Femspec is pleased to provide its readers with limited free access to a special issue from the Journal of Gender Studies in honor of Gina Wisker, a Femspec board member whose paper appears in the issue entitled "All in this together? Feminisms, academia, austerity." The issue can be read for free here for a limited time.
The introduction and six papers of "Feminisms, academia, austerity" address the impact that economic austerity policies have had on the academy, and more specifically on its feminist scholars, researches, and programs. One question the introduction raises in particular asks readers to consider "What is the future for women in higher education and feminist scholarship if the current age of austerity threatens to further hamper academic feminism?"
Wisker's paper, which provides a strong bookend to the discussion, discusses how teaching and learning can be used to resist the intellectual inadequacies perpetuated by this new system.
"Wisker argues that despite the damaging sociocultural and intellectual effects of austerity upon scholars and students in higher education, feminist scholars have the opportunity to counter the negativity of diminishment. Wisker calls on feminist scholars to use their influence on the higher education curriculum to show how feminist scholarship proactively engages the concepts of social justice, waste and self-worth that lie at the heart of austerity discourses and contexts. Using examples from her own literature studies background, Wisker demonstrates how austerities can be challenged through feminist speculative fictions by contemporary women writers, whose writing, she shows, offers creative, value-oriented and critically engaged ways of imagining self and society beyond austere constraints" (JGS 1-2)