In 2018, Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and we’d like to mark the occasion by hearing from those of you who have an interest in all things feminist geography! We are therefore looking for expressions of interest to contribute blog posts to our website!
We seek 25 blogs for 25 years. The posts will be released approximately twice a month throughout 2018. And, if we receive more than 25 blogs, we’ll post them more frequently! As well as being shared via our Facebook and Twitter feed (please share with anyone who you think might be interested!) using our special #GPC25 hashtag, the blogs will also be featured on this site and a new GPC@25 website that is currently under construction.
What we need now
All we need at this stage is: 1) title/subject and 2) a short statement of a sentence or two outlining the broad topic. We will decide on the release date of the blogs nearer the time. So at this stage you are only committing yourself to delivering a 750-word blog/essay in principle.
What should I write about?
You may already have a great idea but as a guide, the theme is “Feminist Geographies at 25”. Blogs might reflect on the following ideas, but do not need to be limited to them:
Key interventions made by feminist geographers;
Histories of feminist geography;
Doing feminist geographies;
Key themes or issues;
Feminist geographers that have inspired your work;
Impact of the journal in your work;
Calls to action;
Why you wanted to be published in Gender, Place and Culture; and
Comments on current events are also appropriate, especially when related to aspects of feminist geography.
Who can write for the site?
We welcome submissions from geographers of all career stages – researchers, scholars, master’s and doctoral students, post-docs, undergraduate students, and community activists. We would especially like to encourage doctoral students and early career researchers to contribute.
Where do I submit my idea and my blog?
Submission ideas should be sent to our dedicated GPC@25 website email address (GPCat25 @ gmail.com) by 31st August 2017. These will ideally be posted in the first half of 2018. A second submission date will be set later. Blog ideas will be vetted and selected that reflect the broad interests of feminist geographers. Once your post has been selected, Anna Tarrant the social media coordinator for Gender, Place and Culture, will get in touch with you to provide an approximate timeline for delivering the blog. We would expect that most contributions be sent to us in the space of 2-3 weeks.
If you have any questions, please ask. Ideas do not need to be fully formed at this stage and we are happy to provide further guidance/advice if necessary.
Volume 24, Issue 4 is out now! We have four fascinating articles with international focus exploring the gendered politics of empire, female pilgrims, women’s military experiences and ‘wandering intellectuals’. We also have a special section, edited by Jennifer L. Fluri & Amy Piedalue, entitled ‘Embodying Violence: Critical Geographies of Gender, Race, and Culture.’ The volume finishes with three book reviews.
Volume 24, Issue 3 has some fantastic articles, including an exciting special section about queer methodologies. If you are interested in creativity in geographic practice, Mexican masculinities, Muslim masculinities, and Vegas, then this is the issue for you!
In todays post, Beth W. Kamunge tells us a bit about her research and future plans. Beth is a 3rd year doctoral researcher at The University of Sheffield’s (UK) department of Geography. As one of our new and emerging scholar award winners she also gives potential future applicants some advice about submitting for the award in future!
A bit about Beth’s research
The original contribution to knowledge that my research project offers, is the empirical and embodied exploration of black women’s food experiences, which have so far been relatively ignored by feminist scholars. At the beginning of my project I was curious as to what new insights black women’s food-related experiences could provide to contemporary debates in food politics. I spent a year having food-based dialogues with 12 self-identifying black women in Sheffield (UK). These dialogues included shopping for food together mostly in City Council markets, street and farmer’s markets, and independent grocery stores; sessions of cooking together lasting between 3 to 7 hours at a go; sharing meals; and hanging out at allotments for participants who grew their own food. In the end I found that there was a lot to be gained in how we think about ‘local’ food as a pathway to social justice; the devaluation of food knowledges; and kitchens as alternative spaces for knowledge production. Studying food is by definition an interdisciplinary project. Whilst I have drawn upon and contributed to feminist geographies of food, I have also brought in work from Black-Feminisms, Philosophy, Sociology, Politics and Literature.
I am at the point of my PhD where I am not thinking too far beyond just finishing it! I have on the whole quite enjoyed doing it and I am looking forward to seeing what my thesis looks like at the end. Beyond that point, I would like to have an academic career, still around Black-Feminist food politics. I would be particularly keen to focus in on one of my PhD chapters and construct a research project around it. I have been heavily involved in the Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) in the last 3 years. We have held symposiums, workshops and two conferences. Currently we are doing a 3-part Black-Feminisms seminar series (May, June, and July 2017) to mark the end of CREN. But I would be interested in carrying out anti-racist feminist activisms in different iterations throughout my academic career.
Advice for future applicants to the New and Emerging Scholar Award
I think it’s been really helpful for me to think about academic work as being at various stages of being ‘unfinished’. I was having a conversation with Dr Derrais Carter (Assistant Professor, Portland State University) where I said there was something I hadn’t applied for, because I didn’t feel ‘ready’. And their response was “the ellipses of our work is always implied”. That’s something I found really helpful in dealing with perfectionist tendencies. Also, at the beginning of 2017 I read an article (via Twitter) of a writer who made it their goal to receive 100 rejections. To be honest it did sound extremely bizarre (who wants to get rejected 100 times!), but after reading it, it made a lot of sense. Their logic was that to get 100 rejections, means they have submitted their work at least 100 times rather than being too afraid to try. The piece had resonance because it was about not waiting to do that one ‘perfect’ application, but sending out 100 ‘good-enough’ applications and seeing what happens. In the end they say they got to 47 rejections, but with I think 6 big acceptances including a prestigious fellowship, book contract and so on that made it all worth it. So that’s how I made my intention for 2017 to be the year to “submit” my work even when I don’t think it’s ‘perfect’. So far, I have submitted 10 things, 3 of which were rejections (and 1 of which had really good constructive feedback that I was quite pleased with) but 7 acceptances including 3 awards that I wouldn’t have gone for otherwise. So, I guess it works! Just go ahead and submit.
On that note, I would like to thank Gender Place and Culture for the award and the opportunity to present my research at the upcoming RGS-IBG conference in London (August 2017).
Volume 24, Issue 2 is now available online. This issue includes a viewpoint by Ann Bartos about food politics, two book reviews, and articles covering a range of fascinating topics that are advancing feminist geographies. Enjoy!
In 2007, the editorial team introduced the Gender, Place and Culture annual award for new and emerging scholars with funds supplied by Taylor & Francis. We are excited to share an interview with Dr. Kelsey Hanrahan, one of the 2017 recipients of this award. Thank you, Kelsey, for responding to our questions!
Where do you see your work drawing on or fitting into feminist geography?
I was first drawn into feminist geographies because of the way these geographies work to understand everyday experiences. Similarly with feminist ethics of care, I was drawn into the body of work by its roots, where feminist scholars sought to understand the ways in which people made ethical decisions based not on abstract universalist principles but on the factors that they were facing in their everyday lives.
A project I am currently working on—part of the research I did in northern Ghana for my dissertation—draws on feminist considerations of the body and work in feminist gerontology. I consider how changing physical abilities associated with ageing result in shifts within interpersonal relationships and how, in a community where love is demonstrated in everyday acts of labour, significant emotional challenges accompany ageing. Ageing and later life have been relegated to a marginal position in geography for decades, and even within the growing areas of geographies of age, later life receives significantly less attention. Current conversations in feminist and related geographies of the body, love and emotions are one intersection in which we can contribute to both geographies of age and feminist geographies with our understandings of the experiences of women in later life. While my work so far is specifically contextualized within a rural agrarian setting in Ghana, the experiences of the women I worked with challenge us to remained attuned to how bodies—even those who may have lived much of their lives fitting normative expectations—are subject to displacement both physical and emotional.
What are your current projects?
I see my work as contributing to an ongoing project that is working to better understand care. I have drawn on feminist geographies and feminist ethics of care to work towards shifting my own ontological foundation towards recognizing our fundamental connectedness and therefore the central forces of our interdependencies. Recognizing and working from a place of connectedness, for me, requires me to continually check myself as the dominant discourses of individuality—and the power of individual experiences and narratives in shaping our understandings—work to give the perception that this connectedness is in opposition to individuality and independence.
While I continue to work with my dissertation research data, I am also developing my next research project that will build on these questions of care and intergenerationality and consider the construction of care for Ghana’s older residents. The project will contribute by developing an understanding of how care policy and practice are constructed in a region committed to health development and to understand the ways in which these initiatives may be failing to attend to the needs of an ageing population. I aim to understand how individuals and communities identify care-related needs and in turn legitimize access to care to particular bodies and give shape to the spaces in which people try to access care.
What do you see in your future?
This coming fall I start the first year of a tenure-track position at Towson University in Maryland, USA, after spending this past year as a visiting professor in the same department. I’ve enjoyed engaging students in my courses, particularly geographies of Africa and geographies of health & care, where students are challenged to recognize and explore alternative perspectives. I’m also excited about contributing new courses to the program—qualitative research methods, as well as feminist geographies. I think these courses will contribute an important facet to our students’ program, adding breadth to their skill set and supporting to prepare them to work in their communities in ways that are both respectful and creatively critical.
What do enjoy most about the work you do?
Looking at everyday life requires that we ask a lot of the people we work with. The work I conducted in Ghana considered everyday experiences of work and care from the starting point of personal relationships. The women with whom I worked brought me into deeply personal spaces of their experiences. They shared with me not only material and physical facets of their lives, but emotional dimensions of their position within intergenerational relationships and everyday strategies. Their openness to me, and to the work I was doing, provided me with a rich and textured understanding of their everyday lives. This has contributed to my ability to explore care in ways that both respect the specific context I am considering and present elements that connect across space. I love working on intergenerational relationships and care—in large part because of the reactions of others when I discuss my work. The themes and stories I tell almost invariably evoke empathic reactions, despite talking across significant physical and cultural distances. People recognize pieces of their lives in the work I present and in turn share with me their own experiences of care and intergenerational relationships.
The Editors for Gender, Place and Culture are very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Annual Award for New and Emerging Scholars.
Kelsey Hanrahan, Towson University
Beth Wangari Kamunge, University of Sheffield
Dr. Kelsey Hanrahan will be presenting her work at the Emotional Geographies Conference in Long Beach, California, in June of this year. Her paper, entitled “The work of love when you can no longer work: Older women’s emotional experiences of dependency in northern Ghana,” is based on her dissertation work completed in 2015.
Beth Wangari Kamunge will be presenting her work at the Royal Society of Geographers with the IBG in London, United Kingdome, in August of this year. Her paper, entitled “The kitchen as a safe feminist space for marginalized knowledges?”, is part of her ongoing research for her doctoral dissertation.
We would encourage those who are attending these conferences to attend these presentations and celebrate their accomplishments together.
We are excited to announce that the first issue of the year is now available online. This issue includes Dr. Sharlene Mollett’s article, which was presented at last year’s Jan Monk Distinguished Lecture, a themed section on ‘Sexual and Gender Minorities in Disaster’, three book reviews, and articles covering a diversity of subjects including “crazy cat ladies”. Enjoy!
Dearest readers, today we are excited to introduce you to our new editor, Dr Katherine Brickell, who has kindly shared the guest blog post below.
I am very honoured to become an editor of Gender, Place and Culture. I first started reading the journal during my undergraduate studies in the early 2000s when I took Ann Varley’s course at University College London (UCL) on gender and geography. I haven’t stopped reading it ever since! I hope that my contribution to the journal will continue to inspire other feminist geography scholars-in-the-making.
I am a social, political and development geographer based in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London since 2008. My current research agenda supported by a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017-2019) is focused on the development of ‘feminist legal geographies’. Through a related monograph and article co-writing with Dana Cuomo, I hope not only to raise the profile of feminist legal geographies in critical social geography but also to further the penetration of feminist spatial thought into legal scholarship. My monograph is currently in preparation for the Wiley RGS-IBG Series entitled Home SOS: Gender, Violence and Law in Cambodia. It focuses on two ‘SOS’ calls, domestic violence and forced eviction, and explores the agency and futility of law in women’s lives as a means of redressing these injustices.
The book builds on research I led between 2012-2015 which took a multi-stakeholder approach to the study of law as a leverage mechanism to address domestic violence in Cambodia. The study showed the structural constraints that need to be overcome to enable women’s access to justice (see the infographic project report here). This research will be published as a background paper in UNWOMEN’s flagship report (2018) Progress of the World’s Women. Participatory video workshops with rural and urban communities in Cambodia formed one component of the research and built on experience of similar workshops in Vietnam. My paper entitled “Participatory video drama research in transitional Vietnam: post-production narratives on marriage, parenting and social evils” was published by Gender, Place and Culture in 2014.
We are seeking papers that talk about the generative spaces brought forward by the Women’s March. These spaces are to bring out the positive aspects of solidarity that lie alongside the restrictive aspects of the US state administration. We are interested in the experiences of feminist geographers as they make sense of the growing reactions to the people who are popularly taking up space in the discussions about policy. We see the Women’s March as the embodiment of the voices that need to be heard. We are interested in inclusion – voices, bodies, viewpoints – and intersectionality – identity, relationships, spatialities.
What has the Women’s March unleashed? What resistance is happening? What are the possibilities? We have received inquiries about these emergent spaces on campuses, in parks, on the streets, in classrooms, and as a globalizing phenomenon. We have also been part of email exchanges, Skype calls, and meetings over coffee about how to support colleagues that are targeted in exclusionary state practices. Discussions about the Boston meeting at the AAG have forced us to think about the politics of boycotts, what supportive spaces mean, and what a feminist politics looks like. Include a project in your course for students to write what they are going and how they are inspired. These spaces are where things are happening, and we invite you to write about them.
These are the discussions we want to see in print. We want to pull together our thinking and not loses these thoughts as we continue our daily lives in parallel struggles. Any lengths – short blogs, and pieces that are singularly focused (1500-3000 words) and those of you who have been writing up analyses for some time, we want to hear from you, too (5000-9000 words). Some pieces we’ll send for review – and others we’ll post on our website https://genderplaceandculture.wordpress.com. Images, poems, videos – we welcome all forms of expression!
Speak out! Speak up! Let us hear from you.
Deadline: March 15 – with publication planned for April/May 2017