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Undergraduates and Inmates Write Their Way Out
Critical stories are narratives that recount the writer’s experiences, situating those experiences in broader cultural contexts. In this volume of Critical Storytelling, marginalized, excluded, and oppressed peoples share insights from their liminality to help readers learn from their perspectives on living from behind invisible bars. Female inmates at Decatur’s Correctional Center and the undergraduate Millikin University students who worked with them come together to give voice to their specific histories of living from behind invisibile bars and pose important questions to the reader about inciting change for the future. Specifically, the voices in this volume seek to expose, analyze, and challenge deeply-entrenched narratives and characterizations of incarcerated women, whose histories are often marked by sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, PTSD, a lack of education, housing insecurity, mental illness, and substance addiction. These silenced female inmate voices need to be heard and contextualized within the larger metanarrative of prison literature. Through telling critical stories, these writers attempt to: sustain recovery from trauma, make positive changes and informed decisions, create a real sense of empowerment, strengthen their capacity to exercise personal agency, and inspire audiences to create change far outside the reaches of physical and metaphorical bars.

Contributors are: Anonymous, Soren Belle, Megan Batty, Dwight G. Brown, Jr., Sandra Brown, Kathryn Coffey, Kelly Cunningham, Paiten Hamilton, Kathlyn J. Housh, Rebekah Icenesse, Kala Keller, Jelisa Lovette, Bric Martin, Amanda Minetti, Laura Nearing, Angie Oaks, Claire Prendergast, Cara Quiett, J. M. Spence, Noah Villarreal and Alisha Walker.
Author: Jean Laight
Large numbers of teachers have left the profession because teaching has become so time-consuming due to excessive workload. With so many women teachers leaving the profession, the author examines why some women teachers were not only staying in the profession but also giving up their time and energy to engage in trade union activism as a form of resistance against the raft of policy changes which they believe to be the root cause for the exodus. Exploring Narratives of Women Teacher Trade Union Activists attempts to discover why they are so motivated.

Narrative analysis is employed as the methodology in conjunction with a life history interview approach. This volume cites the work of Zembylas and Foucault, focusing on emotion and affect in education, political and social justice, teacher identity, teachers’ self-formation, the emotional labour of teaching, resistance and power, which is rooted in the social theory of post-structuralism. The author explores the strained relationship between teachers and government and how teacher professionalism is being perceived as an act of resistance in itself.
Educating for a Critical Consciousness
Thousands of diverse museums, including art galleries and heritage sites, exist around the world today and they draw millions of people, audiences who come to view the exhibitions and artefacts and equally importantly, to learn from them about the world and themselves. This makes museums active public educators who imagine, visualise, represent and story the past and the present with the specific aim of creating knowledge. Problematically, the visuals and narratives used to inform visitors are never neutral. Feminist cultural and adult education studies have shown that all too frequently they include epistemologies of mastery that reify the histories and deeds of ‘great men.' Despite pressures from feminist scholars and professionals, normative public museums continue to be rife with patriarchal ideologies that hide behind referential illusions of authority and impartiality to mask the many problematic ways gender is represented and interpreted, the values imbued in those representations and interpretations and their complicity in the cancellation of women’s stories in favour of conventional masculine historical accounts that shore up male superiority, entitlement, privilege, and dominance.

Feminist Critique and the Museum: Educating for a Critical Consciousness problematises museums as it illustrates ways they can be become pedagogical spaces of possibility. This edited volume showcases the imaginative social critique that can be found in feminist exhibitions, and the role that women’s museums around the world are attempting to play in terms of transforming our understandings of women, gender, and the potential of museums to create inclusive narratives.
In the wake of Donald J. Trump’s unprecedented victory and his administration’s multi-pronged attacks on an array of vulnerable populations, a diverse collection of scholars was asked to document the ways in which marginalized peoples have experienced the first years of Trump mayhem. The essays in this volume ask us to think through tough narratives of exclusion, exile, and pain. The challenge in this book is to represent the unrepresentable, to document in chilling detail how Trump, his allies in government, and his unshakeable base have weaponized the culture war and threatened the ideals of the Republic. This book invites us to experience the scarifying perspective of the marginalized Other, to remember to honor all our most human stories that, woven together, make up the collective ‘us;’ the collective ‘U.S.’ The editors also hope this collection suggests a way forward, a way to defeat American nativism and a way to end the war on those of us who are, on this sad day, our nation’s public enemies.
Author: Patricia Leavy
Candy Floss Collection is a set of three previously released, bestselling novels: Low-Fat Love, Blue, and Film. Together these novels create an overarching message about what it truly means to live a “big life” and the kinds of relationships we need with others and ourselves along the way. This is not a trilogy. This collection can be understood as installation art. Written with humor, cultural insight, and a wink, we follow each female protagonist and cast of offbeat characters as they search for love, friendship, and a sense of self. The characters must learn to mind the gap between their lives as they are and as they wish them to be, to chase their dreams even as they stumble on their insecurities, and to never settle for low-fat love. Along the way, characters are imaged in the glow of television and movie screens, their own stories shaped and illuminated by the stories in pop culture. Set in contemporary New York and Los Angeles, with special tributes to 1980s pop culture, each book questions and celebrates the ever-changing cultural landscape against which we live our stories, frame by frame. Candy Floss Collection can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. The book includes further engagement for class or book club use.
Author: Patricia Leavy
Film follows three women who moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. Tash Daniels aspires to be a filmmaker. Her short film was rejected from festivals, she has a stack of rejected grant proposals, and she lost her internship at a studio when her boss harassed her, forcing her to take a job as a personal shopper. Lu K is a hot deejay slowly working her way up the club scene, but no one is doing her any favors. Fiercely independent, she’s at a loss when she meets Paisley, a woman who captures her heart. Monroe Preston is the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head. As a teenager she moved to LA in search of a “big” life, but now she wonders if reality measures up to fantasy. When a man in their circle finds sudden fame, each of these women is catapulted on a journey of self-discovery. As the characters’ stories unfold, each is forced to confront how her past has shaped her fears and to choose how she wants to live in the present. Film is a novel about the underside of dreams, the struggle to find internal strength, the power of art, and what it truly means to live a “big” life. Frequently shown bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters in Film show us how the arts can reignite the light within. With a tribute to popular culture, set against the backdrop of Tinseltown, Film celebrates how the art we make and consume can shape our stories, scene by scene. Although fictional, Film is loosely grounded in interview research. It can be read entirely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in women’s studies/gender studies, sociology, psychology, communication, popular culture, media studies, or qualitative inquiry. Film can be read as a stand-alone novel or as a sequel to the bestselling novel, Blue.