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Transformation Now!

Transformation Now!: Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change

AnaLouise Keating
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Transformation Now!
    Book Description:

    In this lively, thought-provoking study, AnaLouise Keating writes in the traditions of radical U.S. women-of-color feminist/womanist thought and queer studies, inviting us to transform how we think about identity, difference, social justice and social change, metaphysics, reading, and teaching. Through detailed investigations of women of color theories and writings, indigenous thought, and her own personal and pedagogical experiences, Keating develops transformative modes of engagement that move through oppositional approaches to embrace interconnectivity as a framework for identity formation, theorizing, social change, and the possibility of planetary citizenship. Speaking to many dimensions of contemporary scholarship, activism, and social justice work, Transformation Now! calls for and enacts innovative, radically inclusionary ways of reading, teaching, and communicating.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09511-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. Giving Thanks
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  4. INTRODUCTION. Post-Oppositional Resistance? Threshold Theories Defined and Enacted
    (pp. 1-28)

    A typical response when I witness, experience, or in other ways am confronted with racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, colonialism, or other forms of social injustice—whether this injustice is reported in the news, experienced by my family/friends/self, or expressed in my classrooms, at conferences, or in the books, articles, and websites I read—is to react oppositionally. My blood pressure rises, my muscles tense. I condemn and reject the ignorant views, the stereotypes, the oppressive treatment. I fight back. Indeed, such reactions have become so automatic that they seem like human nature (you push me and/or my people, and I’ll...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Beyond Intersectionality: Theorizing Interconnectivity with/in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
    (pp. 29-59)

    First published in 1981,This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Colorhas become a classic of sorts, a frequently cited text in feminist scholarship, histories of U.S. feminism, and women’s studies curriculum.¹ Co-edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, this multigenre collection brought together twenty-nine U.S. feminists from diverse ethnic/racial, economic, sexual, religious, and national backgrounds. I underscore the contributors’ feminist politics:This Bridge Called My Backreminded readers that feminism was not—and never has been—a ‘white’-raced movement. In addition to enacting this more accurate, expansive definition of feminism,This Bridgeinvited women of...

  6. CHAPTER TWO “American” Individualism, Variations on a Theme; or, Self-Reliance, Transformed!
    (pp. 60-88)

    I open this chapter with three questions.

    What, if anything, do the following literary figures have in common?

    1. RALPH WALDO EMERSON Born in 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts, to a long line of ministers who first came to this continent from England in the 1630s, Emerson rejected his religious vocation after a brief stint as a Unitarian minister and went on to become a popular lecturer and highly respected writer. Although he grew up in relative poverty and attended Harvard on scholarships and nineteenth-century versions of “work-study,” Emerson received a considerable inheritance from his first wife (who died after only sixteen...

  7. CHAPTER THREE “I am your other I” Transformational Identity Politics
    (pp. 89-110)

    As we search for increasingly effective ways to use language and invent theories that can assist us in creating progressive social transformation, more equitable societies, and modes of living that value all forms of life, scholar-activist theorists in a variety of fields (including contemporary U.S. literary studies, ethnic studies, women’s studies, LGBTQ studies, and queer theory) have relied on oppositional terms like “margin/center,” “oppressed/oppressor,” and “colonized/colonizer,” where one half of the binary represents historically disempowered groups and perspectives, and the other half represents those in power. Although this framework has offered a useful lens with which to analyze systemic issues,...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR “There is no arcane place for return”: Revisionist Mythmaking with a Difference
    (pp. 111-144)

    While revisionist mythmaking was a common strategy among many twentieth-century feminist and ethnic-nationalist authors and social-justice actors, it seems to be less often employed or examined by contemporary authors and scholars.¹ Perhaps this limited attention has its source at least partially in our restrictive definitions myth. After all, in the English lexicon the wordmythhas practically become a synonym forfalsehoodorlie. In this context, revisionist mythmaking seems pointless—why replace one untruth with another? (Lies upon lies upon lies—why bother?) Or perhaps revisionist mythmaking has fallen out of favor thanks at least in part to twentieth-century...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE From Self-Help to Womanist Self-Recovery; or, How Paula Gunn Allen Changed My Mind
    (pp. 145-166)

    I’ve been intrigued with and yet troubled by Paula Gunn Allen’sGrandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman’s Sourcebook for years. This curious text represents a startling departure from her earlier academic work in Native American Studies. As inThe Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, her groundbreaking collection of scholarly essays, Allen uses an indigenous-inflected, feminist lens to examine Native cultures, mythic worldviews, gender identities, and historical themes. But inGrandmothers of the Lightshe offers distinctly nonacademic perspectives on these topics (as well as others) and makes a number of puzzling claims—claims so puzzling...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Pedagogies of Invitation: From Status-Quo Stories to Cosmic Connections
    (pp. 167-188)

    When I was very young, maybe five or six years old, I became good friends with a neighbor a few years older than me. We had a great summer, hanging out together all the time—me at her house, she at mine. We were inseparable. But when school started up in the fall, she suddenly terminated our friendship … entirely ignoring me at school, refusing to play with me on the weekends. The break was so sharp, the shift in her behavior so sudden, so inexplicable. I could not make sense of the stark change in her actions, and I...

  11. APPENDIX 1 Abridged Syllabus for a U.S. Women of Colors Course
    (pp. 189-202)
  12. APPENDIX 2 Guidelines for a Workshop on Our Spoken Word: Poetry for Self and Community
    (pp. 203-206)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 207-232)
  14. Works Cited and Consulted
    (pp. 233-252)
  15. Index
    (pp. 253-262)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 263-264)