Colonialism in Transit, A Teach-in

The Feminist and Gender Studies Department presents “Colonialism in Transit, A Teach-In” with Hailey Corkery, Oscar Glassman, and Ramah Aleryan on Friday November 8, 2019 from 4-5:30 at Sacred Grounds.

 

antisemtiism

Hailey Corkery’s teach-in focuses on the political implications of North American birthright trips to Israel. It explores these consequences by examining the curriculum of as well as the motivations and funding behind birthright. The ultimate goal of this teach-in is to foster productive discussion amongst the Colorado College student body about how birthright is not, as many believe, “just a free trip” and how we as a community can combat its harmful ramifications.

 

 

In the U.S., allegations of antisemitism have become one major way in which Muslim or/and Arab public figures are vilified and produced as threatening and hateful. In Oscar Glassman’s teach-in he will trace a brief history of the term focusing on its relation to other forms of racism, Zionism, and the state of Israel. What political work does this discourse on the “new antisemitism” do? How does it utilize antiracist language to racialize others? At a time when colonial white nationalism, including antisemitism, is swelling once again in the U.S. and Palestinian lives continue to be made less livable while Palestinian deaths are deemed ungrievable, Jews must become clearer on what antisemitism is and what “never again” means.

 

 

Ramah Aleryan is looking at experiences of displacement and the process of belonging and re-belonging for Syrians, on the refugee statues, in the Norweigan and the Lebanese contexts. How does different states approach “integration”? What does “integration” mean for postcolonial subjects both in the Middle East and in European Contexts? As bombs falling from Russian and Turkish warcraft on Syria currently, the topic is more relevant than ever. Both the conflict and the treatment of displaced individuals are the continuation of colonization and rendering the lives of people of color and people from the global south disposable.

 

FGS ’20 Senior Spotlights

In this issue of the Monthly Rag I would like to highlight some senior FGS majors. Our last first block!

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Mekael Daniel (FGS ’20)                                                                                                                        I am Black and Comely                                                                                                                  look upon me because I am Black,                                                                                          Because the sun hath looked upon me                                                                                       because I find poetry lovely                                                                                                      Because I’m sweet as honey

 

 

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Hello! My name is Malone DeYoung and I am a Feminist and Gender Studies major from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since FYE when Heidi told me my paper about Hillary Clinton was sexist, I can say that I’ve grown a lot. Some things I’m proud of are bringing a current events class to the county jail, participating in FemCo, and being the only CC student ever to work at the same calling job coercing alumni to donate to our school for all four years. Some of my other highlights include never speaking in Nadia’s class and dreaming about my essays every night for Dr. Kumar. Something I look forward to this year is explaining to adults what I will be doing with my major after graduation. That said, my sage advice to CC students would be to major in FGS, or at least minor.

 

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Hi! My name is Hailey Corkery and I am a senior double majoring in Sociology and Feminist and Gender Studies from Reston, VA. This past summer, I interned at an immigration firm in New York City and I hope to someday go to law school to study civil rights law. I’m very excited to spend my last year at Colorado College working on my senior thesis, leading Ellement (one of CC’s acapella groups), and hanging out with my wonderful friends!

 

 

 

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I’m Judy Fisher and I am a senior FGS major from Oklahoma. I’m a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and I spent part of my summer in Germany conducting research for my senior thesis which focuses on transnational representations of Native people. I’m excited to end my undergraduate experience where it began, in the FGS department, with wonderful professors and mentors like Heidi who I’ve known since day 1 at CC and with some of the friends I made in bridge.

 

 

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I’m Susanna Penfield, a current senior double majoring in Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies. Born and raised in central Vermont (in a town with a population smaller than CC), I appreciate fiery fall foliage, houses with no neighbors, and the taste of local maple syrup. On campus, I serve as co-chair of the Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team (START), prose editor for Leviathan literary magazine, vice president of Cutler Publications – the board that oversees student journalism at CC – and member of the Cutthroat Rugby Team. On weekends, catch me hanging with my roommates and our pet snake.

Sexplorations

Sexplorations Cover

Created by Zivia Berkowitz (Editor), Skylar Owens (Editorial Assistant), Hailey Corkery (Journalist), Fran Grandonico (Journalist), and Mekael Daniel (Graphic Designer)

“Through a feminist lens, Sexplorations takes a journalistic approach to engaging with conversations surrounding sex and promoting consent-oriented forms of pleasure and intimacy […] If you have been sexually active for years or are just beginning your sexual journey, looking for ways to enhance your sex life or want to be informed, Sexplorations is for you.”
—Zivia Berkowitz, Editor

Click here to read Sexplorations!

Sexplorations ToC

Danny the Douche: A Critical Analysis of Gender Representations in Grease

By Jamie Bechta, Noah Brodsky, Hailey Corkery, Anika Grevstad, Thomas Striegl, Zoey Zhou (Block 2 2017)

Grease (Original Print)“In the poster, Danny is positioned standing up, combing his hair and confidently staring at the camera with minimal facial expression. Sandy is shown lying on the car, placing her arm around Danny’s leg, looking at the camera with a big smile on her face. In “The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Women,” Jean Kilbourne points out that the body language of women in advertising often implies passiveness, vulnerability, and submission. The specific codes that are used to construct femininity in advertising are further explained in Sut Jhally’s The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture when he notes that women are often portrayed lying down, a position that makes women defenseless to potential threats and more dependent on surrounding environments. He articulates that this position conveys the qualities of submission and vulnerability, which are often associated with femininity. The Grease poster adopts this trope, depicting Sandy as completely dependent on Danny.”

Grease (New Print)“The changes we made to the Grease poster challenge the gender norms that are depicted in the original. We wanted to keep both Sandy and Danny and keep the car that they are standing on in the poster but adjust how gender roles are portrayed. To do this, we experimented with different levels for Sandy and Danny in our photo shoot. In every image that we took Sandy is shown not caring for Danny whereas Danny is shown focused on Sandy. We did this through gaze and physical stance. Sandy is often depicted looking off screen away from Danny or looking directly at the camera.”

Some Final Thoughts on the 2017 #FemGeniusesInBerlin

 

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (Zlevor)

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp [Photo Credit: Annie Zlevor]

By Annie Zlevor

Throughout this trip, I encountered many difficult questions that I have been struggling to answer. After three weeks of exploring Berlin, meeting with local activists, visiting museums, and attending walking tours, I find myself only a little closer to understanding their answers. More often than not, my experiences have left me with new questions, wishing I could spend more time in Berlin. On my final day in the city, I would like to consider these questions and reflect on how my recent experiences have allowed me to more critically examine them. I hope to apply what I have learned in the course and continue furthering my understanding of identities, forms of oppression, and memorials.

First, I want to consider our navigation of identities and subjectivities. How do we see ourselves and acknowledge how others see us? This question has helped me reflect more deeply on my own positionality and how society chooses to perceive it. In the spaces I have been welcomed into during this trip, it was important for me to understand how my own experiences exist in relation to the experiences of others. Having a greater awareness of this has better enabled me to listen critically and appreciate the narratives people share. Therefore, I discovered that my primary role ought to be that of a curious listener. This blog serves as an extension of this curiosity and as an ongoing attempt to understand the marginalized communities of Berlin and my role in it.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Zlevor)

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe [Photo Credit: Annie Zlevor]

After speaking with local activists, I began to question how and when people decide to confront forms of oppression and when they choose to affirm or challenge stereotypes. These questions reminded me of our “Rethinking Masculinities” panel and our discussion with Post-War Generation Black German Women. Spending time with Black and Turkish activists in Berlin has allowed me to better understand how individuals chose to deal with racism and sexism. While each experience is unique to the individual, it was clear that in their navigation of public space, they are never divorced from activism. As Musa Okwonga plainly stated, “You’re Black all the time in Berlin.” And although it is the Afro-German’s right not be discriminated against and exhibit self-determination, they must to spend their life in opposition to racism. They are not getting paid to spend their time confronting oppression, yet the burden so greatly lies on them.

How people choose to confront different forms of oppression also reminded me of our discussion with Salma Arzouni about their work with Gladt and SAWA. I felt that Salma consciously and efficiently navigated what needed to be achieved in their own fight against racism and sexism. Although it is exhausting work, it seems as if they effectively prioritize their goals when trying to combat oppression in a community. As someone who works day and night to support queer communities in Berlin, Salma has to carefully decided how to spend their time. They described the sacrifices they had to make in order to achieve their short-term initiatives. For example, instead of spending their time arguing with the local government at the risk of receiving cuts to Gladt’s government funding, Salma decided to temporarily halt a particular kind of political activism. For the sake of Gladt, Salma now chooses to spend that time helping queer people secure a permanent place to live. While this achievement might not seem monumental to some, it is life-changing for those people who now have a place to sleep at night.

Memorial in Schöneberg (Mills)

Memorial in Schöneberg [Photo Credit: Nikki Mills]

Additionally, after visiting many museums and memorials, I hope to gain a greater understanding of how certain histories have been told. I personally need to take more time to consider who writes these stories. More specifically, I want to understand the implications for those who speak for themselves and those who are being spoken for. Also, it was important for me to learn more about what groups of people were involved in the creation of Jewish memorials. I was curious if Jewish-Germans often gave input on their construction and who decided what to include in it. As Sabine Offe writes in “Sites of Remembrance? Jewish Museums in Contemporary Germany,” “We do not know whether individuals, confronted with the obligation to remember, do indeed remember what they are supposed to” (79). However, while some forms of remembrance can be more accurate than others, figuring out a way to accurately commemorate an event such as the Holocaust is beyond complicated and nearly impossible to accomplish. As a result, I am reminded of the importance of looking at historical sites more critically. This causes me to further question how we decide to honor a community that is not monolithic. For instance, I hope to better understand how a memorial can erase the individual experiences of a population. As R. Ruth Linden describes in “Troubling Categories I Can’t Think Without: Reflections on Women in the Holocaust,” a generalized representation of a group of people “fails to be accountable to lives that are actually lived: situated in bodies with limited means of making sense of…world-historic events in which they participate as…cultural subjects” (27). As a result, this adds another layer to the complexities of memorials and how people choose to represent communities. I hope that we more often attempt to honor the experiences of individuals since it can be easy to erase these differences when trying to honor an entire group.

Unlike most of the Jewish memorials, there were two important instances during our trip where I noticed groups of people deliberately telling their own story: the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (FHXB) Museum and the Roma and Sinti Historical Walking Tour. The FHXB Museum exhibit was a collaborative piece that the local community came together to create. They directly told the history of the district where generations of their own families grew up. I felt this participatory exhibit was representative of strong community relationships and also much more effective in the telling the histories they chose to portray. Additionally, the Roma and Sinti walking tour did much of the same work. The Roma high school students who led the tour self-organized and researched all the material presented. Further, when I asked the students what their parents thought about the tours they were giving, they responded, smiling: “Our families are very proud.” The energy and passion the students exhibited on the tour I feel could have been easily lost if non-Roma and Sinti people led it.

Roma and Sinti Memorial (Zlevor)

Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism [Photo Credit: Annie Zlevor]

Lastly, after three weeks of listening to and engaging with marginalized people in Berlin, I am left wondering how I can take what I have learned out into the world. Firstly, I hope to do this by recognizing the importance of going beyond academic work. While reading and discussing articles and books are beneficial in developing a basic understand of the material, the practical application of Feminist and Gender Studies outside the classroom is a hard-fought war. By spending time both inside and outside the classroom, I feel as if I can most effectively support marginalized communities and become more consciously aware of their situation. As Sidonia Blättler and Irene M. Marti describe in “Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom,” if people understand the complexities of human relationships, this subsequently “drives them toward solidarity with outcasts and emboldens them to a collective struggle against the oppressors” (89). I feel my future goal must be to join this collective struggle. By knowing my place and understanding my own identity in relation to others, I feel as if I can do this and support marginalized groups in their fight against forms of oppression.

Cheers

Photo Credit: Heidi R. Lewis

2017 FemGeniuses in Berlin Blog Index:
Click here to view a slideshow, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see even more pictures and videos!

#FemGeniusesInBerlin 2017: Our First Two Days” by Hailey Corkery
Taking Down The Wall of Religious Intolerance: Jewish History in Berlin” by Olivia Calvi
Gladt and SAWA with Salma Arzouni: Representation in Political Social Work” by Nora Holmes
The Anne Frank Museum and It’s Place in Contemporary Germany” by Liza Bering
The Told and Untold Stories of Berlin: A Walk-Through History” by Talia Silverstein
Navigating White Spaces: An Intersectional Analysis of Activist Work by Men of Color” by Ryan Garcia
Africa in Wedding: Germany’s Colonial Past” by Jannet Gutierrez
A Young Jew’s First Week in Berlin” by Nikki Mills
A Permanent Home for Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg’s History: The FHXB Museum” by Annie Zlevor
The Porajmos: The Hidden Narratives of the Roma and Sinti” by Hailey Corkery
Writing Ourselves into the Discourse: The Legacies of Audre Lorde and May Ayim” by Nikki Mills
A Day in Amsterdam: Seeking the Voices at the Margins” by Olivia Calvi
‘Nobody Flees Without a Reason’: A Walk Through Berlin’s Queer History” by Ryan Garcia
Memorialization: The Past in the Present and Why it is Important Today” by Liza Bering
ADNB des TBB: Intersectionality and Empowerment in Anti-Discrimination Support Work” by Nora Holmes
Mauerpark: Graffiti as Art” by Jannet Gutierrez

To read and/or listen to the finales and view the indices and slideshows for previous FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here


Annie Zlevor Blog PhotoAnnie Zlevor is a rising junior from the shores of Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin. She is an Organismal Biology & Ecology major and a Feminist & Gender Studies minor. Annie is also a pre-medicine student, and hopes to attend medical school. In her free time, Annie enjoys eating Lebanese food, going fishing with her family, and taking lots of naps. Currently, you can find her spending some time outside the lab learning about Berlin’s hidden histories. She is excited to be exploring Germany for the first time and hopes you enjoy reading about her experiences.