Risking Justice: Women's Studies Beyond Measure
Feminist Formations, Volume 25, Number 3, Winter 2013, pp. 135-142
9 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2013
A contribution to Inhabitations: A Feminist Formations Dossier on Robyn Wiegman’s Object Lessons.
In finding my way and making my peace with a (so far) nearly twenty-year career as a full-time faculty member in women’s studies (with a substantial secondary affiliation with LGBT studies) while sustaining fundamentally anti-identitarian theoretical, political, and methodological orientations, Robyn Wiegman’s thinking has been importantly enabling. Her essays on women’s studies envision the possibility of commitment to these spaces as infrastructure for serious and unconstrained intellectual endeavor, shameless in its engagement with Theory. In a passing remark from the audience of a conference session, Wiegman urged that we in women’s studies, as we embrace and debate the inter- and transnational as rubrics for our work (from the repurposed domestic buildings on the fringes of campuses in which we are so often located), not ignore, but rather engage the larger and better-funded internationalizing projects of our universities in their fancy, new, centrally located buildings on our campuses. This imperative has stayed with me, inspiring my own recent effort to engage across substantial theoretical, methodological, and political differences with those doing a large and well-funded policy- and media-ready social science project in a fancy new building down the block. That is, I have taken Wiegman to be offering an expansive and empowered mode of inhabiting the field and the university.
Keywords: women's studies, academic feminism, social justice
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