Feminist Teaching Network: Feminism, Teaching and Research

Workshop Hosts: The Feminist Teaching Network

We are a group of postgraduate students at the university of Nottingham who are working in different faculties across the university in areas who have come together in an extended conversation about feminism and teaching. We have been running a feminist reading group and workshops for undergraduates at the University of Nottingham for a few years and recently organised a two day symposium on feminism and teaching.

Workshop Description: Developing Critical Reflexivity – Feminism, Teaching and Researching

We developed a feminism and teaching network at Nottingham University after several of us, who were members of a feminist reading group, discussed the difficulties in getting undergraduate students to attend. This led to us collaborating with other postgraduate students from departments including Law, English, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory and Sociology, to organise a series of undergraduate workshops and raise consciousness about feminist issues. Beyond this consciousness-raising role, the personal benefits of the workshops for us as organisers emerged, as through working together we were not only able to gain support and solidarity from our peers, but the insights gained from teaching fed back into our own individual research areas.

The workshop will explore the way that research and teaching have had a co-shaping relationship in our practice; discussing the relation between these workshops and our own work. The undergraduate workshops have not only been a space in which we can ‘teach’ feminism or communicate feminist concepts, but have enabled us to critically reflect upon our own perspectives and led us into different areas of research. This has proved informative in everything from refining our own understandings of theoretical concepts to negotiating our positions in relation to controversial social issues.

The session will discuss how we’ve worked to make our research accessible, demonstrating strategies we’ve used to make complex theoretical material (such as queer theory or the male gaze), or controversial subjects (such as 2nd wave feminist campaigns against pornography) accessible. It will then outline how the planning, organisation and structure of the workshops has been shaped by both the demands of undergraduate students and the research areas of us as postgraduates/early career researchers, before reflecting on how the experience has changed both our own pedagogic strategies and our approaches to research.

Date, Time and Location: Friday, September 2nd – 13:45-15:15 – Space One

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