Welcome to MAI Issue 5: 'Feminist Pedagogies'

Dearest MAI Readers,

The last decade drew to a close against a backdrop of catastrophic environmental and political disasters – and, it must be said, for many of us working in academia, the drive to complete on utterly unbearable workloads under fractious and precarious working conditions. In the face of relentless difficulty and uncertainty, it can be very hard to gather the strength and courage to keep pushing back against what often feels like an encroaching darkness. We don’t know how this affected you directly, but we felt like retiring permanently under the duvet by Christmas (did anybody else find the enforced annual round of jollification especially hard to tolerate this year?) That said, we must keep on both through individual endeavour and collective organisation. In the wake of disappointment and despair comes the determination to fill that void with action, activism, and a renewed sense of political and ethical agency.

With this issue of MAI, which centres on feminist pedagogies, we hope you will find much to lighten your spirits and inspire as we enter into this new decade. Now, perhaps more so than ever, we need to view the classroom as a space for contestation, for challenge, and for activism against both pernicious political systems of thought and the increasingly egregious neoliberalisation of higher education. Feminism as a form of ethics that demands we engage beyond hermetic boundaries of self and open ourselves up to community is a tool that we dismiss at our peril in this parlous political environment. The future is not determined: it is ours to grasp and to make. And not merely for ourselves, but for generations to come. This rallying collection of essays, toolkits, manifestos and creative work begs each and every one of us to take up the mantle and commit actively to changing the dire situation in which we find ourselves currently.

Anna Misiak and Anna Backman Rogers want to thank especially Clara Bradbury-Rance for her outstanding commitment to and hard work on this extraordinary issue. We here at MAI are absolutely thrilled to be starting 2020 with this wonderful collection of work. We wish to draw attention to the special showcase we have of student work in this issue, which offers ample evidence of why feminist pedagogy matters. We also want to thank Amber Patterson, our new editorial assistant, who has been indispensable in helping us whip this issue into shape!

Finally, we are also happy to announce that in partnership with Punctum Books, MAI will be working throughout 2020 to open up as a publishing press of experimental feminist monographs on a range of visual cultures. To borrow a phrase from Punctum’s own ‘publishing primer’, these will neither be books for ‘your grandmother’s tenure and promotion committee, which somehow, through a strange process of zombie-fication, is still operating within the ossifed crevasses of the Groves of Academe’, nor will these be books that ‘satisfy the requirements of the traditional-yet-also-neoliberalized academic press’s marketing department’. We look forward to revealing more details this year as we establish the MAI imprint.

And now: onwards…and courage, dear readers.

Anna Backman Rogers and Anna Misiak. Gothenburg, Sweden and Falmouth, UK.

Here Be Monsters: A Punctum Publishing Primer

 

‘Perhaps too Passionate’: An Introduction to Feminist Pedagogies

by

Focus Issue: Intro

Not only does Bradbury-Rance introduce you to the contents of the issue, but she also shares her joy and passion for feminist pedagogies that have underpinned her academic practice form the early days of her career.

1

‘Where Do You Know From?’: An Exercise in Placing Ourselves Together in the Classroom

by

Toolkit

Zuroski offers her insights on developing a teaching toolkit that helps students in the classroom realise how knowledge is situated, facilitating the process of recognising each other as culturally positioned interlocutors.

2

The Carrier Bag of Feminist Pedagogy: Zine-Making as Training in the Neoliberal University

by & Megen de Bruin-Molé

Critical Reflection

3

The Undutiful Daughter’s : Results of the ‘Gender, Technology, and Zine-Making in the Neoliberal University ’ Workshop

by & Megen de Bruin-Molé

Creative Practice

In this zine, the authors creatively collated materials made by several makers who participated in a training workshop on issues of gender and technology, and the role of researcher, educator and artist in the current neoliberal university.

4

Tactics and Praxis: A Manifesto

by , Louise Haywood & Georgina Evans

Critical Reflection

5

On the Joys of Administration: Or Race, Failure, and the Neoliberal Academy

by

Critical Reflection

Khoo explores the role of emotions in knowledge formation, reflecting on how to learn from failure in the midst of the constant push towards greater productivity in the neoliberal academy.

6

Teaching to Resistance and Refusal: Feminist Pedagogical Engagements in the UK Higher Education Classroom

by & Jacqueline Gibbs

Critical Reflection

7

How to Hack Study Regulations

by

Creative Practice

8

Learning Is Dangerous

by

Conversation

In March 2019, staff and students at the Queen Mary University in London partook in a study day focussed on de-colonising and de-canonising film studies. Two months later, Pember met the same scholars to consider the ideas presented in March against the current HE landscape.

9

Towards A Femme Pedagogy or, Making Space for Trauma in the Classroom

by & Margeaux Feldman

Critical Reflection

10

Teaching to Transform: Reimagining Feminist Pedagogies in Contemporary Higher Education

by

Toolkit

11

Teaching on the Edge of Time: Developing a Slow Pedagogy through Feminist Science Fiction

by

Critical Reflection

12

Teaching Feminist Theory through Jill Soloway’s I Love Dick

by

Video Essay

This video essay examines I Love Dick (Soloway 2016-17) as a means of  popularising feminist theory in contemporary media.

13

The Supper Club

by & Allain Daigle

Video Essay

The Supper Club video chronicles a journey of students engaged in a project on women’s erasures from art histories. Inspired by Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, young women from Wisconsin embraced local archives to express their original, critical ideas.

14

Graphic Medicine as Feminist Pedagogy

by

Video Essay

In this video essay, Martino discusses their experiments with graphic medicine in the undergraduate classroom as a case study to consider the implications of graphic medicine for feminist pedagogy.

15

Levelling Up: A Critical Feminist Pedagogy for Game Design

by & Amy Corron

Toolkit

In response to a ‘crisis of toxicity and harassment’ in both the games industry and games pedagogy, Rouse and Corron present a feminist toolkit for teaching games design that reconfigures not only the syllabus but also the classroom.

16

Naming our Pedagogies: Legitimising Feminist Teaching in the Media Studies Classroom

by

Toolkit

Considering what it means to find anxiety in the naming of pedagogy as a legitimising or delegitimising force in the classroom, Rajabi advises us not to shy away from using a ‘feminist’ label.

17

DIY Feminist Pedagogies: Making Feminist Practices More Apparent in Technical Rhetorics Classrooms

by , Melissa Stone & Nupoor Ranade

Toolkit

Using a DIY feminist approach, the authors share three tailor-made courses they’ve introduced to engage feminist ideological work in classrooms where such topics are deemed unusual.

18

Breathing Deeply : A Personal Pedagogy of Social Justice in Higher Education

by

Critical Reflection

Drawing parallels between breathing and working as an academic, Hornbeck invites us to implement a gentle and considerate approach to leadership and pedagogy—one that promotes social justice like deep breathing, which naturally balances the human body.

19

Becoming a Blockade: A Diffractive Reading of an Academic Office as the Site of a Queer Feminist Pedagogy of Resistance

by

Critical Reflection

Having lost her office space, Wight looks back at it using diffractive methodology to show how work spaces can function as sites of self-expression, feminist pedagogy and resistance in heteropatriarchal, neoliberal institutions.

20

Fugitive Spaces

by & Morgan Bimm

Creative Practice

Following ‘Fugitive Spaces’ workshops, the authors of this zine present a creative collage of responses to the proposed pedagogy of bringing marginalised voices to the centre of educational debates.

21

‘Don’t take your hate out on me, I just got here.’: Assassination Nation and Foucauldian Incitement to Discourse in the Digital Age

by

Student Work: Feminist Pedagogy in Focus

Through an analysis of controversial film Assassination Nation, MA scholar Nicole Veneto examines how Foucault’s theory of sexuality as incitement to discourse operates in the age of social media and mediated technology. Veneto thus counters received and entrenched critical opinion of the film.

22

Beginnings

by

Student Work: Feminist Pedagogy in Focus

Beginnings is Brammen’s student film experiment—a non-narrative, somewhat feminist, take on the dominance of narrativity in our western culture and our cinemas.

23

The Perfect Woman: Scarlett Johansson as a cyborg in ‘Under the Skin’ (2013), ‘Her’ (2013) and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (2017)

by

Student Work: Feminist Pedagogy in Focus

Linnéa Saaranen examines in her MA thesis (completed under the guidance of Anna Backman Rogers), the figuration of the artificial woman in three films featuring Scarlett Johansson in a starring role: Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013), Her (Spike Jonze, 2013) and Ghost in the Shell (Rupert Sanders, 2017).

24

Cinema, Labor, and Feminism: Barbara Mennel’s Women at Work in Twenty-first-century European Cinema

by

Book Review

Barbara Mennel’s 2019 monograph Women at Work in Twenty-first-century European Cinema analyzes the increased attention given to women’s work in films of various genres. Regular MAI contributor, Tessa Nunn, elaborates.

25

Woman in Lars von Trier’s Cinema: 1996-2014 by Ahmed Elbeshlawy

by

Book Review

Oliver Kenny reviews a new monograph addressing the contentious cinema of Lars von Trier and his female protagonists.

26

Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny by Sarah Banet-Weiser

by

Book Review

Sarah Banet-Weiser’s timely book provides powerful, practical conceptual tools for thinking about popular feminism and its correlative misogyny, argues Isabelle McNeill.

27

Reframing Diversity for German Screens: Sheri Hagen in Conversation

by Sheri Hagen

Interview

The following conversation was initiated in February 2018 at the 68. Berlinale and was continued in May the same year in Toronto, where Hagen debuted At Second Glance for a Canadian audience at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

28

Interview with Rebecca Tamás, author of WITCH (Penned in the Margins, 2019)

by Rebecca Tamás

Interview

With WITCH, Tamás taps into a current of reinvigorated interest in witchcraft, especially in feminist and queer circles. Here she speaks to Sophia Kier-Byfield about ecological thinking, the pedagogical potential of poetry for change, and about what knowledges and practices we might need in the face of the current environmental crisis.

29

DEAD SITES

by

Creative Response

30

A WOMAN SITS AT A TABLE

by

Creative Response

31

YOUTHQUAKER (Girl of the Year)

by

Creative Response

A creative consideration of Edie Sedgwick’s labour and the considerable artistic role she played in the manufacture of Andy Warhol’s superstardom.

32

Newsletter

Feeling inspired by MAI? Dedicated to intersectional gender politics in visual culture? Want to keep your feminist imagination on fire? MAI newsletter will help refresh your zeal for feminism with first-hand news on our new content. 

Subscribe below to stay up-to-date.

* We'll never share your email address with any third parties.

WHO SUPPORTS US

The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.

However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:


Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers

Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey