Ask a Feminist, a podcast from Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (http://signsjournal.org), features interviews with leading feminist thinkers on feminist issues raised by some aspect of current political life or social justice issue. This allows Signs to create an ongoing conversation between and among feminist scholars, media activists, and community leaders, enhancing the journal’s role as a transitive space, percolating in and between the space of intellectual production and activist engagement. Ask a Feminist is part of the Signs Feminist Public Intellectuals Project (http://signsjournal.org/feminist-public-intellectuals-project/).
Susan Stryker discusses Trans Studies, Trans Feminism, and a More Trans Future with V Varun Chaudhry
A conversation about the field of trans studies between V Varun Chaudhy and Susan Stryker. V is an assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Brandeis and a member of the Signs board of associate editors. Susan is a founding editor of the journal TSQ and a major figure in the development of trans studies as a field. In the interview, they discuss the social and political context for the emergence trans studies, including its roots in feminist theory, and what its institutionalization (including the found of TSQ) has meant for the field. They also share insights about how trans feminism can combat new forms of transphobia, and, beyond that, how trans feminism can provide necessary tools for enacting new forms of sociality.
Patricia Williams Discusses Rage and Humor as an Act of Disobedience with Carla Kaplan and Durba Mitra
Patricia J. Williams, the renowned feminist theorist and legal scholar joins Carla Kaplan and Durba Mitra, two of the coeditors of the upcoming special issue of Signs on “Rage,” to talk about the multiple crises we face at the current moment, from Donald Trump’s cruel legacy of misogyny and racism to the failures of market-based approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also discuss new forms of surveillance that have emerged during the pandemic and the disproportionate levels of emotional labor that particular groups, particularly black women, have been expected to take on throughout Trump’s presidency.
Eesha Pandit and Paula Moya Discuss Activism and the Academy with Carla Kaplan and Suzanna Walters
Activist, writer, and advocate Eesha Pandit and professor of English Paula Moya discuss the relationship between feminist scholarship and feminist activism, and how feminist activists and scholars can best support one another's work. What makes a good ally? How can we build systems of accountability among and between scholars and activists? How can we most productively use identity as the basis for organizing action? The conversation is facilitated by Signs editorial board chair Carla Kaplan and Signs editor in chief Suzanna Walters. Recorded live at the National Women's Studies Association Conference.
Byllye Avery Discusses the Past and Future of Reproductive Justice with Susan Reverby
Byllye Avery, cofounder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, speaks to historian Susan Reverby about her activist work, beginning in the 1970s, to increase women’s access to abortion. She discusses the state of reproductive rights before and after Roe v. Wade, the genesis of the “reproductive justice” movement, and the tactics that might be needed in a post-Roe future.
Ask a Feminist is part of the Feminist Public Intellectuals Project, which provides a host of free feminist resources (http://signsjournal.org/fpip).
Soraya Chemaly Discusses Feminist Rage, with Carla Kaplan and Durba Mitra
Feminist journalist, media critic, and activist Soraya Chemaly joins Carla Kaplan and Durba Mitra for an in-depth discussion of feminist rage. Their wide-raging conversation covers many aspects of contemporary women’s rage: the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation process, the furor over Serena Williams’s US Open final, and how to differentiate progressive anger from the reactionary anger that has fueled the Right, including the rise of Trump.
A transcript of the interview is available at http://signsjournal.org/soraya-chemaly/. Our theme song is "I Dunno" by Grapes, available on SoundCloud.
Cynthia Enloe Discusses Gender and the Rise of the Global Right with Agnieszka Graff, Ratna Kapur, and Suzanna Danuta Walters
Renowned scholar and activist Cynthia Enloe (Research Professor at Clark University) sits down with the coeditors of the forthcoming Signs special issue "Gender and the Rise of the Global Right"--Agnieszka Graff, Ratna Kapur, and Suzanna Danuta Walters--to analyze the relationship between gender and the increasing prominence of right-wing political figures and parties around the globe. They discuss the extent to which ideas about gender fuel right-wing movements, the currents of antifeminism and antigenderism, and the possibilities for transnational feminist organizing and resistance. This conversation is part of the Feminist Public Intellectual Project, a series of open-access features presented by Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (http://signsjournal.org/fpip).