It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
KCF’s Reflections (Pt.1 for RT)
Categories: Uncategorized

Oftentimes blogging (despite acknowledging that we are writing for in/visible audiences) can be a very isolating experience. While the format allows for some connections with communities and instant access to one’s own thoughts, ideas and writing, before this collaborative blog project, I did not feel the same sense of accountability to what I wrote and thought. Sure I knew that someone might inevitably comment on a post on my personal blog, but those were often comments that really liked what I was doing. I rarely had the same level of engagement that really pushed me to better clarify points, foster new ideas, or answer critical questions about what I was writing. With this previous blogging experience in my mind, our It’s Diablogical collaboration has been completely different. I know that I am writing for my co-collaborator and that it is imperative that I write in order to move my/our ideas further. Every day, I would check our blog to see if SLP had posted anything and be so excited to read each new entry because that meant I got to comment. I let my comments just flow freely from my mind to the end of my quickly typing fingers. I recognized that It’s Diablogical (both the project itself, the practice of blogging together, and our ruminations about the project online and offline) has facilitated my ability to write productively not just in terms of word count but in terms of challenging myself to push my own ideas in new and exciting directions. The process of writing our theories in conversation with one another, reflecting upon the structure of writing, and actually doing a blog while having these multiple dia(b)logues has helped me to understand the need for doing collaborative work.

As a feminist educator, collaboration in the sense of creating shared knowledge together is a key aspect of my pedagogical approach as well as a major tenet of the type of research I want to do within the academy. For instance, in my dissertation work, an examination of eight Chicana oral histories where I also take an autoethnographical approach in my analysis of their stories. I call upon myself and others working with Chicana oral histories to uphold what I deem as a mestiza methodology. In my first chapter I write:

Mestiza methodology grows out of Anzaldúa’s notions of the borderlands and la conciencia de la mestiza to provide a framework of research that interrogates the Anzaldúan conceptualization of mestiza and applies it to a research methodology that embraces the ambiguities and porous boundaries of traditional methods of research and genres of writing. In critically applying the theoretical concepts of Anzaldúa’s mestiza consciousness and borderlands, mestiza methodology calls for purposeful embodied research – a methodology made up of constant negotiation of valuing communal and shared experiences while balancing the responsibility of the researcher. It is a way of confirming personal experiences as a means to theorize the world around us as Chicanas. (Creel Falcón, 2010, p. 47)

I see this idea of challenging and shifting research practices (albeit in a different context) reflected in the process of diablogging with SLP. In working on a blog project we have challenged the traditional genres and expectations for academic writing. And I would argue we have also purposefully embodied ourselves in this blog through the blurring of binaries around online/offline work. Lastly, we have valued our communal and shared experiences with teaching with blogs and writing personal blogs through our posts on It’s Diablogical. I see this collaborative blogging project as a space for our shared knowledges to emerge and be theorized and in our incorporation of praxis as a purposeful shifting between theory, practice, and critical reflections as bolstered by our collaborative writing, conversations, diablogues, and nourishing friendship.

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