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Reclaiming Queer: Activist And Academic Rhetori...



But I emphasize the word variably because queer activism and queer theory have never been one thing. While the reclamation of the word was offered in large part as an alternative to an increasingly mainstream lesbian and gay culture and movement, activists and scholars continued to debate its use: was it a new identity, or did it denote a structure or relation? Might it refer only to sex, sexuality, or gender as distilled categories of differentiation, or might race, nation, or political economy also outline relevant norms? What was to be the relationship between social movements and academic scholarship? And given that academic queer theory was mostly associated with literary-critical approaches, where did the discipline of history fit in?




Reclaiming Queer: Activist and Academic Rhetori...



The homeless and imprisoned LGBT are not the unworthy ones. The unworthy ones are the activists, advocates and academics who refuse to take risks, refuse to put their bodies and lives on the line and yet have no compunctions about attacking their allies for personal conduct or choice of worse more so than their opponents bad acts


Allies to whom? A few hundred people steeped in this insular theory? Or allies to whole communities who, by and large, cast a gimlet eye at those activists, academics and advocates who spew out this incomprehensible psychobabble jibber jabber on their behalf ?


Disability studies can also be a useful intervention when working with communities that are not clearly part of a disability community, not only because we do not know who might have a disability when we are engaging in research (and, in fact, we may never know) but also because the ideas that underpin disability studies are useful guiding principles for working with non-academic, activist subjects and audiences. In this way, activist scholar-researchers can be more inclusive and accessible in their work and also can build allyship with the disability community. Foregrounding disability studies would not only allow for new perspectives, it would overtly connect the cultural history and legacy of disability to scholarship, giving it the attribution that is often neglected. Laurie Gries and Steve Parks's essays both question how we make our scholarship public or train future scholars. A more overt disability studies lens in both can offer possible answers to those questions.


The relationship between a researcher and their research is an important point of discussion in the ways that we train future researchers as well. Parks' essay offers a critique of our graduate education: how we are taught that labor is limited to the classroom, to communicate in only academic journals, and to focus our curriculum on established, mainstream scholars as opposed to more activist contributions. This argument could be extended into a critique of the type of labor and bodies we value in not only our graduate education, but in the bodies of our teachers, researchers, and leadership of the field of Rhetoric and Composition. There is an assumption that graduate school, and academia in general, is a space where students and faculty contribute to a culture of a certain type of productivity that insists on large workloads, including teaching, service to the field or university, publications, research, and mentorship. When we continually promote the idea that graduate students and researchers continually fixate on "productivity" over all else in our graduate programs and faculty positions, we reinforce the ableist attitudes of a society that continues to only value what a person can do, what they can produce, and how much they sacrifice. In our graduate education, we should value not only the intellectual possibilities of public rhetorics, community engagement, and activism, but also the ways that our bodies are part of that creation of knowledge in highlighting the embodied nature of research and bringing in a diversity of students and researchers into our research practices.


Chapter 11: Drawing from an autoethnographic study with the Italian feminist movement Non Una Di Meno (Not one less), this book chapter will illustrate the innovative practices used by activists to produce and popularise new narratives on gender-related issues. The chapter will offer an analysis of the various ways in which contemporary Italian feminists create and circulate visual symbols, which contribute to the formation of a specific language of activism. Furthermore, the analysis will focus on the rising diffusion of practices of artivism, the encounter of art and activism, and explain how feminists employ it as a means towards empowerment and social transformation. Through an analysis of artivism - from transfeminists and other marginalized groups - the chapter demonstrates how art is combined with activism to raise feminist consciousness while reclaiming urban spaces. Overall, the chapter will analyse the drawbacks and opportunities granted by such creative forms of feminist activism, their significance and potential as forms of popular education on feminist themes. The chapter will collect some central examples such as experiences of feminist and transfeminist toponymy, used to reveal the lacking recognition of women and transgender individuals' contributions to society, reflected also in the absence of their names on street signs. This practice is simultaneously a form of 'wandering story telling' and an empowering gesture used to reclaim urban spaces. 041b061a72


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