Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives

Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives

Sara de Jong
Sanne Koevoets
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 180
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7829/j.ctt5hgzqt
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  • Book Info
    Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives
    Book Description:

    This volume invites teachers and students in women’s studies to engage with the library not as an instrument for preserving and disseminating knowledge (including feminist knowledge), but as a subject and object of knowledge in its own right.

    eISBN: 978-615-5225-97-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)
    Sanne Koevoets and Sara de Jong

    “Teaching Gender with Libraries and Archives: The Power of Information” invites teachers and students in gender and women’s studies to engage with libraries and archives not only as storehouses of knowledge, but also as objects of reflection in their own right. When writing and compiling this volume, we had three specific aims in mind. Firstly, we wanted to highlight how gender studies and the institutions and practices that preserve and disseminate knowledge about gender issues are historically and systematically intertwined. Secondly, we saw the necessity to reflect on the symbolic meaning as well as the institutionalized practices of libraries and...

  7. SECTION 1 HISTORIES/LEGACIES
    • THE LIBRARY AS KNOWLEDGE BROKER
      (pp. 13-30)
      Sara de Jong and Saskia Wieringa

      The traditional task of an archive is to store and preserve material, largely in a written format, about a particular person, event, phenomenon, movement or time period, to be used at a later date and/or by a larger group of people. A library is a collection of books for the use of scholars and other readers. The major goal of a women’s library and/or archive is to preserve the heritage of women and their movements, and to contribute to emancipation through disseminating knowledge about gender issues. Decisions on what to preserve and what to collect are made by the archivist,...

    • PARALLELS IN THE HISTORY OF WOMEN’S/GENDER STUDIES AND ITS SPECIAL LIBRARIES
      (pp. 31-48)
      Karin Aleksander

      In this article I argue that a women’s/gender library is not just a simple warehouse of books about gender studies, but rather a treasure trove of feminist knowledge, a laboratory of thoughts—and at the same time an archive of errors we have to address. I want to elaborate on how important developments or discussions in the short history of women’s and gender studies played out in the praxis of women’s or gender libraries (and archives) based on my experience as head librarian of the Gender Library at the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Hence, a...

    • INSTITUTIONALIZING ACTIVIST LEGACIES
      (pp. 49-62)
      Silvia Radicioni and Virginia Virtù

      During the 1970s and 1980s in Bologna, Italy, feminist and LGBT libraries, archives and documentation centers were founded in an autonomous initiative of local political movements and activists. Accordingly, these organizations were conceived not just as information-based organizations, but also as expressions of a strong political, socio-cultural and symbolic stance. Being strongly linked to the political identity of these movements and directly managed by the activist groups that founded them, these libraries and archives aimed to disclose, produce and disseminate feminist and LGBT culture, knowledge and practices, all of which had not been accessible before. In the last three decades,...

  8. SECTION 2 PRACTICES
    • SEARCHING FOR WOMEN IN THE ARCHIVES: COLLECTING PRIVATE ARCHIVES OF WOMEN
      (pp. 65-75)
      Svanhildur Bogadóttir

      When people are expecting guests for dinner, they check what they have in stock and then go to a store to buy what is still needed. A delicious meal requires highquality ingredients. The better stores offer the customer a wide selection and label and arrange them in such a way that the customer can easily find them. The shop would not be popular if it was lacking an entire group of products, or if some products were only left standing unmarked in the storage room.

      Though the service paradigms of a commercial space like a supermarket and a semi-public space...

    • CORE FEMINIST TEXTS IN EUROPE ONLINE: TEACHING WITH THE FRAGEN DATABASE
      (pp. 76-86)
      Sara de Jong, Gé Meulmeester and Tilly Vriend

      From 2008 until 2011, European women’s libraries and scholars have been cooperating in the FRAGEN project, which was part of the EC funded research project QUING. During this time FRAGEN compiled an analytical database of texts from the women’s movements in the 27 EU countries as well as in Turkey and Croatia for comparative research into the history of feminist ideas in Europe. This article outlines how the FRAGEN database can be used in seminars to generate interesting discussions with students in two ways. Firstly, the database can be used as a useful teachingresource, because it provides easy digital...

    • TEACHING GENDER-SENSITIVE ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE THROUGH DATABASES: LOCAL PRACTICES AND BEYOND
      (pp. 87-98)
      Véronique Perry

      Gender in language teaching is not simply a matter of structural linguistics, but of teaching languages and cultures without imposing a normative and ethnocentric (binary and asymmetric) view of gender while also finding pragmatic ways to trigger reflection in the language class. In other words, a researcher in language teaching and learning cannot be content with denouncing oppression and observing new peripheral language uses in activist groups (that is by people already convinced of the need to confront norms). Instead, the point is to find actual ways to have general learners be willing to adopt these new practices. Given the...

    • (RE)SEARCHING GENDER IN A LIBRARY
      (pp. 99-111)
      Fabiënne Baider and Anna Zobnina

      This article explores how feminist critiques of logic play out in contemporary standards of the organization of information, in particular at the University of Cyprus Library (UCYL), which uses the Library of Congress subject headings and classification. Ever since the 1970s, research on librarian classifications of concepts and resources regarding ‘gender’, ‘women, ‘sexualities’, ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ has critiqued their unsubstantiated ontological value.³ The concept of ‘gendered knowledge’ in librarian classification and knowledge organization has led to an overall critique of how, as Searing argues, “within the walls of the library the classification system functions as hegemonic representation of human knowledge”...

    • INFORMATION AS A TOOL FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
      (pp. 112-122)
      Caroline Claeys

      Social media have played an important strategic role in what is commonly known as the ‘Arab Spring’, a term used to describe the recent uprisings and actions for democratic transitions in some of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. On many occasions women were at the front of this cyber-activism, a form of activism which was viewed as one of the most important and powerful tools being used in these democratization processes. Less is known about other forms of information transfer which equally (could) have played a role in these transitions.

      This article’s presentation of...

  9. SECTION 3 UTOPIAS
    • REFLECTIONS ON GLASGOW WOMEN’S LIBRARY: THE PRODUCTION OF CULTURAL MEMORY, IDENTITY AND CITIZENSHIP
      (pp. 125-141)
      Tanita L. Maxwell

      Recent feminist research claims that Scottish women have been doubly marginalized in historiography.¹ As a result of this, Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) has developed a variety of creative strategies to challenge the neglect and invisibility of women’s cultural contributions to Scottish society. Innovative ventures have been established, such as the Black and Minority Ethnic History Project, the Women Make History Project and the Mapping Memorials of Women in Scotland Programme² which bring women’s experiences to the fore, an aim which also lies at the core of contemporary feminist research.³ This article will describe and analyze these projects in further detail....

    • BEYOND THE BUN-LADY: TOWARDS NEW FEMINIST FIGURATIONS OF LIBRARIANSHIP
      (pp. 142-163)
      Sanne Koevoets

      When I first presented the part of my research dealing with library narratives that present libraries as fearful, unreliable, and destabilizing spaces that undermine the user’s sense of agency,¹ I was reminded by an attentive respondent that libraries and archives offer the potential of empowerment to marginalized subjects, and that they indeed are experienced as either peaceful or exciting spaces by many researchers as well. However, narrative culture is rife with the trope of the uncanny library. Borges’ short story “The Library of Babel” plays with this dream of a universal library – a dream that has consistently fascinated the European...

  10. ANNEX
    (pp. 164-177)
  11. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 178-180)