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Volume Editors: Jane A. Van Galen and Jaye Sablan
The contributors to Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: First-Gen PhDs Navigating Institutional Power overcame deeply unequal educational systems to become the first in their families to finish college. Now, they are among the 3% of first-generation undergraduate students to go on to graduate school, in spite of structural barriers that worked against them.

These scholars write of socialization to the professoriate through the complex lens of intersectional identities of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class.

These first-generation graduate students have crafted critical narratives of the structural obstacles within higher education that stand in the way of brilliant scholars who are poor and working-class, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, immigrant, queer, white, and women. They write of agency in creating defiant networks of support, of sustaining connections to family and communities, of their activism and advocacy on campus. They refuse to perpetuate the myths of meritocracy that reproduce the inequalities of higher education. In response to research literature and to campus programming that frames their identities around “need”, they write instead of agentive and politicized intersectional identities as first-generation graduate students, committed to institutional change through their research, teaching, and service.

Contributors are: Lamesha C. Brown, LaToya Brown, Altheria Caldera, Araceli Calderón, Marisa V. Cervantes, Joy Cobb, Raven K. Cokley, Francine R. Coston, Angela Gay, Josué R. López, Rebecca Morgan, Gloria A. Negrete-Lopez, Lisa S. Palacios, Takeshia Pierre, Alejandra I. Ramírez, Matt Reid, Ebony Russ, Jaye Sablan, Travis Smith, Phitsamay S. Uy, Jane A. Van Galen, Jason K. Wallace and Lin Wu.
Author: Shalen Lowell
What if normative gender standards were legally enforced? How would our institutions inform and enforce these rules and regulations? What would be the consequences of failing to comply with gender expression standards? It’s in the midst of this maelstrom that we join Alex, our genderfluid and nonbinary protagonist who, during the thick of their adolescence, must navigate the choppy waters of lust, love, friendship, schooling, loss, and their city’s rigid – and perhaps lethal – gender expectations. In this world, Alex must constantly exchange their true self for safety and compliance, a relentless transaction from which they feel they never will escape. Can they navigate this slippery slope, alongside their patchwork community of friends and allies? Or is arrest and social persecution inevitable?

This novel is an honest and raw examination of queer lives. Gender Optics will illustrate, interrogate, and challenge the harmful products of binary hegemonic systems that all too often push gender variant folks to the fringes of society. While Gender Optics can be read purely for pleasure, it can also be used as supplemental reading for courses in critical theory, gender theory, gender and sexuality studies, LGBTQ studies, intersectionality, and arts-based research.
Author: Patricia Leavy
Twinkle follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after two years of marriage. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. As they both heal from past trauma, their epic love, fostered by their ability to truly see one another, has brought them true happiness. However, when an anonymous threat is made against Tess’s life, everything changes. Will they learn to lean on each other, or will they fall apart into the darkness? Their friends are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend, who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, who Tess visits regularly to discuss politics and bake cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau, who understands the sacrifices he’s made; and Bobby, Jack’s younger friend, who never fails to lend a calming presence. Twinkle is a novel about the nature of doubt, the struggle to feel worthy of love, the relationship of the small part to the greater whole, and the ways in which love – from lovers, friends, or the art we experience – can help us move from trauma to healing and redemption. Written as unfolding action, Twinkle is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy. It can be read entirely for pleasure, selected for book clubs, or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in communication, psychology, social work, sociology, or women’s studies/gender studies.
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
In: Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: Volume 1
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.

Abstract

This chapter discusses feminist art activism and the creation of the character ‘ArtActivistBarbie,’ a fearless, feminist Barbie doll who is staged and posed in art galleries and museums to draw attention to gender representation, inequality and injustice. The work is a/r/tographic enquiry – an aesthetic, performative and critical pedagogic practice. The imaginative and creatively disruptive work of ArtActivistBarbie is explored as public pedagogy, public intellectualism and feminist ventriloquism which seeks to activate a critical feminist consciousness.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum

Abstract

Within the last decade, Canada’s national museums have endeavoured to deliver exhibitions that have a concentrated focus on women. More recently, two of Canada’s national museums launched temporary exhibitions which centred on women’s personal and professional experiences. This approach represented women’s experiences as individual and unique without juxtaposing their relationship, attachment and involvement alongside men. In these exhibitions, women’s voices, accomplishments and struggles were the intended messages, yet the output from the two museums was entirely distinct and diverse as two separate exhibits. This chapter will focus on Courage and Passion an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature and World War Women at Canada’s War Museum both located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s capital. It will use Reilly’s “curatorial activism” to explore these two temporary exhibits which will reveal two contrasting topics which view women’s perspectives and participation in science and war. The ways in which the exhibitions engaged or (dis)engaged the visitor as a process of examination, exploration and discussion on the representation and occupation of women in museum spaces.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum

Abstract

Emerging from Spain to Senegal, Chile to Canada, Italy to Iran, this chapter illustrates the critical feminist pedagogic-activist roles Women’s Museums seek to play through physical space, mobile exhibitions, or virtual means. The work of women’s museums ranges from acquiring objects to undertaking research, from entering policy debates to bringing women curators and artists from across the globe together in conversation through the International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM) network. Women’s museum curators and educators illuminate untold or hidden histories, creativities, experiences and voices, facilitate workshops on everything from health to gender to economics, reimagine the “dark histories” of war and domestic violence through a feminist perspective or engage in guerilla tactics and risky public practices.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum

Abstract

This chapter is situated within the complex discourses and polemical debates that surround women who wear headscarves and veils and the challenges this represents for feminism. The authors tell the story of a travelling exhibition – Cultures of Headscarves – that seeks to educate the public through a feminist intercultural understanding that positions diverse historical and contemporary practices of wearing veils and headscarves as normative to women’s cultures worldwide. Reasons for wearing these garments are also outlined within discourses of convenience, aesthetics, or religious belief, illustrating how women control and are controlled by this piece of fabric. Wading into stereotypes and other impossible situations in which women find themselves, the exhibition imaginatively and provocatively tackles narratives of patriarchal titillation, fears of “Orientalism” as well as misguided political prohibitions that tend to perpetuate anti-immigration stances. Critical to the pedagogical strength of the exhibition is the inclusion of the stories of women refracted through lenses of inter-connected personal and political determinants that ultimately bring readers to the issue of a woman’s right to choose as central to a feminist imaginary of a world that can and must be different.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum
Author: Ash Grover

Abstract

This chapter critically engages with the curatorial work of Haudenosaunee artist and creator Shelley Niro in her exhibition titled 1779, which was on display at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in Southern Ontario leading up to the 150th celebration of Canada’s confederation. The exhibition was a re-framing of the history of the land now known as Canada and provided a critical outlook on the upcoming celebrations of colonial genocide. Using the lens of feminist discourse analysis to interpret my personal learning as a settler living in Canada, I illuminate the feminist praxis in Niro’s exhibition. I argue that the pedagogical impact of her choice to juxtapose present day and historical depictions of Niagara Falls, a popular tourist landmark in Southern Ontario, serves to decolonise the discourse of the land many Canadians now inhabit.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum
Author: Lauren Spring

Abstract

When assessing gender diversity in art gallery collections, much has been written about the canonisation of works by men, the male gaze, and unbalanced sex-perspectives of our shared human past. Until recent decades much of this was taken for granted and flew under the radar and has only been brought into the light thanks to feminist critiques and interventions. One of the most unabashedly “masculine” turns throughout art history, however, has been the Italian futurist movement. Obsessed by motion and speed, and intent on glorifying violence, war and machines, futurist artists developed specific aesthetics to match the objectives laid out in their manifesto. Much of the work from this era reflects the artists’ embodied experiences fighting in WWI. One such painting, on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario, is Mer=Bataille by Gino Severini (1915). Its collage-like words of battle cries and machine gun noises attempt to provide the viewer a full-sensory glimpse into what war experience was like for Severini and others who fought alongside him. Though much has changed in military practice since 1914, the institution itself remains overwhelmingly masculine in nature. It is only in recent years that the female experience of military training, deployment, and trauma has started to come to light. For this project, researcher Lauren Spring conducted three in-depth narrative interviews with female veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces – all of whom have been diagnosed with service-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Recurring words from these interviews, and artistic contributions from participants themselves in response to Severini’s work were combined to paint a very different, though equally as embodied, picture of the female military experience and resulting trauma.

In: Feminist Critique and the Museum