Blogs, Accountability, and [White, Male] Power

I wanted to share some materials from a graduate seminar in geography I am taking this semester. The course is called “Situated Subjectivities and Science.” We are discussing a variety of issues including feminist epistemology, feminist theory, gender and the environment, science and technology studies, development, intersectional analysis, embodiment, representation, being an academic/activist, and our own situated subjectivities.

Another topic of the course has been proper outlets for academic research and how to make our research count–to matter to the people it impacts or draws from. How can we create scholarly output that is legible and relevant to the communities that produced it? How can research be used for the betterment of communities and not just the researcher’s CV? How can our research not be colonizing? What different outlets can be used to make the most impact? How does this related to expectations from the academy regarding publishing requirements? What kind of academics do we want to be and who do we want to be responsible to?

I obviously have some ideas about these questions as I write this blog in hopes to appeal to a wide audience and share my thoughts and projects widely. I think it is crucial for engaged scholars to write for a variety of audiences through a variety of media including small-town newspapers, blogs, listservs, organizational newsletters, academic journals, and academic conference presentations. Research that is colonizing, that takes and doesn’t give back, that is not accountable to the community that helped facilitate it is dangerous and all too common. I hope in my research and praxis to be fully accountable to the people and communities I work with and to be transparent in my methods of data collection and dissemination. In class we discussed using methods such as collaborative ethnography and Participatory Action Research (PAR) in order to build in participation, collaboration, and accountability to our projects.

In class we also considered several blogs including Sara Ahmed’s piece examining citational practices and asks the question “Who appears?”. We also considered a series of blogs related to race and especially whiteness in conjunction with other readings for the class. Using an intersectional lens to examine overlapping axes of oppression and privilege brings insight into the recent media spotlight on issues such as police brutality, racist policing, and the #blacklivesmatter movement. These blogs are written accessibly, available to anyone with an internet connection, and concisely make important points about power, inequality, and identity.

Here are the materials we covered in class:

Ahmed S, 2013, “Making Feminist Points” feministkilljoyshttp://feministkilljoys.com/ 2013/09/11/making-feminist- points/

Woods J, 2014, “Becoming a White Ally to Black People in the Aftermath of the Michael Brown Murder” What Matters 14 August http://janeewoods.com/2014/08/14/becoming-a-white-ally-to- black-people-in-the-aftermath- of-the-michael-brown-murder/

Nopper T, 2003, “The White Anti-Racist Is an Oxymoron: An Open Letter to ‘White Anti-Racists’” Race Traitor http://racetraitor.org/nopper. html

Morgensen SL, 2014, “White Settlers and Indigenous Solidarity: Confronting White Supremacy, Answering Decolonial Alliances” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society https://decolonization. wordpress.com/2014/05/26/ white-settlers-and-indigenous- solidarity-confronting-white- supremacy-answering- decolonial-alliances/

Goggans A, 2014, “Dear White People: Ferguson Protests are a Wake Not a Pep Rally” The Well Examined Life http://wellexaminedlife.com/ 2014/11/26/dear-white-people-ferguson-protests-are-a-wake- not-a-pep-rally/

Garza A, 2014, “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement” The Feminist Wire 7 October http://www.thefeministwire. com/2014/10/blacklivesmatter- 2/

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