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Unghosting Apparitional (Lesbian) History

Erasures of Black Lesbian Feminism

Michelle Moravec, Author

This comment was written by DaMaris Hill (@digifeminist) on 9 Dec 2013.

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Why Stories Matter and a Riff

@ “In large part my thinking has been influenced by Clare Hemmings recent work Why Stories Matter, which analyzes the narratives of feminism over the past three decades. Hemmings argues that feminist scholarship itself has erased that which it claims to value most, the voices of the marginal. Although Hemmings focuses on gender and cultural studies, I found her methodology and conclusions quite provocative when applied to history. How, I wondered, could I avoid perpetuating these erasures, or ghostings as I came to think of them?”

I appreciate the ways this project embraces and embodies Hemming’s theories. This project will add enormously to the conversation about where the erasure and forgetting happens and why it happens within the academy, including institutions that interact with researchers.

Like most artists and scholars that explore and document marginalized experiences, I recognize how consciously and/or subconsciously industries and individuals reinforce dominant narratives that may privilege patriarchal and white supremacist philosophies. --In this instance, I would like to explore the ways anthology technology has begun to contribute to erasure and recovery work.

Anthology technology has created ‘minute meal’ readings for courses that formally required more interesting and wide ranging dialogues - regardless of themes. (embracing open access academic policies can begin address these concerns.) In short, anthologies are easy. This convenience is often at the expense of broad, inclusive and yet diverse perspectives that include marginalized perspectives and scholarship.

Unfortunately, the pressures of the academy (budget, production, technology restrictions and ect) make anthologies extremely attractive and convenient. Most scholars and researchers that are aware of marginalized scholarship and welcome it, may sacrifice a few desired readings for the convenience of one text.

I believe that some of the concern with erasure has to do the embracing of anthologies and associated conveniences. By sacrificing certain desired (maybe not-desired) marginalized readings, scholars compromise the preparedness and intellectual integrity of students.

Hence, generations of scholars are not aware of the perspectives that have been erased or dismissed in the collected anthology. By the time the third and fourth generation of scholars passes through the academy (20-25yrs), the forgotten research has become another recovery research project.
This page comments on:
Beyond the Footnotes (9 December 2013)
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