Archive for September 11th, 2010

September 11th, 2010

Back to School

Accidental Pornographies:

The Visual Effects of the American Women’s Health Movement Since 1970

The Anhoek School, Austin, Texas
(with Fluent~Collaborative and the UT Gender Symposium)
Experimental Graduate-Level Education for Women

Instructors: Katie Anania and Mary Walling Blackburn
Dates: January 4-22, 2010
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 6-8 pm, Saturdays 2-4 pm

homebirth footage* health manuals* sex education films* gynecological self-exam diagrams* contemporary female surgery advertisements* contemporary vaginas.

Course description: Throughout the 1970s, the women’s health volume Our Bodies, Ourselves was a staple in counter-culture households throughout the United States. It included a photo of a woman with a mirror between her legs and a text urging the naked woman to know herself and love what she saw. Last spring, Apexart gallery advertised a lecture on “The Designer Vagina,” in which a surgeon discussed the rise and proportion of vaginal cosmetic surgery. These striking shifts in perception from the 1970s to the 2000s indicate the fundamental instability of readings of the vagina. The consequences of imagining the vagina as an object (whether of contemplation, admiration, or improvement) have ranged in scope and invite a more unruly reading and/or experience of the vagina as subject. (Perhaps also as site?)

Through a series of readings, image analyses, lectures, and art projects, together we will engineer a constellation of “object lessons” in contemporary anatomy. We hope for a survey that forages for comparative analysis amongst the remains of a movement subsided. This class will examine changes in perception over time as well as generate images (by borrowing, copying, or independently producing) to provoke a more complicated framing of female genitalia. We hope to move beyond gender and also include genitals that are in the process of “becoming.”

Each class will be thematically organized around the vagina conceptualized as one of the following: Subject, Object, Site/Specimen, Stranger, Animal, Flower and Volcano, Cannibal and Meal, Ghost/Zombie/Shape-shifter.

Readings: Excerpts from Jean Luc Nancy’s “Roundtable Discussion on Love and Community” and essay “The Stranger;” Ina May Lee’s Spiritual Midwifery; Femalia; “The Wandering Vagina” (Mehinaku); Heresies; Our Bodies, Ourselves; “The Cannibal Manifesto;” Catherine Clemente’s Syncope: The Philosophy of Rapture; personal sex manuals; life drawing manuals; contemporary health pamphlets; transsexual photo blogs.

September 11th, 2010

Where Do We Go From bell? : Ms Magazine Blog

Where Do We Go From bell? : Ms Magazine Blog:


ok. see, this is the problem. in this impassioned defense of “new feminism”—there are *writers* and *analysis* being given as “proof” that the feminist movement is alive and thriving. not. one. single. grassroots. org. (i.e. people working within a community, ala: incite!, young women’s empowerment project, the fifis, the allied media conference, etc etc etc. not one. 

YES. analysis is important. YES. theory is important. BUT. IT’S. NOT. *THE*. MOVEMENT. Writers SUPPORT the movement. Writers act as TOOLS of the movement. But when the majority of the “leaders” of the movement are writers that are being *paid* by corporations to *create* theory, rather than bring forth an existing community based analysis—I *strongly* question if those writers are even a part of the movement, and I challenge all of us to consider why we accept *corporations* and *companies* telling us who Teh Leaders are—rather than us deciding for ourselves. The reason Sarah Palin can say she’s a feminist in all seriousness is because there is no accountability set in place whereby we can all go—uh—no. I mean, somehow, everybody knew to talk to MLK or Malcom X when they needed quotes, right? Everybody knew that Bull Conner was NOT a part of the Civil Rights movement, right? How? How did we all know that? How many white fucked up southern leaders of that time said something along the lines of “I LOVE black people, I just think they should stay over there!” or “It’s folks from up north *instigating* our happy negros!”—and nobody was confused about “hmm…are you a part of the civil rights movement or aren’t you?”

also, re: writers being the movement versus the *value* of media within a movement. Media can and should be used by a movement—the forces of evil are doing it, it would be stupid of the forces of good not to. But—another example: lenin was a necessary and prolific writer. But he wasn’t a leader of the Bulshoviks because he was a great writer that put forth an awesome analysis. He was a leader because he put himself out there. at least in the beginning (post take over has problems, as do all major coups including castro in cuba) he was *physically* accountable to an actual community. 

I think I have to get on board with this to some extent. When people say, “Where is feminism?” I worry when the answer is “Twitter!” and not things like the work M.A.D.R.E. does, defending clinics, Emily’s List, medical schools, campaign trails, community meetings.

September 11th, 2010


September 11th, 2010