IPC Debate 117, Thursday 8.12. 16-18, Cal1 (Calonia Building, University of Turku).
Write it Down! Transmitting the Feminist Protocols of Social Change
Associate Professor Carrie Rentschler (McGill University)
Abstract: Based on a current project that digitally documents and archives student activism against gender violence on campus – the Feminist Student News And Protest (SNAP) Archive – this talk focuses on the identification and creation of “grey literatures” as key media artifacts of feminist cultural memory. Student activists document their protocols in “how-to” guides, training manuals, and anti-oppression curricula that model practice and thinking, in ways that become transmissible to others. Drawing on the manuals we have collected, and other internal documentation around social change work, this talk analyzes the forms of “feminist counter-conduct” (Murphy 2012, 29) and standards of practice that students and other folks formulate for how to, for instance, work with survivors of gender violence, among other forms of advocacy labor. Through the materials, we trace the histories of situated feminist social change through the popular (and not-so-popular) media practices they create to transmit their practices over time, to unknown agents in the future.
Bio: Carrie Rentschler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and an Associate Member of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies at McGill University. Her research examines feminist movements, social media and mobile networking technologies, and the politics of response, care, and witnessing around gender violence. She is the author of Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media (Duke UP, 2011) and co-editor of Girlhood and the Politics of Place (Berghahn Books, 2016). Her current projects examine emerging models of social change around bystander media cultures, and the digital archiving of student media activism. A researcher with Type 1 diabetes, she also studies technology and self-quantification among Type 1 diabetics.