Activism

Read to Respond: Migration Studies

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on immigration in commemoration with World Refugee Day, an international movement that supports families forced to flee and honors the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Migration Studies

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

 

Read To Respond: Feminism and Women’s Rights

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on feminism and women’s rights with articles tackling topics from abortion laws, maternity leave, Islamic feminism, and more. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Feminism and Women’s Rights

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Recent Issue of Tikkun Addresses the 50th Anniversary of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank

btn_header_tikkun_logoIn the most recent issue of Tikkun, editor Rabbi Michael Lerner and contributors address the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as it reaches its 50th year. “The Occupation At 50” includes an editorial by Rabbi Lerner calling for momentum in the One Person/One Vote movement.

From the editorial:

With sufficient sensitivity, empathy and generosity of spirit, we could accomplish a powerful change of consciousness!

This is the real challenge—not headline grabbing, but the day-to-day, neighborhood and community group organizing around a vision of the world we want, not just what we are against. We at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives can play our part, but this will take the participation and support of all those who really want to achieve the kind of liberation from Occupation that will benefit the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Jews, and all others on this planet.

In this issue of Tikkun we invited a broad swath of people, including many who disagree with us to our left and to our right, to comment on what the Occupation has meant to them and/or their ideas about how to end it.

The issue includes articles on topics such as:

Browse the table-of-contents to the issue and read Rabbi Lerner’s editorial, made freely available.

Read To Respond: Bathroom Politics

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on bathroom politics, and how we make bathrooms accessible to people of different gender, ability, or class. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Bathroom Politics

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Read to Respond: Trans Rights

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. This post focuses on trans rights in light of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a day dedicated to drawing the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public, and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTQIA+ people internationally. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Trans Rights

These articles are freely available until December 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

Read to Respond: Articles for Student Activists

R2R final logoOur “Read to Respond” series addresses the current climate of misinformation by highlighting articles and books that encourage thoughtful, educated debate on today’s most pressing issues. Read, reflect, and share these resources in and out of the classroom to keep these important conversations going.

Articles for Student Activists:

These articles are freely available until August 15, 2017. Follow along with the series over the next several months and share your thoughts with #ReadtoRespond.

TSQ 101 for International Transgender Day of Visibility

In honor of the ninth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility, a celebration of transgender people that raises awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, we selected nine articles from issues of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly that provide essential insights into terms, conversations, and challenges within the field of trans* studies.

  1. “Introduction”
    Susan Stryker and Paisley Currah
    Volume 1, Number 1-2

    This introduction to the first issue of TSQ provides an outline of the history and scope of the field of transgender studies.

  2. “Introduction: Trans/Feminisms”
    Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher
    Volume 3, Number 1-2

    This introduction to the issue “Trans/Feminisms” counters forms of feminist transphobia within the feminist community by highlighting inspiring work currently being undertaken around the world under the banner of transfeminism.

  3. “Microaggressions”
    Sonny Nordmarken
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “microaggressions,” or commonplace, interpersonally communicated “othering” messages related to a person’s perceived marginalized status.

  4. “Radical Inclusion: Recounting the Trans Inclusive History of Radical Feminism”
    Cristan Williams
    Volume 3, Number 1-2

    This article reviews the ways in which radical feminism has been and continues to be trans inclusive. Trans inclusive radical feminist opinion leaders, groups, and events are reviewed and contrasted against a popular media narrative that asserts that radical feminism takes issue with trans people. Reviewed are historical instances in which radical feminists braved violence to ensure their feminism was trans inclusive.

  5. “Decolonizing Transgender: A Roundtable Discussion”
    Tom Boellstorff, Mauro Cabral, Micha Cardenas, Trystan Cotten, Eric A. Stanley, Kalaniopua Young, Aren Z. Aizura
    Volume 1, Number 3

    Participants in this roundtable discussion wrestled with definitions of decolonization, how decolonization has affected them personally and politically, and how trans* studies can offer strategies to demarginalize the community.

  6. “Transgender”
    Cristan Williams
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “transgender” and how it gained widespread use as the umbrella term for describing a range of gender-variant identities and communities within the United States in the early 1990s.

  7. “Cisgender”
    B. Aultman
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “cisgender,” which describes individuals who possess, from birth and into adulthood, the male or female reproductive organs (sex) typical of the social category of man or woman (gender) to which that individual was assigned at birth. The essay tracks the term’s emergence from trans* activist discourses in the 1990s.

  8. “Cultural Competency”
    Willy Wilkinson
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “cultural competency,” or the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with diverse populations, measured by awareness, attitude, knowledge, skills, behaviors, policies, procedures, and organizational systems.

  9. “Transition”
    Julian Carter
    Volume 1, Number 1-2
    Transgender studies keyword essay

    This essay explores the term “transition,” the vernacular term of choice in North America for describing the process or experience of changing gender.

 

Celebrate International Transgender Visibility Day with us by downloading free coloring pages of a few of TSQ’s most memorable journal covers below. Share your colored-in sheet on Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win a TSQ gift bag! Tag @DukePress on Twitter or @dukeuniversitypress on Instagram with the hashtag #ColorMyTSQ!

TSQ Gift Bag

Enter for a chance to win issues of the journal, a signed TSQ book plate, and Duke University Press swag!

TSQ_3_3-4_Coloring-sheet-page-001TSQ_1_3_coloring-sheet-page-001

 

Celebrating International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Since the early 1900s, this day has been a powerful platform that unifies tenacity and drives action for gender parity globally. IWD organizers are calling on supporters to help forge a better-working and more gender-inclusive world. In honor of this year’s International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share these recent books and journals from Duke University Press that support this year’s IWD theme: #BeBoldForChange.

Trans/Feminisms
a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly

tsq_new_prThis special double issue of TSQ goes beyond the simplistic dichotomy between an exclusionary transphobic feminism and an inclusive trans-affirming feminism. Exploring the ways in which trans issues are addressed within feminist and women’s organizations and social movements around the world, contributors ask how trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary issues are related to feminist movements today, what kind of work is currently undertaken in the name of trans/feminism, what new paradigms and visions are emerging, and what questions still need to be taken up. Central to this special issue is the recognition that trans/feminist politics cannot restrict itself to the domain of gender alone.

This issue features numerous shorter works that represent the diversity of trans/feminist practices and problematics and, in addition to original research articles, includes theory, reports, manifestos, opinion pieces, reviews, and creative/artistic productions, as well as republished key documents of trans/feminist history and international scholarship.

Living a Feminist Life

978-0-8223-6319-4In Living a Feminist Life Sara Ahmed shows how feminist theory is generated from everyday life and the ordinary experiences of being a feminist at home and at work. Building on legacies of feminist of color scholarship in particular, Ahmed offers a poetic and personal meditation on how feminists become estranged from worlds they critique—often by naming and calling attention to problems—and how feminists learn about worlds from their efforts to transform them. Ahmed also provides her most sustained commentary on the figure of the feminist killjoy introduced in her earlier work while showing how feminists create inventive solutions—such as forming support systems—to survive the shattering experiences of facing the walls of racism and sexism. The killjoy survival kit and killjoy manifesto, with which the book concludes, supply practical tools for how to live a feminist life, thereby strengthening the ties between the inventive creation of feminist theory and living a life that sustains it.

1970s Feminisms
a special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly

ddsaq_114_4For more than a decade, feminist historians and historiographers have engaged in challenging the “third wave” portrait of 1970s feminism as essentialist, white, middle-class, uninterested in racism, and theoretically naive. This task has involved setting the record straight about women’s liberation by interrogating how that image took hold in the public imagination and among academic feminists. This issue invites feminist theorists to return to women’s liberation—to the texts, genres, and cultural productions to which the movement gave rise—for a more nuanced look at its conceptual and political consequences. The essays in this issue explore such topics as the ambivalent legacies of women’s liberation; the production of feminist subjectivity in mass culture and abortion documentaries; the political effects of archiving Chicana feminism; and conceptual and generic innovations in the work of Gayle Rubin, Christine Delphy, and Shulamith Firestone.

The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland

978-0-8223-6286-9In The Revolution Has Come Robyn C. Spencer traces the Black Panther Party’s organizational evolution in Oakland, California, where hundreds of young people came to political awareness and journeyed to adulthood as members. Challenging the belief that the Panthers were a projection of the leadership, Spencer draws on interviews with rank-and-file members, FBI files, and archival materials to examine the impact the organization’s internal politics and COINTELPRO’s political repression had on its evolution and dissolution. She shows how the Panthers’ members interpreted, implemented, and influenced party ideology and programs; initiated dialogues about gender politics; highlighted ambiguities in the Panthers’ armed stance; and criticized organizational priorities. Spencer also centers gender politics and the experiences of women and their contributions to the Panthers and the Black Power movement as a whole. Providing a panoramic view of the party’s organization over its sixteen-year history, The Revolution Has Come shows how the Black Panthers embodied Black Power through the party’s international activism, interracial alliances, commitment to address state violence, and desire to foster self-determination in Oakland’s black communities.

Reconsidering Gender, Violence, and the State
a special issue of Radical History Review

ddrhr_126In bringing together a geographically and temporally broad range of interdisciplinary historical scholarship, this issue of Radical History Review offers an expansive examination of gender, violence, and the state. Through analyses of New York penitentiaries, anarchists in early twentieth-century Japan, and militarism in the 1990s, contributors reconsider how historical conceptions of masculinity and femininity inform the persistence of and punishments for gendered violence. The contributors to a section on violence and activism challenge the efficacy of state solutions to gendered violence in a contemporary US context, highlighting alternatives posited by radical feminist and queer activists. In five case studies drawn from South Africa, India, Ireland, East Asia, and Nigeria, contributors analyze the archive’s role in shaping current attitudes toward gender, violence, and the state, as well as its lasting imprint on future quests for restitution or reconciliation. This issue also features a visual essay on the “false positives” killings in Colombia and an exploration of Zanale Muholi’s postapartheid activist photography.

Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology

978-0-8223-6295-1The editors and contributors to Color of Violence ask: What would it take to end violence against women of color? Presenting the fierce and vital writing of INCITE!’s organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center. The contributors shift the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault and map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. The volume’s thirty pieces—which include poems, short essays, position papers, letters, and personal reflections—cover violence against women of color in its myriad forms, manifestations, and settings, while identifying the links between gender, militarism, reproductive and economic violence, prisons and policing, colonialism, and war. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, Color of Violence is an essential intervention.

World Policy Interrupted
a special issue of World Policy Journal

wpj33_4_23_frontcover_fppThis issue is penned entirely by female foreign policy experts and journalists and “imagines a world where we wouldn’t need to interpret to be heard at the table. In reconstructing a media landscape where the majority of foreign policy experts quoted, bylined, and miked are not men, we quickly gain deeper insight into a complex world, one historically narrated by only one segment of society,” co-editors Elmira Bayrasli and Lauren Bohn write. Bayrasli and Bohn lead Foreign Policy Interrupted, a program that mentors, develops, and amplifies the voices of women in the international policy field. Foreign Policy Interrupted combats the industry’s gender disparity through a visibility platform and a cohesive fellowship program, including media training and meaningful mentoring at partnering media institutions. The program helps women break both internal and external barriers.

Stay up to date on women’s studies scholarship with these journals on gender studies, feminist theory, queer theory, and gay and lesbian studies:

Camera Obscura
differences
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies

 

The Power of Misinterpellation

Today’s guest post is by James Martel, author of new book The Misinterpellated Subject.

James MartelIn all the sense of crisis and doom that we are currently experiencing with the advent of the Trump administration—despair over an administration that seems equal parts determined fascists and incompetent lunatics, horror and grim determination as thousands, perhaps millions, of people are to be deported, bathrooms becomes zones of exclusion and the war on people of color and the poor goes on unabated—there is one element that is critical to keep in mind. For all of his seeming power, self-confidence and authority, Donald Trump and his “alt-right” (i.e. neo-Nazi) minions do not command the absolute form of control that they think they have and we often imagine them to have (hence contributing to the efficacy of such a power).

On one level this is very obvious—witness the disastrous roll out of the ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim nations as an example of this impotence within apparent potency. But beneath the empirical reality of Trump’s failures (and successes) lies a deeper, more critical point; executive pronouncements can be declared with all the markings of sovereign authority, but they are never received in exactly the way they are intended; they never have the full effect that their speaker desires. Some of this can be explained by language theory, by the idea, championed by thinkers like J.A. Austin, that speech acts don’t always do what we think they do. The Misinterpellated SubjectBut there is also a more political version of this discussion, and this is where my new book, The Misinterpellated Subject, attempts to make an intervention. In the book, I argue that Althusser’s theory of interpellation—the process by which people are formed as subjects of the state in response to calls from authority figures (his famous example is of a police officer hailing a pedestrian by calling out “hey, you there!”)—contains within it the seeds of its own unmaking. The call goes out and Althusser tells us that “nine times out of ten” the person hailed is “really” the person intended by the law. But what about the one person in ten that is wrongly hailed? In The Misinterpellated Subject, I argue that in fact, the hail is never accurate. The law, or the state, never knows (or cares) who it is hailing; it is a pretense of authority that is reinforced by our willingness to receive that call, to see it as being “really for us.” But in some cases, this charade becomes untenable (one time in ten) and the authority of the call fails to produce its intended results.

This is the phenomenon that I am calling misinterpellation. Whereas the failure of the call is only visible some of the time, the key insight of misinteprellation is that the failure of the call is present in each and every moment (that is, even among the nine out of ten times where the callee is “really” who the law thinks it intended to call).

If we take this insight back to the question of Trump, we can see that his call to ban Muslims from the United States was met in many ways that he did not want or expect. This call was heard by the protestors who blocked the airports. It was heard by judges who resisted him. It was heard by those refugees themselves who continued to resist, to insist on their right to remain. It was even heard in myriad ways by the officials at Homeland Security and other federal agencies that often contradicted one another as well as the “official position” (itself a moving target).

All of this is critical for thinking about the power (and also the failure) of interpellation, of executive calls and the triumph of illicit power; it works when we respond as the state wishes, when we think that we have no choice but to respond. But all that changes when the subject of that call realizes that the call is not really about or for her, that the call is only made for the sake of the power of the state itself; the state needs us to recognize it or it fails to exist at all.

And therein lies the critical power of resistance. This power of misinterpellation can manifest itself as demonstrations and protests but it can also manifest itself as something far more subversive. If we simply say “no” to the call, we remain, in a way, inside the workings of interpellation. We are protestors, miscreants and rebels, and the law and the state know how to deal with that (witness Trump’s tweets about “professional anarchists” and the like). But if we render the call “incredible” (to cite Judith Butler), we move from simply rejecting the call to denying it as being a call at all. The more we understand that the call is never for us, never could be for us—that is to say, the more we are misinterpellated—the more we see the hollowness or emptiness of the state and its authority structures. By seeing the call as nothing, we can, in effect, return the state to its own nothing, the void from which it comes and which it ceaselessly seeks to deny.

In all the despair of our current moment, one bit of good news is that this power (perhaps counter-power is a better word) can never be taken away from us, regardless of how dark the time or how terrifying the tyrant that we face (recognizing that not all communities face the same traumas and that the “we” itself is a deep point of contention). My book argues that there is always recourse to the subversive force of misinterpellation; in doing so, we gain not just the destruction of our false, colonized and interpellated forms of subjectivity, but also the anarchist ferment—the multiple, overlapping and ungoverned beings that we’ve always been—which shows up in response to a call that never has been, and never will be, for anyone at all.

To learn more about or purchase The Misinterpellated Subject, visit its webpage. You can also read the introduction free online.

Trans-Political Economy

ddtsq_4_1The most recent issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, “Trans-Political Economy,” edited by Dan Irving and Vek Lewis, addresses how capitalism differentially and unequally affects trans and sex/gender‐diverse people across the globe.

“We all, from our different social and political locations, become implicated in those architectures through our everyday interactions with a variety of coordinated and contradictory institutions and rationalities that order our lives across different local and global geopolitical spaces and scales,” write Irving and Lewis.

The editors and contributors to this issue reveal how the narrowly constructed objects of trans studies and political economy (such as gender, labor, class, and economy) have been complicit in the necropolitical devaluation of trans lives and existing strategies crafted for trans survival. Topics include trans visibility and commodity culture; trans credit reporting; the growing population of T-girls, trans women truckers; trans street-based sex workers; the system of sex/gender identification for trans asylum seekers in South Africa; waria affective labor in Indonesia; as well as a roundtable deconstructing trans* political economy.

The Arts & Culture section of this issue features a review of season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in relation to some of the political economic elements of the drag industry as well as an in depth look at the representation of transgender lives on film, specifically in The Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Read the guest editor’s introduction to the issue, made freely available.