“yes, it’s a real struggle for me in reality. i think i’m just wired to want out—not in a suicidal way, necessarily, but in a shift-in-perception way. in a relief from self way. i’m always looking for secret vehicles and passageways out. sometimes the vehicles are dangerous, or like i get hooked on the vehicle itself. i attribute the feeling of escape or pleasure to a particular vehicle, rather than the destination or something that already exists somewhere within myself, and kind of move into the backseat. i forget that there are other vehicles or life outside it. but poetry is one way of getting out of myself that has never hurt me. it can be slower than the other vehicles, but it is very powerful.”—i want out, too, and i can’t wait to read the rest of laia’s interview with scarecrone author melissa broder at emily books
1) “I had never had any desire to be a writer. I wanted to be a reader.”
2) “One thing you discover in psychoanalytic treatment is the limits of what you can change about yourself or your life. We are children for a very long time.”
3) “Fortunately, I never recovered from my education, I’ve just carried on with it. If you happen to like reading, it can have a very powerful effect on you, an evocative effect, at least on me. It’s not as though when I read I’m gathering information, or indeed can remember much of what I read. I know the books that grip me, as everybody does, but their effect is indiscernible. I don’t quite know what it is. The Leavisite position, more or less, is that reading certain sentences makes you more alive and a morally better person, and that those two things go together. It seems to me that that isn’t necessarily so, but what is clear is that there are powerful unconscious evocative effects in reading books that one loves. There’s something about these books that we want to go on thinking about, that matters to us. They’re not just fetishes that we use to fill gaps. They are like recurring dreams we can’t help thinking about.”
4) “You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself.”
5) “That’s what a life is, it’s the lives you don’t have.”
6) “I hope you read one of my books because it gives you pleasure or because you hate it—you read it for those sorts of reasons—and then you discover what you find yourself thinking, feeling, in the reading of it.”
7) “You can’t write differently, even if you want to. You just have to be able to notice when you are boring yourself.”
8) “Anybody who writes knows you don’t simply write what you believe. You write to find out what you believe, or what you can afford to believe.”
9) “[I]f you live in a culture which is fascinated by the myth of the artist, and the idea that the vocational artistic life is one of the best lives available, then there’s always going to be a temptation for people who are suffering to believe that to become an artist would be the solution when, in fact, it may be more of the problem. There are a number of people whom you might think of as casualties of the myth of the artist. They really should have done something else. Of course some people get lucky and find that art works for them, but for so many people it doesn’t. I think that needs to be included in the picture. Often one hears or reads accounts in which people will say, Well, he may have treated his children, wives, friends terribly, but look at the novels, the poems, the paintings. I think it’s a terrible equation. Obviously one can’t choose to be, as it were, a good parent or a good artist, but if the art legitimates cruelty, I think the art is not worth having. People should be doing everything they can to be as kind as possible and to enjoy each other’s company. Any art, any anything, that helps us do that is worth having. But if it doesn’t, it isn’t.’
“woolf often conceives of life this way: as a gift that you’ve been given, which you must hold onto and treasure but never open. opening it would dispel the atmosphere, ruin the radiance—and the radiance of life is what makes it worth living. it’s hard to say just what holding onto life without looking at it might mean; that’s one of the puzzles of her books. but it has something to do with preserving life’s mystery; with leaving certain things undescribed, unspecified, and unknown; with savoring certain emotions, such as curiosity, surprise, desire, and anticipation. it depends on an intensified sense of life’s preciousness and fragility, and on a heisenberg-like notion that, when it comes to our most abstract and spiritual intuitions, looking too closely changes what we feel. it has to do, in other words, with a kind of inner privacy, by means of which you shield yourself not just from others’ prying eyes, but from your own. call it an artist’s sense of privacy.”—
“for those who came of age during the war on terror, for whom adolescence was announced by 9/11 and for whom failed wars, a massive recession, and a total surveillance apparatus were the paranoid gifts of our adulthood, lana del rey gives us a patriotism we can act out. hers isn’t a love song to america; it’s a how-to manual.”—ayesha siddiqi, ms. e-i-c. get your TNI x LDR here. (via snpsnpsnp)
“the public censure of women as if we are rabid because we speak without apology about the world in which we live is a strategy of threat that usually works. men often react to women’s words—speaking and writing—as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence. so we lower our voices. women whisper. women apologize. women shut up. women trivialize what we know. women shrink. women pull back. most women have experienced enough dominance from men—control, violence, insult, contempt—that no threat seems empty.”—intercourse by andrea dworkin (via exgynocraticgrrl)
“distributing, creating, and destroying a multiplicity of vanishing points, brown makes a space in a closed room that will not place her under the economy of perspectival, that mode of gazing that historically consigned women to their house arrest.”—andré lepecki in exhausting dance: performance and the politics of movement on trisha brown’s it’s a draw/live feed. (via karaj)
“in a way, i think about it as a frame and a project. coming back to what you were asking before—i think you were asking me this?—about performance, the book is the final factor, the sort of material product that has come from my working with and within a certain frame. but i feel like that really extended into a lot of different things, like poetry readings, romantic relationships, friendships—all those things were a part of it.”—trisha low, bomb
“i’m getting all my bathing suit bottoms ruched and taken in”—8 weeks, 2 fashion magazines, innumerable mind-blowing beauty tips, and this was the funniest thing i heard anyone say. i totally get it, except for the ruched part.
the other night marc told me that the bar where we started our first date was closing. at first i was #saverevel, but then he said he was glad, we already had our memories there and it’s fine with him if no one else gets to, “it can burn down,” and that made a lot of sense to me and i probably said “totally,” and then we fell asleep.
on our two year anniversary, an email exchange from 7/2/12
lg:what are you wearing for your dattteeee tonite?
kj:i am not wearing anything fancy. i literally put no effort into my outfits. im wearing the same thing i wore on friday. its, like, a tube dress over a tight dress and gold miu miu heels. i think i wore this outfit all weekend actually.
lg:dude, your no effort is probably the best theyve ever seen a woman in their entire life. its like a gift, really.
“one of the historians of darranda said: to learn a belief without belief is to sing a song without the tune. a yielding, an obedience, a willingness to accept these notes as the right notes, this pattern as the true pattern, is the essential gesture of performance, translation, and understanding. the gesture need not be permanent, a lasting posture of the mind or heart; yet it is not false. it is more than the suspension of disbelief needed to watch a play, yet less than a conversion. it is a position, a posture in the dance.”—i came home from drinks with laia the other night and marc was up waiting to read me this quote from ursula k. leguin’s the telling.
“well, the fashion industry is not a hotbed of feminist practice. it’s just not. but it’s also a place where women traditionally could succeed, where women held extremely high positions long before they did elsewhere.”—
she also says: “one thing is that you learn that, in the end, shit’s still run by men. at the very tippy top, it’s still run by men. one of the things i realized in my career was that you can break the rules and be seen as a maverick, but you still always have to play the game. and you still have to suck up to the guys in corporate, in an incredibly retrograde, mad men style. i don’t want to say that with bitterness, because that was the reality. it was just the reality. that to me was kind of amazing, to see that we’ve come an enormously long way [but also see] incredibly powerful women—brilliant, running huge things—just flirt like little girls with powerful men because they needed to. and they didn’t want to sleep with these men, they just had to pump these men’s egos up. i don’t disrespect them for that; that’s part of the game. that was kind of poignant.”
If women’s studies (WS) can be described as occupying a space between precarity and legitimacy in the contemporary, corporate university, how do we experience, feel, and inhabit the discipline’s in-between location? “Institutional Feelings” theorizes the contemporary institutional iterations of WS, with attention to the pressures, perils, pitfalls, politics, and potential pleasures of this partial institutionalization.
We particularly welcome innovative papers that theorize, engage, and/or capture an array of perspectives on the feelings that institutionalization can generate. We are invested in questions about the feelings that WS’s partial institutionalization generates: What does the field’s partial-institutionalization feel like for students, tenured and tenure-track faculty, adjunct faculty, and administrators who labor in a field that has always had a fraught relationship with institutionalization? What are the feelings—pleasure, desire, optimism, melancholy, ordinariness, elation—that the discipline’s partial institutionalization engenders? How does it feel to use a set of analytics— intersectionality, postcolonial, global, transnationalism, diversity, interdisciplinarity— that are increasingly celebrated, and, at times, mobilized by the corporate university?
Potential topics include:
the transnational turn in feminist thought, and its relationship to the institutionalization and/or feminist knowledge making of WS
the effects of transnational capitalism on the corporatization of the university, and/or vice-versa (for instance, how the rush to create overseas university depots of corporate influence will influence WS)
the clash between the corporate university and progressive, anti-corporate feminist methodologies and ideas, and the effects that might have on internal and external funding, hiring, curriculum, and promotion and tenure
comparative work on and/or histories of WS’s institutionalization
affects of institutionalization, which may include feeling WS in different institutional locations with varied resources and from different politics of location (research universities, community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, the politics of adjunct faculty)
the racial politics involved with WS’s institutionalization
relationship between WS & diversity management efforts in the university
institutionalization of core analytics within WS (e.g. intersectionality’s institutionalization, transnationalism’s institutionalization)
the politics and process of administrating WS (graduate certificate programs, undergraduate minors, departmental status, doctoral programs, and the job market)
how the discipline itself theorizes, analyzes, and negotiates its simultaneous marginalization and institutionalization
Deadline for full essays: October 1, 2014
Essays should be 8k -11k words, including endnotes and references. Submit your complete manuscript via email to FF editorial assistant, Brooke Lober (email@example.com) and copy the co-editors to your email: Jennifer Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emily Owens (email@example.com).
Your submission should contain 3 attachments: 1) Cover page 2) Abstract and 6-9 keywords 3) Complete manuscript (with all identifying information removed)
Address questions to co-editors Jennifer Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emily Owens (email@example.com).
To see Feminist Formations general author guidelines, click here.
marc is jealous of the ring he bought me. we tried on wedding bands when we got it sized on friday and yesterday he said “i want a ring.” i told him he would have a ring, but not until september. he suggested that we just get the bands now—we could wear them at night—which still seems hilarious to me.
today i went back to my therapist. (this is the third cycle of therapy since 2010, for anyone who is keeping count.) as i was leaving she said “well, let’s look at the ring” and then “it is beautiful. how do you feel about wearing it?” really good, i said, “it’s like i have my own relationship with the ring.” she laughed and said “totally” and then we said we would see each other next week.