The pedagogy of selling feminism from Beyoncé to Hillary

Workshop Outline

Friday, October 21, 2016

Greetings/continental breakfast
Introductory Plenary Speaker
Roundtable discussion: “We were feminists once”
  • According to Andi Ziesler, author of We were feminists once, “Within a very short span of time, feminism has come to occupy perhaps its most complex role ever in American, if not global, culture. It’s a place where most of the problems that have necessitated feminist movements to begin with are still very much in place, but at the same time there’s a mainstream, celebrity consumer embrace of feminism that positions it as a cool, fun, accessible identity that anyone can adopt.” This discussion will focus on the transformations of late 20th - early 21st century feminisms have undergone, and will help us begin our day’s exploration addressing questions such as “How we can tap into and teach to the feminist media-zation? How might our own feminist roots affect how we frame discussions of feminism with our students?

We will distribute the Introduction to We were feminists once for you to read and consider in advance of this roundtable discussion.

Roundtable discussion

Roundtable discussion: Thinking Beyoncé: Beyoncé’s Lemonade as a teaching toolkit

  • Since Beyoncé’s new visual album, Lemonade was released in April, it’s been widely discussed in feminist circles. Mostly, it is hailed as a stunning work of art that speaks widely to black women’s lives and pays homage to black feminist critics and womanist theorists. This discussion will engage topics to help prepare educators to include this album as a feminist text for their classrooms. How can we best teach this text? What resources can we share to help situate and contextualize the messages in the album, particularly at our predominantly white small, liberal arts, colleges?

You can access Lemonade on iTunes or Tidal. Please try to watch the 1 hour video prior to the workshop.

Roundtable discussion: Trumped up: The politics of feminism or the feminism of politics
  • The 2016 Presidential election is turning out to be a kind of referendum on feminism. While Hillary Clinton, the first seriously viable major party female candidate for President, courts the women’s vote, she faces two hurdles: young women who find her brand of feminism outmoded and Donald Trump, who brands feminism as nothing more than political correctness. At the same time, Trump argues that Clinton is no feminist since she enabled/supported a philandering husband. What role is feminism playing in the 2016 election? Is politics merely another arena for the selling of feminism?