What I’ve Been Reading

beyond ‘talking’ and ‘owning’ intersectionality – Lola Okolosie 
Can we white feminists call ourselves intersectional? – Time-Machine? Yeah!
I’m coming to the end of a long process of PhD proposal writing, and this week has been a reminder a) that this is an ongoing process, the proposal will never really be finished just because it’s handed in, and b) of the importance of constant reading, reflection and adjustment.

The proposal I’ve just completed places my practice, social making, in a context influenced by intersectional feminism, or rather the current ‘mainstream’ understanding of this term (the theory first developed to express the multiple oppressions experienced by black women, but has taken on a sort of ‘buzzword’ status in contemporary feminism). However, continued reading has proven it necessary to re-examine my relationship to this term, and indeed this theory more broadly (further reading always pays off!). The articles above are just the tip of the iceberg in a wide body of writing on this, that articulate all these issues better than I ever could.

As with most reading this has raised many more questions than answers, from academic issues of terminology and citation, to huge questions of my privileged place in academia, how theory meets practice in creative work and whether I should pull my politics away from my work, and if I can ever be part of the solution or if my very presence reiterates hierarchies that are part of the problem.

What remains the case is that practising intersectionality is difficult and uncompromising work that demands constant self-reflection and critique from feminists of all kinds. Admitting to the laborious nature of intersectional work is the first step to recognising the diversity of our movement. – Lola Okolosie

David Gauntlett
I recently (partially) reread Making is Connecting, which reminded how interesting I find David Gauntlett’s work on collaboration, and his website is a treasure trove of videos, blog posts and workshop write ups. Also, a really solid example of disseminating research online.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS – This American Life
About 25% of my time is soundtracked by various podcasts (I appreciate the sense of company when I’m home solo…), and This American Life is one I regularly enjoy. This week’s was particularly good, writer Lindy West gives a heartbreaking account of her experience with internet trolls and there’s a great piece on ‘vocal fry’, aka the latest threat to young women’s credibility which I must suffer from as I do not seem to notice it in other people.

(Vocal fry can join beards, kale and pop-up anything in the category of things that I am fully tired of hearing about)