Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies is delighted to continue our interactive column, “Feminist Currents.” Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and chair of the Feminist Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, created this column. She will now be joined by Beth Currans, Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University.
Below Boris and Currans pose a question to our readers and all interested feminists, whether they find this column in Frontiers or on any number of postings in cyber space. All are invited to e-mail Frontiers their answers, which Boris and Currans will edit by synthesizing and summarizing. Their intent is to cook up a gumbo out of your responses: mixing, seasoning, and throwing in their own ingredients, as they enable us to engage in feminist dialectic.
The response of Boris and Currans will appear in a future issue of Frontiers. We see this exchange as a way to strengthen and enrich our feminist community. Or, in Boris’s words, “‘Feminist Currents’ is a place for feminists to debate pressing and not so pressing (sometimes whimsical but hopefully compelling) issues of the day, to share perspectives and thoughts, develop strategies, and connect scholarship and teaching to social justice.”
The Question: In an era of tightening budgets and renewed fiscal conservatism, how committed are institutions to our research and teaching, or students to the critical lenses developed in our classrooms? We inhabit a time of policies mandating that retirees not be replaced and that academic units be consolidated. Circulating in the states are proposals to charge differential fees by majors and academic units in order to encourage supposedly practical preparation for the workforce. Thus, for our next question, we propose to continue this conversation by asking you: What’s the impact of today’s neoliberal political economy on programs and departments in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and what strategies work to cope, confront and survive?
Replies: Email your reflections, from 30 to 300 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than March 15, 2014. In your subject line please type "Feminist Currents." Unless you notify us otherwise in your email, your response signifies that we may paraphrase your thoughts, quote directly from them, and use your name and affiliation. Make sure that you include your affiliation, if applicable. For more information, please see: http://frontiers.osu.edu/feminist-currents
About our columnists
Eileen Boris is Hull Professor and Chair of the Department of Feminist Studies and Professor of History and Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her books include the prize-winning Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States [Cambridge University Press, 1994]; Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care, co-edited with Rhacel Parreñas (Stanford University Press, 2010) and, with Jennifer Klein, Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press, 2012), which received the 2012 Sara A. Whaley Award from the National Women’s Studies Association for the best book on women and labor. She has held the Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki and visiting professorships at the University of Melbourne, Tokyo Christian Women’s University, and University of Toulouse. Currently, she is on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam; the Executive Committee of LAWCHA (Labor and Working Class History Association) and Social Science History Association, and the editorial board of The Journal of American History and theJournal of Policy History. Her writings have appeared in The Nation, New York Times, Huffington Post, New Labor Forum, Salon, Dissent, Labor Notes, and Women’s Review of Books.
Elizabeth Currans, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Michigan University, studies grassroots protest and public space, especially public demonstrations organized and attended primarily by women. Her book manuscript, provisionally titled Holding Space: Gender, Sexuality, and Public Demonstrations, is under contract from University of Illinois Press and explores how participants in public protests claim and remake public spaces and the ways that gender, sexuality, and race influence our understanding of public space. An article, “Claiming Deviance and Honoring Community: Creating Resistant Spaces in U.S. Dyke Marches,” appeared in Feminist Formations 24:1 (April 2012). Another article, “Negotiating Treacherous Terrain: Disciplinary Power, Security Cultures, and Affective Ties in a Local Anti-War Movement,” co-authored with Mark Schuller and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, is due out in Social Justice 38:3.