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Feminist Literacies, 1968-75

Feminist Literacies, 1968-75

Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Feminist Literacies, 1968-75
    Book Description:

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, ordinary women affiliated with the women's movement were responsible for a veritable explosion of periodicals, poetry, and manifestos, as well as performances designed to support "do-it-yourself" education and consciousness-raising. Kathryn Thoms Flannery discusses this outpouring and the group education, brainstorming, and creative activism it fostered as the manifestation of a feminist literacy quite separate from women's studies programs at universities or the large-scale political workings of second-wave feminism. Seeking to break down traditional barriers such as the dichotomies of writer/reader or student/teacher, these new works also forged polemical alternatives to the forms of argumentation traditionally used to silence women, creating a space for fresh voices. Feminist Literacies explores these truly radical feminist literary practices and pedagogies that flourished during a brief era of volatility and hope.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09123-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xxiv)
  5. Introduction: “Millions of Pockets of Insurrection”
    (pp. 1-22)

    SUSAN STANFORD FRIEDMAN SUGGESTS, perhaps a bit wryly, that “Eve’s desire for knowledge prefigures the drive for literacy, for access to books and education, that runs as a powerful current through the long history of intellectual women, as well as of women who struggle for the basics of literacy” (31–32 ). In contemporary and retrospective accounts of the women’s movement of the late sixties and early seventies, however, relatively little has been said about literacy practices. Rather, the emphasis has more commonly been placed on women’s interactions with one another, especially on the phenomenon Alice Echols terms “an ecstasy...

  6. 1 Going Public with Pandora’s Box: Feminist Periodicals
    (pp. 23-59)

    IN THE LATE SIXTIES and early seventies, as part of the women’s movement, ordinary women engaged in literate production on a remarkable scale. In 1974 Ann Mather reported that more than 560 feminist periodicals had emerged between March 1968 and August 1973, including several hundred newsletters, some sixty newspapers, nine newspaper/magazines, and seventy-two magazines and journals (“History, Part I,” 82 ). Much of this print production registers in its content, material form, and layout not only the excitement and volatility of newfound, newly rediscovered knowledge but also the sense that the knowledge was to be used, shared, and spread around...

  7. 2 Virtue Sallies Forth and Sees Her Adversary: Reclaiming Feminist Polemic
    (pp. 60-96)

    BEVERLY JONES AND JUDITH BROWN had been active in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in Florida when they composedToward a Female Liberation Movement. Dissatisfied with the “Women’s Manifesto,” a statement on women’s liberation issued by the female caucus of the national SDS convention in the summer of 1967, Jones and Brown analyzed the condition of activist women in particular, as well as women in the larger culture, and urged the creation of a separate movement on behalf of female liberation. The resulting position paper, often referred to as the “Florida Paper”...

  8. 3 That Train Full of Poetry
    (pp. 97-131)

    ADRIENNE RICH HAS CALLED poetry at once “a criticism of language” and “a concentration of thepowerof language.” By putting words together “in new configurations, in the mere, immense shift from male to female pronouns, in the relationships between words created through echo, repetition, rhythm, rhyme, [poetry] lets us hear and see our words in a new dimension” (“Power and Danger” 248). Poetry thus has the power to make sensuously present “our relationship to everything in the universe” (248). Feminist periodicals reflected this sense that poetry could have peculiar force and, in particular, that it could do work that...

  9. 4 Locusts in the Nation’s Cornfields: Feminist Performance Work
    (pp. 132-167)

    THE 1971PM3,a newsprint resource guide to the women’s movement (see figure 7) devotes one of its eight folio pages to what they labeled “New Media Efforts,” including notices for newsreel footage of feminist performances and copies of plays and street theater materials. This brief listing gives some sense of the kinds of performance work in which feminists were engaged from the late sixties through the early seventies. At the same time, the listing tells us relatively little about the dynamic processes that constituted performance events—the actors and audiences, the material circumstances, the performance techniques, the purposes, and...

  10. 5 The Do-It-Yourself Classroom
    (pp. 168-202)

    IN JUNE 1971, at a conference to consider alternatives for the future of higher education, Joseph Williamson concluded his talk with the assertion that “whatever ‘teaching strategies for radical change’ we can devise must be enacted outside the universities as they exist” (43). He had discussed three elements necessary for radical change: teaching methodologies that attempt to “democratize the classroom and break open the patterns of passivity and intimidation which characterize so much of education in the university”; radical content designed to introduce classroom material “intended to raise the critical consciousness of students” through “courses in United States imperialism, Black...

  11. Appendix: 1972 New York State Women’s Political Caucus List of Conveners
    (pp. 203-208)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 209-230)
  13. Works Cited
    (pp. 231-248)
  14. Index
    (pp. 249-254)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 255-256)