Insights from Quadrant

Gender as she is writ

Last month in Newcastle, feminist academics gathered to ponder matters of gender and sexism under the umbrella of the Gender and Education Association Conference. Cardiff University’s Professor Emma Renold, for example, was keen to share her research into “gender jars” and how

… the material messages in the jars offered profound insights into young people’s complex desires for gender change and how these messages travelled out beyond the jars into policy and practice assemblages through digital activisms

Then there was Monash University’s Dr Melissa Wolfe and her insights into, well, what the abstract of her presentation describes:

Generative knowledges: thinking the liminal within gender and education research

Education assemblages, as emergent collectivities entangled with gender and sexuality, continue to be active and productive of binary relations that reiterate inequity. Liminal threshold concepts abound within the field of gender and education research. In this symposium, we propose a focus on the concept of the liminal beyond thresholds. We understand the liminal, without before and after, as an ambiguous state of simultaneous flux – of being affected and affecting, within the co-constitution that is relational becoming. The utility (or as Ahmed might speculate – the use) of thinking liminality without threshold allows us to think diffractively and speculatively about the multiplicity of both gender and education whilst engaging post-qualitative thought (St Pierre, 2017; 2013). Our political focus is concerned not with what is, but on how what is comes to be – and the consequences of these materializations. Accounting for the liminal within the material discourses of gender and education prioritizes the messiness of entanglement (as responsibility and co-consequence) which may enable greater equity as ‘justice-to-come’ (Barad, 2010). Thus, we promote conversations that produce generative experiential knowledges that traverse privileging knowledges of recognition.

Readers who enjoy Dr Wolfe’s command of language will savour the clip below, where conference participant Professor Anna Hickey-Moody delivers more of the same.

All who regret missing the conference can catch up on the most important papers here.

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