Why RFF? Hilary’s thoughts…

Over the course of organising RFF the idea has gone through so many evolutions that I wouldn’t even know how to trace the threads back.  I am really excited about it, particularly right now as its really starting to take shape as things become confirmed and my own PhD is starting to make sense again.  The focus on methodologies and how we ‘do’ feminist research (or whatever it is that we do) is personally been something I feel I’m constantly wrestling with since I started. The ‘how’ questions are for me the trickiest right now.

How do you do feminist research?  How can a commitment to feminism remain in research?  How do you deal with academic structures that feel hostile to your feminism?  How do you work within different strands of feminism?  How can you work with ideas of gender- complex, fluid, personal, discursive and embodied gender? How do other theories, ideas and politics fit in with feminism and research?  How do you hold on to creativity, bodies, politics, experience and daily life in the face of the huge abstraction and separation that writing a PhD seems to often imply.  How? How? How?

Femjoy has been a space where these issues are talked about and taken seriously, and its helped hold me and my project together when its felt fragmented and confusing.  There is a real commitment to understanding process and practice which I love.  The york conference was a bit of a breaking point for me, an important breaking point which made me realise the possibility of putting my project back together differently, and writing for myself again.

Come September the thought of spending two whole days hearing about other peoples ways of dealing with the problems and joys of their research sounds incredible to me and I’m so enjoying being part of the organising process in ways I can’t express!


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