Pereira, Maria do Mar: Power, Knowledge and Feminist Scholarship: An Ethnography of Academia. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017. 228 p. ISBN 9781138911499.
About the Book
Feminist scholarship is sometimes dismissed as not quite ‘proper’ knowledge – it’s too political or subjective, many argue. But what are the boundaries of ‘proper’ knowledge? Who defines them, and how are they changing? How do feminists negotiate them? And how does this boundary-work affect women’s and gender studies, and its scholars’ and students’ lives?
These are the questions tackled by this ground-breaking ethnography of academia inspired by feminist epistemology, Foucault, and science and technology studies. Drawing on data collected over a decade in Portugal and the UK, US and Scandinavia, this title explores different spaces of academic work and sociability, considering both official discourse and ‘corridor talk’. It links epistemic negotiations to the shifting political economy of academic labour, and situates the smallest (but fiercest) departmental negotiations within global relations of unequal academic exchange. Through these links, this timely volume also raises urgent questions about the current state and status of gender studies and the mood of contemporary academia. Indeed, its sobering, yet uplifting, discussion of that mood offers fresh insight into what it means to produce feminist work within neoliberal cultures of academic performativity, demanding increasing productivity.
As the first book to analyse how academics talk (publicly or in off-the-record humour) about feminist scholarship, Power, Knowledge and Feminist Scholarship is essential reading for scholars and students in gender studies, LGBTQ studies, post-colonial studies, STS, sociology and education.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Abbreviations Acknowledgements Notes on the Presentation of Material Introduction Chapter 1. An Outsider Within? The Position and Status of WGFS in Academia Chapter 2. Pushing and Pulling the Boundaries of Knowledge: a Feminist Theory of Epistemic Status Chapter 3. WGFS in the Performative University (Part I): The Epistemic Status of WGFS in Times of Paradoxical Change Chapter 4. WGFS is Proper Knowledge, But…: The Splitting of Feminist Scholarship Chapter 5. Putting WGFS on the Map(s): The Boundary-Work of WGFS Scholars Chapter 6. The Importance of Being Foreign and Modern: The Geopolitics of the Epistemic Status of WGFS Chapter 7. WGFS in the Performative University (Part II): The Mood of Academia and its Impact on our Knowledge and our Lives Conclusion: Negotiating the Boundaries of Proper Knowledge and of Work in the (Not Quite Fully) Performative University
About the Author
Maria do Mar Pereira is Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick (UK) and Deputy Director of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of Women and Gender.