Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Registration Open for the Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Tamara Girardi again for a newsflash on the blog. Tamara Girardi, a veteran adjunct, holds a PhD in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, It Can Be Acquired and Learned: Building a Writer-Centered Pedagogical Approach to Creative Writing focuses on the field of creative writing studies. She studied creative writing at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and writes young adult fiction. She's a member of the English faculty for Virtual Learning at Harrisburg Area Community College and primarily works from home with her colleagues: a computer-programming husband, a three-year old son who spends his days pretending to be a train, a two-year-old daughter with bed head that rivals the best ‘80s hairstyle, and a three month old daughter who is sitting on her lap as she types this. Follow her on Twitter @TamaraGirardi.

I always love when my Introduction to Literature classes study feminism. The class analyzes the critical framework as it applies to several poems and short stories in the course, and throughout the process, we all learn a little more about the framework and ourselves.

Namely, we learn that feminism encompasses more than our preconceived notions of the term allowed us to realize.

In a speech to the United Nations this fall, actress and philanthropist Emma Watson called for both men and women “to take up this mantle so their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too – reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”

While Watson discussed the relevance of both male and female genders in the cause of feminism, the latter part of the above quotation addresses the issue of feminism at its core for all individuals: “reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”

My personal research and considerations of feminism relate to the adjunct debate in colleges and universities across the country. This past February 26 was National Adjunct Walkout Day, a day calling attention to the serious issue of working conditions for some of our most highly educated citizens, also known as adjuncts. In her article, “The Adjunct Crisis Is Everyone’s Problem,” Sarah Kendzior tells her story of earning a PhD and leaving academia.

“New PhDs are expected to move around the country in temporary postdocs or visiting professor jobs until finding tenure-track positions – financially impossible for me as a mother of two – or stay where they are and work as adjuncts with no job security and an average wage of $2,700 per course. While making an income below the poverty line, a new PhD is expected to spend thousands of dollars on job interviews at conferences in expensive cities and write paywalled papers for free,” Kendzior writes.

Male college instructors might not be the image my introduction to literature students envision when I present the word “feminist” in the course, but it applies. And the term might apply to your research as well, which is why I’m writing this post to invite you to the Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop, an online, asynchronous, interdisciplinary, participant-driven workshop for individuals working on feminist-oriented research projects.

Registration is now open, and the workshop is not hosted in an expensive city like so many conferences, but online. It is not static in that participants sit and listen to papers being read; it is a dynamic forum where researchers, like you, can share your ideas and read ideas of others.

The registration deadline is May 1, so visit the web site now, and consider registering. Please share with any colleagues who might also find interest in this scholarly forum.

How Does it Work?
The workshop is an informal, highly-collaborative meeting where participants create and set in motion their own agendas. There is no program for the workshop and there are no presentations. Participants collaborate in small groups to exchange research projects (e.g. articles, webtexts, syllabi, proposals) for feedback and peer review.

The workshop is free and open to anyone interested in feminist research, whether they are students, professors, academics, para-academics, or non-academics.

Workshop outcomes include:
Encourage inter- and cross-disciplinary research and collaboration
Discuss feminist research strategies, best practices, methodologies/methods
Promote collaborative learning and professional development
Create a supportive space for feminist scholars to interact and network​

Who Should Attend?
Anyone with an interest in feminist scholarship and research.

How Much Does it Cost?
Nothing! Participants can attend the workshop for free.

When Does it Take Place?
This year’s workshop will take place Monday, June 8th through Sunday, June 14th.

Participants are also invited to attend a virtual workshop entitled “Mindful Research: A Workshop for Feminist Scholars” by Amanda Strauss, Research Librarian at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. eastern time. The workshop is hosted by HASTAC and is part of the annual Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop. It is free and open to the public. You do not need to register for the Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop to attend. Additional information is forthcoming.

Where Does it Take Place?
The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) hosts the workshop. Many thanks to HASTAC for their generous support.

What Do I Need for the Workshop?
Ideally, you will bring a work-in-progress manuscript (e.g. journal article, syllabus, dissertation chapter, webtext) to the workshop. However, you are not required to have a project to participate and can instead serve as a reader/respondent for others' work.

Whom Do I Contact for More Information?
For additional information on the workshop, please contact Lori Beth De Hertogh or Katie Morrissey at feministscholarsworkshop@gmail.com. You can also access updates via Twitter using #FSDW15.

Want to Learn More?
To learn more about the workshop and to register, visit the Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop group page.

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