that own adventure will be a useful reference element in educational thought and perform. yet reliance on own adventure is fraught with difficulties; how is one to accommodate tensions among the autobiographical and the analytic? This ebook issues find out how to resolving a few of these tensions, and to fruitfully maintaining others. it's a ebook of substantial perception, hot humanity, and actual significance.
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Additional info for A feminist I: reflections from academia
Wear spike heels and heavy make-up? read and enjoy Harlequin romances (Miles 1991, 9396)? gossip about other feminists? pursue professional ambitions? aspire to institutional power? eat meat? campaign against abortion? favour the new reproductive technologies? oppose all forms of censorship? be unwilling to work collectively? downplay the importance of lesbian studies? publicly criticize the women's studies program? openly mock certain feminist theorists? While I myself do not necessarily find all of these behaviours problematic, I suggest that the moral questions they provoke are genuine and ought not to be considered either unproblematic or unanswerable.
Some authors have suggested that the use of confessions in academic writing has virtually attained the status of a fad, or at least a "trend" (Miller 1997, 981, 9991000). "Th[e] public support for confession has affected all the Page 18 academic disciplines in which self-expression is given value, from sociology to literature to the visual arts" (Perillo 1997, A56). Indeed, there are many recent examples of autobiographical and confessional feminist academic writing (see Miller 1991, Kaplan 1993,1 Greene and Kahn 1993, Torgovnick 1994,2 Ellis 1995,3 and Kuhn 19954).
Page 35 unreasonably, I find myself wanting to be recognized for who I am as a feminist academic and also to be accepted and nurtured by the people whom I think of as my special peers and colleagues. This role muddle arises not only when I am performing feminism, myself, but also when I witness others performing feminism. When a feminist addresses an audience of non-feminists, I feel a special anxiety for her: I fear for her safety, and I want her to do well. When a woman who is not a feminist expounds upon feminism in a derogatory way, I feel a special anger at her.
A feminist I: reflections from academia by Christine Overall