• finish up those first chapters of Merrick (you should have read all of it by now then), and make connections with Butler, her life, and her SF
Butler’s work is about violence in every form. How did SF nurture her? How is her violence a kind of nurturing itself? What sorts of SF does she end up nurturing violently?
HISTORY AND HISTORIES:
the word "history" means:
= past flows of event and everyday life that people have experienced in many times & places
= stories about those events and people, unofficial and official
= that academic field in which experts learn how to tell stories about the past in careful ways
when we use the word we sometimes slip among these different meanings without noticing
OF WOMEN & HISTORY: It is true BOTH:
1) women have not been present in history as much as they should have been. In other words they have not been allowed a share in the sorts of social life that the discipline of history describes
2) women have been part of all the important forms of life the discipline history *should* describe, more part of history than official stories say.
it is all too possible to
= never notice history (official stories) is only about men
= only notice how much women are absent (from official stories)
= esp. how absent in *important* parts we care about
= BUT IT IS ALSO THE CASE THAT women are active IN INFORMAL STORIES AND IN THE FLOW OF EVENT despite contraints on their presence, THEIR POWER, OR THEIR IMPORTANCE
40: "For many women, the association of sf with science was enough to deter them from looking at such stories, or from at least admitting that they did so...."
41: "The cycle of presumed absence followed by surprised discovery occurs again in the 1950's...."
48: "there were innumerable examples of this theme [worlds of women without men] that together form a recognizable tradition, appearing first in the nineteenth century, and then in many pulp stories, through to the 1970s, where exploitation of the theme culminated in its radical reformation at the hands of feminist authors. The 'world of women' -- or what Russ and Larbalestier term 'the battle of the sexes' story -- is in fact one of the primary sites of female activity in sf and is a recurring concern in later critical works...."
80: "It seems that Bradley's confidence was unusual; Karen Anderson has argued that many more female fans existed in the late 1940's than are remembered today, but that they were much less likely than men to become BNFs [Big Name Fans] because they tended not to engage in this form of self-promotion."
What to take away about and from and with science studies in this class:
= complex systems (complexity theory, emergence, self-organization)
= mirage of a gap between nature/nurture and naturecultures in order to question many binaries
= news of science research across many knowledge worlds, as a pleasure akin with SF
= science sensitive material feminisms & SF feminism are important areas in women's studies
We will continue to explore in a range of contexts and feminisms with and after Whileaway....
Thursday 17 Nov – Women’s Worlds, Whileaways and more….
• bring in SF examples of other “whileaways” or other women’s worlds in SF
• KATIE EMAILED YOU AN ARTICLE BY HARAN FOR DISCUSSION OF UTOPIAS; EMAIL KATIE IF YOU DID NOT GET IT!
What are the intertexualities for women’s worlds in SF, and why do they appear so often? What are contexts for understanding them? We are preparing for our next con….
ON OTHERS, OTHERING, OTHERNESS, ALTERITY, SIGNIFICANT OTHERNESS
"critical utopian fiction" "inherent interconnectedness"
"re-reading and cross-reading" = Rich's re-vision(ing)
utopian longing & things should be better
def utopia fr Kim Stanley Robinson's character in Pacific Edge who says: "isn't the perfect end-product of our wishes... process of making a better world... dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end. Struggle forever." (Robinson 1995: 81)
396: "It takes for granted that the process of building a better world would be contested." Starhawk's "unending negotiation amongst the different communities"
intersubjective and interobjective
404: “Benjamin (1998, p. 99) posits that: 'any subject’s primary responsibility to
the other subject is to be her intervening or surviving other' (original emphasis). In other words, just as we seek recognition from another subject, so we can provide that subject with recognition by surviving their destructive wishes and by demonstrating that we are not subjected to their will. As Benjamin (1998, p. xiii) makes clear, the heart of the matter is 'how we use our marvelous capacity for identification with the other to either further or impede our recognition of others, to bridge or obfuscate difference between us. Or rather … how we do both at once'. But, as she goes on to elaborate, in an intersubjective relationship, we go beyond identification to appreciate the other as a being outside the self, a subject in its own right; a concrete other and not the other of fantasy."
Tuesday 22 Nov – NO CLASS: THANKSGIVING WEEK
Tuesday 29 Nov & Thursday 1 Dec
- Whileaway: Worlding and feminist SF
You nay want to use the web to follow-up or look in greater detail at the kinds of worldings feminisms explore today and ways all of these are promoted in popular and scholarly media. Always make a point of connecting projects to class readings and lectures.