It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
Random Thoughts
Categories: Week 4: July 30

Hey KCF! Since we are interested in linking feminist blogging with feminist consciousness-raising, I thought that I better review Tracy L.M. Kennedy’s article on blogging and virtual consciousness-raising (which you link to in your post) before our meeting on Friday. I like this passage:

There are several specific ways in which blogging as a virtual consciousness-raising tool can be a vibrant platform for feminist activism, as both an intimate and communal political practice. These areas include self expression, sharing stories, and interaction and dialogue.

So, three key elements of virtual consciousness-raising are: self-expression, sharing stories, and interaction/dialogue. Self-expression = expressing personal experiences and feelings through blog entries. Sharing stories= immediately (and regularly/routinely) being able to share those experiences with others through linking and networking. And interaction/dialogue = a. responding and linking to someone else’s entry/blog on your blog and b. commenting on the blog entry/blog itself. Of course, these descriptions raise a lot of interesting questions for me as I think about my own blogging practices:

  1. What counts as self-expression and personal reflection? There are many different directions in which I could take this question. I often think about it in terms of the divide between what is seen as (too) personal and what is valued as academic (enough). Hmm…personal vs. academic–is this another binary to bust? Another way in which I think about this question is in terms of the various modes of expression that blogs can allow for. In my queering theory course last fall, I encouraged students to be as creative as they wanted. Students did critical engagement/self-expression entries that included drawings, post-it notes, video-blogs, diagrams, poetry, and straightforward prose. They connected their own personal experiences with our readings in many different ways  (using conversations they had with their friends to take about queer resistance, or shopping trips with their moms to discuss queer youth, for example).
  2. In second wave feminist CR, sharing frequently involved going around the circle and telling your stories. What are some of the different ways that sharing works in the blogosphere? Kennedy focuses on linking–what are the different ways in which linking works so as to enable us to share (and hear other) stories? KCF, you talked about this some in our visibility dialogue/podcast–anything you want to add?
  3. Sharing seems to be a central part of educating ourselves (as we share we can begin to see the larger structures that shape our experiences of oppression/injustice) and others (as we share we are able to spread the word about feminism and can open others up to new ways of seeing/thinking critically).  I keep thinking back to bell hooks’ and her discussion of the need to educate the masses on feminist movement. How is sharing our stories/experiences/knowledge about learning and educating? How does that work in our classrooms? On our course blogs?
  4. Kennedy highlights two ways in which to interact/dialogue: linking to/writing about someone’s blog entry and commenting directly on that entry. Are there others ways in which to connect–by diabloguing perhaps? Also, what are the limits and possibilities of comments? KCF, how have comments worked in your classes?
  5. Whew. Lots of questions. Here’s one final one: Kennedy discusses the blog as a platform for virtual CR. How do we use the blog in relation to other spaces/practices of consciousness-raising? Where/how do physical offline spaces fit in with our virtual CR? I ask this question because in my own blogging I am committed to linking the online and offline and/or blurring the lines between the two (a ha! yet another binary to bust: offline/online!). My online blogging practices/projects necessarily require offline practices/engagements too.

Cool. I’m excited for our discussion on Friday.

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