On Wednesday (April 18th) I’ll be doing a virtual workshop (via SKYPE teleconference) with students in Dr. Stephanie Nawyn‘s course on Feminist Research Methods at Michigan State University.
What is feminist research?
At its most basic level, feminist research actively seeks to remove power imbalances between research and subject; has a major role in changing social inequality; and begins with the standpoints and experiences of women. From there, there are a variety of interpretations about what feminist research is, is not, and what it should be.
The aim of Dr. Nawyn’s course is to introduce students to how and why feminist research methods are used in the social sciences. It starts with readings about feminist frameworks and the different methods used within it, and then moves on to the application of feminist methods in different settings. Students also conduct their own research projects, using concepts in the course. Because Dr. Nawyn engages the principle of participatory learning, she gives her students a more direct role in the course than is usual in many college classes. She has student-designed workshop days–like the one I’ll be part of–that involve student-led discussion and hands-on development of research projects and ideas.
For my workshop, Dr. Nawyn’s students will be considering how the research and analysis of “Pink Ribbon Blues” (as presented on this website and blog) represent feminist goals, perspectives, and methods. Students will then use this space to share their comments about what the “F” word [feminism...] means in social science research, and how it is useful. They will consider several feminist themes as they are represented on the Pink Ribbon Blues website and will, I hope, support their ideas with examples, links, and even excerpts from their course readings. If you’re not an MSU student, please feel free to add your own commentary here too.
Many thanks to Dr. Nawyn and her students. I look forward to a lively conversation here, and (virtually) in their classroom!
“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” — Audre Lorde, author of The Cancer Journals