Historiann at the MCA Denver: more blah-blah about blogs, motherhood, and feminism

Howdy!  Didja miss me?  One of the reasons–aside from spring break!–I’ve been offline recently is that I have some real-life presentations to prepare and research talks to get ready.  For example, tomorrow I’ll be hitching up Seminar, my commuter horse, and high-tailin’ it down to Denver tomorrow right after class to convene a discussion on feminist blogging at the MCA Denver as part of the Feminism & Co. program this year.

I’ve been doing a little reading and reflecting on the feminist blogosphere lately, a timely undertaking since I’m sure you’ve all heard of the recent $hitstorm inspired by New York Magazine’s linkbaiting article on so-called feminist “retro-wives.”  Inevitably, this hi-larious fiction in turn inspired a foul and NSFW (but delicious) parody.  Perhaps just as inevitably, the women profiled in the original article complain that their comments were taken completely out of context and distorted beyond reason (h/t to Echidne for both of these last two links.)

The internet is an outrage machine, innit? I’ll be talking tomorrow night about the ways in which blogging fits in with the history of feminism as well as addressing some of the personal and professional issues that come up in blogging and other social media tools.  Specifically, I’ll talk about the policing and politicization of motherhoood online, and the ways in which feminist blogging can rile up people within their shared profession as well.

I’ll tell you more this weekend about my upcoming talk at the University of Wolverines!!!  I’m so excited to return to the Land that Knows No Sun from November through April.

Anyhoo:  here’s my bibilography on the feminist blogosphere, for those of you who are interested in further reading:

  • Naomi Greyser, “Gender Nerds at Heart:  An Interview on Bridging the Blogging/Academic Divide with Feministing.com,” American Quarterly 64:4 (2012), 837-39.
  • Ann M. Little, “Silence Dogood Rides Again:  Blogging the Frontiers of Early American History,” common-place.org 11:2 (2011)
  • Lori Kido Lopez, “The radical act of ‘mommy blogging’:  redefining motherhood through the blogosphere,” New Media Society 11:5 (2009), 729-47
  • Aimée Morrison, “Suffused by Feeling and Affect:  The Intimate Public of Personal Mommyblogging,” Biography:  An Interdisciplinary Quarterly34:1 (2011), 37-55.
  • Aimée Morrison, “Autobiography in Real Time:  A Genre Analysis of Personal Mommyblogging,” Cyberpsychology 4:2 (2010), 1-12.
  • Tess Pierce, “Singing at the Digital Well:  Blogs as Cyberfeminist Sites of Resistance,” Feminist Formations 22:3 (2010), 196-209.
  • Claire B. Potter, “Women Gone Wild:  Reflections on the Feminist Blogosphere,” Journal of Women’s History 22:4 (2010), 185-89.  This roundtable includes the following essays:
    • Jennifer Ho, “Being Held Accountable:  On the Necessity of Intersectionality,” 190-96.
    • May Friedman, “On Mommyblogging:  Notes to a Future Feminist Historian,” 197-208.
    • Marilee Lindemann, “The Madwoman with a Laptop:  Notes Toward a Literary Prehistory of Academic Fem Blogging,” 209-19.
    • Ann M. Little, “We’re All Cowgirls Now,” 220-34.
    • Rachel Leow, “Reflections on Feminism, Blogging, and the Historical Profession,” 235-43.

12 thoughts on “Historiann at the MCA Denver: more blah-blah about blogs, motherhood, and feminism

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was not really aware of the academic literature on feminist bloggeing. So thanks for the reading list!


  2. Totally did miss ya’, Historiann; thought maybe you were spee-leunking in a volcano or something of that variety. Spring Break has sproinged back here and it only *seems* like it’s not spring yet. Ride safely down to D’town tomorrow (*after* classes?!?, wow!!) and have a great session. This one should go on a podcast that could be ordered from the museum store, one would hope.


  3. “Meanwhile, what was once feminist blasphemy is now conventional wisdom: Generally speaking, mothers instinctively want to devote themselves to home more than fathers do.”


    Surely they mean that tongue-in-cheek?

    Thanks for the link. Its been a long week (and it is only Wednesday) of balancing my professional duties and my home life. Especially since my husband is out of town. I needed a good laugh.

    Hope you had an amazing time. I did miss you! Worried that freak March snow storm had you trapped in some horrid regional airport somewhere without wifi! Or food.


  4. Hail, Hail!! But which part of this Mitten State are you gonna be in? The Chersoneseun part, which contains the Thumb? Or the universitanian-Metropotamian part, where the Victors consume the Vernors and which “knows” everything this side of the sun? Or the Assenisipian part, which touches on the Great Cahokian River? Or the Sylvanian part, which is really a wide-angled take on “Upper Peninsula?” Or not to forget the Michiganian part, which is on the Wrong side of the Rightly-named Lake? You could sell a lot of sun-dials across a spread like that. I was just trying to explain to a classroom of attenuated, bored-looking post-break freshmen what all of that nomenclature had to do with Revolutionary era “conference realignment.” Hopefully your trip will be after the sun begins shining down on the Victors.


  5. Hello! I was at the Feminist Blogger event (I’m of the Heather tribe) and I wanted to tell you 1) that I really loved your presentation and 2) I’m really sorry when I asked my question about writing professionally vs. haphazardly, I didn’t include you – you were so good at officiating the panel and showcasing them that I excluded you from the question – sorry!

    Also I wanted to comment on the sharing of personal information that you spoke about protecting. Like Ellie, I put it all out there, but unlike her I am extraordinarily conscious of my audience.

    I write for them because in so many ways I represent them and a historical wave of parents (mostly women) who are amazing health advocates for seriously ill children. I broke a taboo by talking about what it’s really like to have a child who may very well die before adulthood. I am so open about it because over the years many other women without the voice or platform but with the same type of experience felt excluded by the conversations of “normal” motherhood.

    I don’t know if you followed Emily Rapp, but when Dragon Mom (her masterpiece) came out I found it so inspirational. Moms like me aren’t exactly Dragon moms because we fight the diseases that threaten our children’s lives and hold out hope of survival, but we also live on the edge of losing our children suddenly and unexpectedly. I think that this type of mothering (and subsequent genre blogging) harkens back to Grendel’s mother and the most basic and primal instincts of mothering (eg exactly how you outed yourself) that has been tempered, shamed, and silenced by the very same culture that craves a diet of mental and emotional junk food ala 50 shades.

    Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to comment within the context of your excellent presentation.

    PS – I live in Fort Collins and grew up in Greeley. I earned my BA in history (writing minor, of course) at UNC where Dr. Clinefelter taught most of my European history classes and her predecessor was my adviser. I earned my MS at CSU, so I really was excited to see “up North” so well represented in such a metro scene by you and Heather – who is a goddess!


  6. Amanda–thanks so much for your comment, and please: no apologies! I was honored to have been included in the forum last night. I thought you raised a great question about blog communities–what kind of personal attention or advice we owe our readers, and where we can (or should) let people start their own journeys in online or book writing.

    I am sure, given the topic of your blog and book, that your readers feel a much more personal connection to you than my readers do to me–something that I think must be tricky to navigate at times. I love the connection you make to Grendel’s mother–very smart and very apt.

    I had so much fun and was so encouraged to meet with so many likeminded women last night, all of whom live right here on the front range. Thanks for coming!


  7. Pingback: Auld lang syne: my friends | Historiann

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