Thanks to all of you who participated in our Women’s History Month book club discussion of Judith Bennett’s History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism. (Just in case you’ve missed our discussions, here they are: Parts I, II, III, IV, and V.) This post is an open thread to solicit your comments on our discussion, and advice for doing another book club in the future.
I ran this by Tenured Radical over our lunch in Seattle a few weeks ago, but I wondered if we shouldn’t have published our comments not as four stand-alone commentaries on Bennett’s book, but rather as a conversation among the four of us on four different topics raised by the book. (That is, a transcription of a “conversation” over e-mail that we’d each take a segment of to edit and post on our blogs.) I enjoyed the book club, but it felt like some comments were landing on our blogs from outer space, rather than being a part of an ongoing conversation. (By this, I don’t mean it is the fault of the commenter in most cases–it’s more a problem with the technology and format.) I suppose another way to address this problem would be to liveblog the book club–this would necessarily exclude some for whom the time doesn’t work, but it would be a way of fostering more of a conversation among the commenters who are free to participate. Even more exclusive would be to set up a space on the blogs that would require registration so that only people who affirmed they had read the book could participate–we would surely have fewer people, but perhaps a more in-depth conversation.
If you wanted to participate but didn’t, what could we have done to include you? If you participated but were frustrated, what should we have done better?
And with that, we now return to our regularly scheduled men’s history for the other eleven months of the year!