Hide menu



Academic and Creative Writing in Gender Studies:
How to write a scholarly article for a feminist journal?

April 21-23, 2008

Deadline for application:
February 10, 2008

Linköping University, Sweden

Dr. Kathy Davis, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Dr. Andrea Petö, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Prof. Nina Lykke, Linköping University, Sweden.

Research School Director Prof. Nina Lykke, Linköping University, Sweden.

Course description:
The course will provide a forum for reflection and discussion of the
ways in which different kinds of feminist theorists (from Hélène
Cixous to Donna Haraway) have been writing in boundary spaces between theory and literature and deconstructed traditional borders between academic and creative writing.
It will be discussed why it has been considered to be important for feminist theorizing to transgress such borders, and how questions of feminist academic writing practices have been raised from both epistemological, methodological, didactic and political perspectives.
Against the background of these broader reflections on feminist
theorizing and writing practices, the course will put focus on the
discussion of criteria for “a well written article” and encourage
participants to reflect on their own writing processes in relation to
their research - with a particular focus on the question: how to write
a scholarly article for a feminist journal?
The course will include three kinds of sessions:
1) lecture-discussion-sessions,
2) writing workshops,
3) group sessions with presentations of students' papers, where students will be given the opportunity to present their research, reflect on their writing practices and receive comments from teachers and co-participants.
As part of the preparation for the course, participants - (ie. applicants who are selected as participants) - will be asked to send examples of draft articles or (minimum) a synopses for such an article to be discussed in the group sessions.


Arrival: April 20 (evening).

Monday April 21:

* 8.30-9.00:
Registration and coffee

* 9.00-9.30: Welcome and presentations
* 9.30-11.30 (incl. coffee break):
Plenary session Lecture + discussion
Kathy Davis: "Bringing the “I” into Feminist Writing: Autobiography, Reflexivity, and the Politics of Location."
* 11.30-12.30: Plenary workshop on "Bringing the "I" into Feminist Writing", led by Kathy Davis
* 12.30-14.00: Lunch
* 14.00-15.00. Plenary workshop continued, led by Kathy Davis
* 15.00-15.30 Coffee break
* 15.30-19.00 Writing Workshop (plenary): "How to write an article introduction?", led by Nina Lykke
* 19.30 Dinner

Tuesday April 22:
* 9.00-11.00 (incl. coffee break):
Plenary session: Lecture + discussion
Andrea Petö: "Bringing "Pasts" into Feminist Writing: Narratives and the Politics of Gendered Remembering."
* 11.00-12.00 Plenary workshop on "Bringing "Pasts" into Feminist Writing"
* 12.00-13.30 Lunch
* 13.30-14.30 Plenary workshop, continued, led by Andrea Petö
* 14.30-15.00 Coffee break
* 15.00-19.00:
3 parallel workshops with oral presentations of students' papers and comments by teachers and co-participants.
Group 1, led by Kathy Davis
Group 2, led by Andrea Petö
Group 3, led by Nina Lykke
List of groups/workshops will be sent out before the course.
* 19.30: Dinner

Wednesday April 23:
* 9.00-11.00 (incl. coffee break):
Plenary session: Lecture + discussion
Nina Lykke: Feminist epistemologies and writing styles.
* 11.00-12.00 Plenary workshop, led by Kathy Davis:
"Getting Published: How to Get Your Article Accepted in a (Feminist) Academic Journal"
* 12.00-13.00 Lunch
* 13.00-14.45
3 parallel workshops with oral presentations of students' papers and comments by teachers and co-participants.
Group 1, led by Kathy Davis
Group 2, led Andrea Petö
Group 3, led by Nina Lykke
* 14.45-15.00 Coffee break
* 15.00-16.00 Evaluation
* 16.00 Departure.

Readings and guidelines for preparation:

It is recommended that participants buy the following book to use as handbook for the course:
Laurel Richardson: Writing Strategies. Reaching Diverse Audiences. Sage 1990.

1) General preparation

Each participant should send in an example of a draft article or (minimum) a synopses for such an article before the course (max. 15 pp).
The articles/synopses will be distributed to all participants and teachers. They will be discussed jointly in the group sessions, and all group participants are expected to have read each others' articles/synopses on beforehand, and to be prepared to give each other comments.
Please, send your article/synopsis to Mette Bryld (mbry@galnet.dk) no later than March 29.

2) Readings and guidelines for preparation for Kathy Davis’ lecture and plenary workshop:

Kathy Davis:
"Bringing the "I" into Feminist Writing: Autobiography, Reflexivity, and the Politics of Location."

As readings for my lecture, I have selected core articles which take up the issue of bringing the “I” into feminist writing written by feminist scholars from different disciplines and different theoretical and methodological orientations. Specific examples of such writing have been taken from my own work as well as other authors, whereby each example shows how the author draws upon biographical material, using it as an analytic resource for her own research. After reading the core articles to familiarize yourself with what is at stake in using your biography, experiences, and social location in doing feminist research, read the specific examples with the following questions in mind:
1) how does the author bring herself into her research
2) what effect does this have on her research
3) why (or why not) do you think this is a good strategy for doing feminist research.
In the workshop, we will be discussing the advantages (and disadvantages) of these research strategies in relation to your own research. Special attention will be paid to the use of such strategies in the publication of articles for academic journals.

Core Readings

* Nancy K. Miller, ‘Getting Personal: Autobiography as Cultural Criticism,’ in Getting Personal: Feminist Occasions and Other Autobiographical Acts. New York: Routledge (1991):1-30.
* Sidonie Smith & Julia Watson, ‘Introduction,’ in: Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996, pp. 1-24.
* Liz Stanley, “On Auto/biography in Sociology,” Sociology 27, 1 (1993):41-52.
* Marjorie Devault, “Personal Writing in Social Research. Issues of Production and Interpretation.” In: Reflexivity & Voice, ed. By Rosanna Hertz. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1997, p. 216-228.
* Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” In: Simians, Cyborgs, and Women. London: Free Association Books, 1991, pp. 183-202
* Adrienne Rich, “Notes toward a Politics of Location,” In Blood, Bread, and Poetry. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986, pp. 210-231.
* Ruth Frankenberg, “Introduction: Points of Origin, Points of Departure.” In: White Women, Race Matters. The Social Construction of Whiteness.” New York: Routledge, 1993, pp. 1-22.Avtar Brah, “Introduction,” In: Cartographies of Diaspora. London: Routledge, 1996, pp.1-16.
* Chandra Talpade Mohanty (and Biddy Martin), “What’s Home Got to Do With It?” In: Feminism Without Borders. Durban, NC: Duke University Press, 2003, pp. 85-105.

Further Readings (Examples):

* Elizabeth Ettorre, ‘Gender, older female bodies and autoethnography: Finding my feminist voice by telling my illness story,’ Women’s Studies International Forum 28 (2005): 535-546.
* Sara Ahmed, ‘It’s a sun-tan, isn’t it? Auto-biography as an identificatory practice,’ in: Heidi Safia Mirza, ed. Black British Feminism. London: Routledge, 1997, pp. 153-167
* Kathy Davis, "Surgical Passing: Or why Michael Jackson’s nose makes ‘us’ uneasy", Feminist Theory, 4, 1, 2003, 73-92.
* Kathy Davis and Ine Gremmen, "In Search of Heroines. Some Reflections on Normativity", Feminist Research. Feminism & Psychology, 8, 2, 1998, 133-153.
* Elena T. Creef, “Discovering My Mother as the Other in the Saturday Evening Post,” Qualitative Inquiry 6, 4 (2000): 443-457.
* Kathy Davis, ‘Avoiding the “R-Word”: Racism in Feminist Collectives’ in: Rosalind Gill and Róisín Ryan-Flood (eds.) Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections. London: Routledge (forthcoming), 12pp.
* Ien Ang, On Not Speaking Chinese. Living Between Asian and the West. London: Routledge, 2001, pp. 21-36.
* Wairimu Ngaruiya Njambi, "Dualism and Female Bodies in Representations of African Female Circumcision: A Feminist Critique,” Feminist Theory 5, 2 (2004):281-328.
* Kathy Davis, ‘Between moral outrage and cultural relativisim – Response to W. Njambi,’ Feminist Theory 5, 3 (2004):305-323. (optional)

For Kathy Davis' plenary workshop: "Getting Published":

* Kathy Davis: Editorial. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 11, 1, 2004: 5-7
Ialt 309

3) Readings and guidelines for preparation for Andrea Petö's lecture and plenary workshop:

Andrea Petö:
"Bringing "Pasts" into Feminist Writing: Narratives and the Politics of Gendered Remembering."

The lecture addresses the ways in which one can understand and give meaning to collected historical “facts”. It is important to be aware that writing ‘women’s history’ is never only the collection of facts and figures about women in the past. In order to understand and give meaning to those lives we need concepts, stories, and narratives, systems of meaning and reconceptualization of the historian as a writer. In order to give feminist meaning to gender in a historical context, it is necessary to address questions of race and class, and to be critical of traditional historical narratives about national, economic, political and cultural developments.

Bring at least one object or a digital photo and a print out of an object (photo, artifact, a “thing” etc.) with you to the course which has a historical meaning for you. The print out will be copied and distributed among members of the course. To gather background information about your object you may both use informal sources: memories and recollections, stories and anecdotes, conversations with friends and relatives, as well as more formalized sources: history books, archival materials, newspaper clippings. Include references to your information-sources separately. Try to think how this material object will illustrate in different aspects of the life, the memory and the narratives about different pasts. Be creative and ambitious!

For the workshop: Bring to the course (max. 500 words each):
a, Write an ethnographical note for the object as it was an object in a museum and-or object in a virtual museum with references.
b, write a letter explaining your choice to a friend
c, write a text about your object as an illustration in a history textbook for secondary school
d, try to write an essay about the owner, producer of the object her experience with locatedness: did she herself live in the same place during her whole life?
e, Address the issues of visibility and forgetting in relation to the object

Guidelines for reading

1. How does the reading of these articles change your view about “your” object?
2. How do the feminist scholarship and mainstream academia address the issue of women’s experiences? (Fleischman)
3. Read the articles by Heilbrun, Smith and see how they address the choice of narrative! What are the advantages and disadvantages of identification?
4. Whose problems are being addressed in these articles, who is asking questions, who provides the answers and who may profit from the knowledge and insights provided by these historians?
5. In the seminar we will discuss the experience of writing about past related to the object of your choice. What is the role of examples: do they inspire, depress? How important is ‘historical correctness’?
6. How a feminist author is expected to read the clues of the past?
7. How does the author define her role in the research and writing process? (Ginzburg, Fulbrook)

Reading list:

Core readings:
* Petö, Andrea, Waaldijk, Berteke eds., Teaching with Memories. European Women’s Histories in: International and Interdisciplinary Classrooms. Women’s Studies Centre, University of Galway Press, 2006. pp. 17-31.
* Fleishman, Susan, "Gender, the Personal, and the Voice of the Scholarship: A View Point”, Signs, 1998. Vol. 23. No. 4. pp. 975-1016.
* Waaldijk, Berteke, “Of Stories and Sources, Feminist History”, in: Buikema, Rosemarie, Smelik, Anneke eds., Women’s Studies and Culture. A Feminist Introduction, London: ZED Books, 1995, pp. 14-25.
* Heilbrun, C., Writing a Woman's Life, New York: Ballantine Books, 1988, Introduction, pp. 11-31.
* Heilbrun, Carolyn, “Keynote Address: Gender and Detective Fiction”, in: Rader, Barbara A., Howard G. Zettler, Robin W. Winks, eds. The Sleuth and the Scholar: Origins, Evolution, and Current Trends in Detective Fiction, Greenwood Press, 1988, pp. 1-11.
* Smith, B., On Writing Women’s Work (Florence: EUI Working Paper HEC No. 91/7)
* Benjamin, Walter, “The Story Teller”, in: Illuminations, London, Jonathan Cape, 1970, pp. 83-110.
* Felski, Rita, The Gender and Modernity, Harvard UP, Cambridge Mass. 1995, pp. 11-33 on vision of the new.
* Fulbrook, Mary, Historical Theory, London, Routledge, 2002, chapter on Looking for Clues, pp. 96- 121.
* Ginzburg, Carlo, “Moretti, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes: Clues and Scientific Method”, in: Bennett, Tony ed. Popular Fiction, London, Routledge, 1990. pp. 252-276.
* Mirzoeff, Nicholas, “Introduction to part four”, in: The Visual Culture Reader, London, Routledge, 1999.

Further Readings (Examples):

* Braidotti, Rosi, “Identity, Subjectivity and Difference: A Critical Genealogy”, in: Griffin, Gabrielle, Rosi Braidotti, eds., Thinking Differently. A Reader in European Women's Studies, London: Zed Books, 2002, pp. 153-183.
* Conlan, Anna Christina, "The Whitla-Lucas Archive. Exploring the Personal within Feminist Scholarship and Questioning Desire in Women’s Life-Writing”, Feminist Theory 2004. Vol. 5. No. 3. pp. 257-279.
* Peto, Andrea, “Writing Women‘s History in Eastern Europe. Towards a ‘Terra Cognita’?”, Journal of Women‘s History 2004, Vol. 16. No. 4., pp. 173-183.
* Schwartz, Vanessa, “The Morgue and the Musée. Grévin: Understanding the Public Taste for Reality in Fin-de-Siècle Paris”, The Yale Journal of Criticism 1994. Vol. 7. No. 2. pp. 151-173.
* Sieg, Kathrin, “Women in the Fortress Europe: Feminist Crime Fiction as Antifascist Performative”, differences 2005. Vol. 16. No. 2, pp. 138-166.

4) Readings and guidelines for preparation for Nina Lykke’s lecture and plenary workshop

Nina Lykke: "Feminist epistemologies and writing styles"
and plenary workshop "How to write an article introduction?"

The lecture will outline some reasons why feminist theorizing and writing experiments often have gone hand in hand. The workshop mix discussion and writing exercises, focusing on how to write an academic and creative introduction.

The core readings present reflections on relations between feminist analysis and writing practices, while being writing experiments as well (Lykke and Bryld 2000 + Richardson 1997). Moreover, they discuss the writing process as something which should be considered an integrated part of the methodology (Richardson 2000) and gives a general more handbook-like introduction to academic writing (Richardson 1990).

The further readings present examples of different kinds of articles, which are famous and/or experimenting and/or which I chose because I think they can be considered as examples of good practice in composition and style.

When you read the examples, try to reflect on composition (of the introduction and of the article as a whole), style, language and aesthetics of the article, and try assess if it in your opinion is written in a convincing way. Does it work? If yes, why, if no, why not? As far as the articles of Haraway, Butler, Scott and Lugones/Spelman are concerned, I shall also ask you to think about why these articles have become famous and widely read.

Core readings:

* Mette Bryld and Nina Lykke: Cosmodolphins. Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred. ZED Books , London 2000, pp. 1-71.
* Laurel Richardson: “Writing: A Method of Inquiry”. In: Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln (editors) (2000): Handbook of Qualitative Research (Second Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 923-949.
* Laurel Richardson: Fields of Play, Rutgers UP. New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1997, pp. 131-154.
* Laurel Richardson: Writing Strategies. Reaching Diverse Audiences. Sage 1990.

Further readings (examples):

* Judith Butler (1997): "Against Proper Objects", in: E. Weed and N.Schor: feminism meets queer theory, Indiana UP 1997, pp. 1-31.
* Charis Thompson Cussins: "Confessions of a Bioterrorist: Subject Position and Reproductive Technologies”. In: Ann Kaplan and Susan Squier (eds): Playing Dolly. Technocultural formations, fantasies & fictions of assisted reproduction. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey and London, pp. 189-220.
* Donna Haraway (1991) "A cyborg manifesto: science, technology, and socialist-feminism in the late twentieth century", in: D. Haraway: Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the reinvention of nature, London: Free Association Books, pp. 127-48.
* Donna Haraway: Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan©_Meets_Oncomouse™. Feminism and Technoscience, Routledge, London, New York, 1997, 79-80.
* Evelynn Hammonds: “Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality” in: Elizabeth Weed and Naomi Schor (eds): feminism meets queer theory, Indiana UP, Bloomington, 1997, pp. 136-157 .
* María C. Lugones and Elisabeth V. Spelman (1998) "Have we got a theory for you!", in: Naomi Zack, Laurie Shrage and Crispin Sartwell (eds.), Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. Blackwell, Malden. Mass., 1998, pp. 374-389
* Nina Lykke: "To be a Cyborg or a Goddess?", in: Gender, Technology and Development, vol 1, no 1, January-April 1997, pp. 5-23.
* Nina Lykke: "Between Particularism, Universalism and Transversalism. Reflections on the Politics of Location of Three European Feminist Journals." NORA, Vol 12, No 2, 2004: 72-82.
* Joan Scott (1992): "Experience", in J. Butler and J. Scott: Feminists Theorize the Political, Routledge, London, New York, 1992: pp. 22-41.

(A reader will be sent out and several articles will be distributed by e-mail; however, Laurel Richardson's book, Writing Strategies. Reaching Diverse Audiences. Sage 1990, must be purchased or borrowed.)

47 applicants, 21 participants: Estonia 1, Finland 7, Germany 1, Hungary 1, Lithuania 1, Norway 2, Poland 1 (self-paying), Spain 1, Sweden 4 (2 self-paying), UK 2.

Page manager: elisabeth.samuelsson@liu.se
Last updated: Thu Jan 20 13:06:41 CET 2011