It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
The Collaborative Writing Project

If I have read my notes correctly (which, due to my incredibly messy handwriting, might be a miracle), our section on the project should include the following:

  • a cleaned-up version of the abstract
  • some ideas about collaboration through dialogues/diablogs
  • brief mention of how we are practicing what we preach–that is, because we advocate for the value of exposing the writing/thinking/organizing process, we feel compelled to expose our own process here

Does that sound right, KCF? I don’t think we gave this section a word total–Ha! I have ultimate power here. Here goes nothing:

In the spirit of feminist scholarship we have found that blogging creates opportunities for accessibility to shared knowledges in exciting ways within and beyond the classroom. In this essay we wish to critically reflect on the value of blogs for feminist educators through the lens of accessibility. Using our multiple experiences teaching with blogs and blogging while teaching, we will argue that creating and participating in blogs in our lives and in the classroom allows us to complicate how “accessibility” is frequently framed in terms of who has access and how that access is determined by race, class and gender privileges.

The format of this essay is somewhat experimental. Drawing upon theories in feminist consciousness-raising, feminist pedagogy and feminist technologies, we weave together critical reflections on our own experiences, identities, and research interests as a Chicana feminist and a white feminist troublemaker with a written dialogue on access in terms of visibility, training, engagement and creating community.

The essay is divided into two main parts. In part one, we introduce ourselves and the theoretical concepts that shape our own reflections on teaching with blogs and blogging while teaching in feminist classrooms. We pay particular attention to defining accessibility, virtual consciousness-raising (VCR), and busting binaries. And in part two, we engage in an experimental dialogue on using our personal and course blogs to gain access to our feminist selves. We argue that blogs: encourage us to make our thinking, writing and pedagogy process as feminists visible to others (visibility); enable us to learn how to experiment with new ways of sharing our stories and talking back to those who wish to marginalize us (training); require that we rethink how we engage with our readers through comments and our students in ways that emphasize feedback over grading-as-evaluating (engagement); and provide us with space for authentic expression and connections and for engaging in shared knowledge production (creating community).*

Because we both believe** that participating in personal and course blogs make us more effective thinkers, writers, teachers and feminists, and because we also like to practice what we teach, we decided to create a blog to document the writing and diabloging process that we engaged in as we collaborated on this chapter during the summer of 2010. We started writing and diabloging in “it’s Diablogical! A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy” at the end of June and have used the blog to share our ideas and perspectives with each other, to post recorded dialogues, to give each other feedback on our work, to archive our notes from our weekly (offline) meetings, and to document the development of our thoughts about feminist blogging.

The experience of blogging while writing has further reinforced our belief in the transformative and transgressive potential of blogs for feminist educators inside and outside of the classroom. We plan to continue collaborating on this blog after we have finished our essay; we hope it will serve both as an invitation for others to engage and experiment with feminist blogging and an opportunity for us to continue accessing (and cultivating) our feminist selves.***

* Do you like how I summarized these? I tried to stay true to our bullet points. Do we want to have summaries here? I remember us discussing how to handle this issue, but I can’t remember if we came to any clear conclusions.
**Does this fit with your thinking too? Let me know if you want to reword it.
***I added in the final sentence an hour or two after I posted the first version.

My statement is 510 words. Is it too long? Maybe we should take out the last sentence?  As I have worded it here (particularly in how I describe part one), it would make more sense to make this the opening statement of the essay and then put in our own individual intros. What do you think?

But, wait. I just realized that this is two-sections-in-one! I am explaining the writing project and describing the format. So instead of about 600-700 words total (300-350 for each section), I wrote 510. Wow–maybe I’m too pithy here?

1 Comment to “The Collaborative Writing Project”

  1. KCF says:

    This looks great SLP! I agree this should come before our introductions. I feel like it’s the perfect intro. I’ll address your comments based on your asterisk system.

    * I think this summaries are perfect. Perhaps we could add a sentence either before or after the summaries saying that we will go more in-depth with how we theorize these four topics in relation to accessibility. Or somehow better signal how this is what we will focus on but there’s so much more that is a part of the dialogue. Hmmm, the more I write the more I’m confused on how we could do this (plus I must admit I am quite tired and the brain is slow). Let’s talk about this more tomorrow.

    ** I agree and I think this is really great!

    *** I really like this last sentence. Should we add our feminist (blogging) selves in the last sentence? Or something like “our feminist selves (writerly, blogging, teaching etc.)? Just a thought.

    Thanks for writing this up! I love it and I’m so excited about how great everything seems to be coming along!