Assignment #2: Groups create feminisms through actions in solidarity: definition & event [click this link to download a copy of the assignment]
>DUE AS GROUP: each group comes up with one flyer prototype for the whole group and one written description of their event also for whole group. EVERYONE must be present and participate in the group presentation of these in the Tuesday lecture 20 October. Each group submits these in hardcopy at the same time, Tuesday lecture 20 October
>DUE INDIVIDUALLY: each person will write up their own individual page of analysis on “who did what work” in the group process, reflect on conflict and consciousness raising with examples from what you all did and submit that in hardcopy at the end of the Tuesday lecture 20 October too. [image from: http://climatemarch.org ]
In this assignment you learn by doing it just how it is that our understandings of feminisms are elements in collective action, theorizing, raising-consciousness (CR). You will consider issues of conflict, different amounts of work and investments involved, scheduling work and actions, all the inevitable elements of group process and product. All of this should be discussed in your one page of analysis of process. Learn everyone's first and last names and include them all in your descriptions.
You will find helpful one of our recommended books, hooks, Ch 2: “Consciousness-raising” and our Reed book, Art of Protest, pp. 76-95 from Ch 3: “The Poetical is the Political” as well as online: Hanisch's "Women’s Liberation Consciousness-Raising: Then and Now": http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/2010spring/2010spring_Hanisch.php
Notice that you really have only TWO WEEKS TO DO THIS ASSIGNMENT! Activist actions often take place very quickly, and yours will be like that!
STEPS TO TAKE! GROUPS WILL BE CREATED IN YOUR DISCUSSION SECTION!
1) Getting the group on board, taking responsibility for participation. With the guidance of your TA your Thursday discussion decides how to divide itself into smaller groups each with its own separate event and flyer. Each group will create a real or imaginary feminist event and a flyer to mobilize participation in the event in which you explicitly include your group’s collective definition of feminism. Your TA will help you get started initially in the Thursday seminar, but THE WORK FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT IS MOSTLY DONE OUTSIDE CLASS! You will need to learn everyone’s name (both first and last names and turn in the entire list of names on each flyer and description at the end), get people’s contact information, find out when people can meet as one single group or possibly in several subgroups, and possibly some on email, phone, Skype or however. EVERYONE MUST PARTICIPATE somehow, and it is the responsibility of both the group and the individuals to make sure this happens. This may even include how to facilitate folks adding the class late, or people who are ill during this time, or any other reason for why people’s lives make collective work and action difficult. NOTICE: Does a single leader emerge? How does group work get organized and why? Who ends up doing what work? How does all this shape the event, flyer, and your ideas about feminism? All this PROCESS matters! How do people do this in a feminist way? How do you know? (Notice you will be writing all this process stuff up individually from your own Point of View and turning that in too! Be honest and analytical about how things happen and why! This is a crucial part of this assignment. This is an element of what feminists have called consciousness-raising or CR: how groups work and change each other in action together! Notice conflict and how it is addressed: addressing conflict matters more than erasing any conflicts.)
2) Come up with a group definition of feminism and a group event that illustrates, shapes, or is shaped by this definition. Brainstorm the perfect feminist event you would love to create and participate in! It can be totally imaginary – something that could never happen realistically – or it can be something you as a group actually decide you could make happen here at UMD, and might even do! Some groups in the past have used this assignment to jumpstart actual events on campus, SGA, sorority, campus activisms, anything you are already part of and would like to bring in. And other groups have loved making up something that would cost too much, or include people not even alive now, or otherwise necessitate fictional creation. As the group considers what to do, it should also consider what the group – not just some individuals – think together is a definition of feminism. The definition and the event should reflect each other in ways that seem exciting to the group as a whole. NOTICE: What process did the group come up with to make the definition and the event really collective and not individual? How will you make sure you have really invested in this and not just done the easy thing and let others take over? You may want to brainstorm together or bring ideas as an individual to a group meeting. You may want to troll the web for ideas and examples and models. What sorts of events have you attended, created, or heard about? What understandings of feminism are illustrated by and shape these events? How can you tell? (How this happens is what you will be writing up individually! Give details! Think about this CR process!)
3) Put together one group flyer for this event that includes a written out and explicit group definition of feminism in its design and purpose. A single page flyer or leaflet, or a single page brochure is what you need here. There are easy templates for both on the web, and your group product can be more prototype than absolutely final version, although nowadays these are pretty simple. It can be done electronically or in a crafty way. In either case you want to have an electronic version to email to your TA, although that can be a digital photo if you go crafty. You will want at least one hard copy version of a prototype to bring to class on the due date to show off and pass around for everyone to see. Find out who in the group already knows how to do this and have them teach everyone else. Or DIY looking on the web for help and advice. For example: http://feministcampus.org/start-a-group/binder/ NOTICE: Doing this will require thinking about who the event is for, how will you contact those people and get them on board, how does the definition of feminism play in role in all this, how large the event is, whether a flyer or leaflet or a brochure is better, what will catch people’s eye and so on. How will this fit into all the publicity plans for your event? Where will you distribute the flyer or brochure and how? If on campus, what are some good locations? You will need to answer these questions in your group's description:
4) As a group you will turn in a single one-page description of your event in addition to flyer or brochure. Included also will be the group’s explanation of how the event shapes and shaped by your group’s definition of feminism. Explain why this event, what will happen and how, what sort of experience it will be, who would be involved, how the event will be advertised and how the flyer achieves this. How expensive would such an event be? What resources would it require? How will this get written up and by whom?
5) Everyone in all the groups will present on 20 October! BE SURE YOU ARE PRESENT IN CLASS! YOUR GROUP NEEDS YOU! YOU MUST PRESENT TO GET FULL CREDIT! Each person in the group will introduce themselves by first and last name. You should know first and last names of everyone in your group too! Everyone in the group must say something to the whole class. Each group should briefly: a) give the group’s definition of feminism, b) describe the event, c) describe how these connect, d) describe the flyer and publicity, e) describe group process and name some insights into CR or feminist process that came out of the project. Do this quickly but thoroughly! Give some great details but have it planned out so we can get through all the groups in one class!
[image credit: http://www.care.uci.edu/Students/Past%20Events.aspx]
6) Individually you will turn in a page of writing on who did what work and offer your own thoughtful analysis of it all. While working together and reading about CR in hooks, Reed, and online (you might look around for additional stuff too), consider how this project gives you some insight into the issues raised in these. Especially consider the issues of process and consciousness-raising. How does this affect everyone’s thinking about feminism? What does it take to create a feminist process as well as a feminist event as well as a feminist definition of feminism? Be sure to know everyone’s first and last names, list all these on all materials, and discuss in detail who did what work, how the group conducted meetings, who could meet when and why, what sorts of conflicts or just differences if any emerged and around what issues. What work did you do in particular and what role did you play in the group? Write this out carefully and thoughtfully. As appropriate include footnotes and bibliography when you paraphrase or quote someone else’s words. (This is essential in all college papers by the way.)