What is Feminist Pedagogy?
Feminist Pedagogy Working Group
This glossary is an attempt to challenge and shift our own ways of working and the language we use to describe it. We hope the proposed terms can act as a starting point for conversations.
It is an act of transparency.
It is fluid.
It is a collective process.
We hope that this vocabulary will be developed, amended, edited, supported and expanded upon.
“Something queer can happen, where the norm is refused or revised”.
— Judith Butler. Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly, 2015
We use a plural. We need to look at ideas, ways of interacting, working and thinking which may not already be a part of our small communities and networks. There are many forms of pedagogy, such as critical, radical, queer, feminist. At times, these overlap and support each other or they challenge each other and are in conflict. In our view feminist pedagogies start from an intersexual, intersectional, intergenerational and interdisciplinary attempt to face and change living in inequitable societies.
This is not a luxury problem!
Our commitment to feminism is far from an essentialist or separatist understanding of sex and gender. It is based on struggles against racism, classism, ableism, weightism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and neoliberalism.
Our social, cultural and economic successes are based on structures of care and support, on reproductive as well as immaterial labor, which need to be acknowledged and turned into non-exploitative relationships across families, corporations and governments.
Practicing a feminist pedagogy is a good starting point to counter white, patriarchal, profit-oriented, euro-centrist academia. It is also a step towards policy-making, which does not privilege individual authorship and merit on the back of collective efforts.
“Patriarchy has no gender.”
– bell hooks. Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, 2010
It is a hands-on, process based and experimental practice that maps and discusses contemporary political issues, which are pressing to us. It is an opportunity to gather people from various backgrounds, fields, abilities, gender identification, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion in the same room, where we can collectively unpick, address and experience specific topics. We hope to activate and spread embodied and theoretical knowledge, share experiences, develop tactics and find joint strategies for change.
“As artists we were tired of being expected to passively reflect society. We wanted to make art and we wanted to make political change.”
— Johanna Gustavsson, Lisa Nyberg. MFK Manual, 2011.
As artists we are tired of being expected to passively reflect society. We want to make art and we want to make political change.
We have a series of forums, in which we aim to create a space that allows for different positions, conflicts and contradictions. Each forum looks at questions, which are urgent to us. Here, various activities can take place, allowing for queer temporalities and which are not necessarily predominantly based on spoken language.
There will be ruminations, storytelling, informal conversations, repeated readings, performances, workshops and hands-on exercises such as preparing and eating food together, going for a walk, experiencing non-normative uses of the teaching spaces in the academy.
Extended learning sessions
We want to expand normative concepts of when and where we learn through an experimental overnight session. This is an opportunity to experience a day-to-day classroom in a new way exploring in practice when, where, how and what do we learn. This forum starts in the evening and continues with breakfast the next morning. Please bring anything you might need for an overnight session, a sleeping bag, pillow, warm socks, soft matt and earplugs, in case you fall asleep.
Let’s experiment with modes of translation and mediation. English and Swedish will be the most commonly used languages. There may be various other languages used which will be encouraged and supported as part of a communal effort to understand each other.
A person or group invited by the working group to prepare a contribution that will activate each forum and its topic during the mobilization.
A person or group invited by the working group to attend and participate in the mobilization. We invited practitioners and theoreticians, who are inspiring to us and who we think do great stuff. They don’t have a particular role or task, but we hope they contribute through their knowledge and experience informally.
Refers to everyone who attends the mobilization and spends the days helping to work out stuff with us. Some people will be active and vocal, some will be active and quiet. That’s OKAY! We hope everyone is committed to being present.
Let’s be transparent with our budget. We initially received a budget of 100.000 SEK from Valand Academy. We later applied for further financial support from the Valand Academy Research Board and received 50.000 SEK.
We decided to pay a honorarium of 3.000 SEK, alongside travel and accommodation to our instigators, who prepare for the forums and who are not salaried by Gothenburg University. We partly offered exchanges of time and teaching for those working within Gothenburg University. We try to pay for travel costs or host invited participants, who we want to be present, but who may live in precarious conditions (i.e. not salaried).
The working group made the decision to not pay itself for the planning and organizing of the event out of the attributed budget. For some members, but not all, their time will be partially paid by their Valand Academy teaching/ working hours.
We will seek to source and borrow materials in order to limit waste. We also hope to be supported by volunteers from Valand Academy who may be in the position to help us with their time and expertise.
We will try to house most of our instigators and invited participant with hosts in our Gothenburg community. This decision reflects our conviction that hospitality helps form community. Opening our private homes during the mobilization has the potential to blur the lines between the domestic and the professional with the desire to build trust through generosity and sharing.
We are circulating resources prior to the mobilization to create a common ground for all the participants. —This is what you’re reading now. —
The workbook includes excerpts of texts we have been reading over time, contributions by instigators, participants, staff and students and other forms of utterings. We hope, that it can serve as a tool to inform and share the discussions the working group has had prior to the mobilization. It is also meant as a resource to facilitate critical reflection in the student body at the art academy.
The printed version will be collectively assembled by its readers prior to the event. The pdf version is available for download here
In an effort to think about waste and the world we are asking everyone attending the mobilization to bring a kit along. We want to reduce the typical amount of waste that a conference normally produces. This includes, but is not limited to: A cup, plate and eating utensils. Remember, for the extended learning session you may also want to bring a pillow, sleeping bag, a soft matt and earplugs in case you fall asleep.