Archive for the ‘cultural studies’ Category
Its time to write some of those tangents and cross-thoughts and by-products…
and maybe I will.
My publisher and I ended up deciding we should just call it an edited issue – I have so many collaborators woven into the project as authors – I would have loved to add on more chapters – authored by some more people – but maybe next time.
The chapters in the book are a result of several years of conversations and collaborations. So here’s a footnote from chapter one (page 53 or so of the book if the pages dont change as the production process continues) that notes this:
“… we illustrate our arguments through examples and understandings drawn from a long term collaborative research project that includes interdisciplinary participants and which was started in 2004 and 2005 when the first author of this chapter [Radhika] and her collaborator at that time, Annapurna Mamidipudi, worked on a project with the BASIX livelihood promotion institute (http://www.basixindia.com/) where they investigated the possibility of using online portals for the training of fieldworkers who worked in livelihood promotion. Financial inclusion services are provided by this institute, in addition to training and other livelihood promotion services. These financial services include rural microcredit lending. Later, the first and third authors [Anca] of this chapter began to look at online networks for the empowerment of women along with a few other collaborators who had worked on projects resulting in the publication examining lexicons of women’s empowerment and online non—profits (Gajjala, Zhang and Dako—Gyeke 2010). The first and third authors of this chapter thus encountered kiva.org during that research project and proceeded to investigate (Gajjala and Birzescu 2010). We drew in a development economist and a few other graduate student collaborators (see Gajjala, Gajjala, Birzescu and Anarbaeva, 2011) along the way, and the second author of this chapter then ended up taking up particular aspects related to the digitization of race in online microfinance and elaborating on this aspect in his dissertation. The first and third author still continue to examine digital financializationand non—profits online through a transnational feminist lens in relation to offline non—profits and movements to empower the subaltern in Romania and India. The second author of the current chapter proposes to look at issues of empowerment through the Internet in relation to the Ghana context. ”
while I wait to organize a bunch of in-progress works and recent themes from book chapters published into a coherent whole for another book project – am wondering if I should actually blog… at length.
Part of me is just a bit tired – but the other part of me wants to share my thoughts and fill gaps in what I might have written in the most recent MS I sent out and just in general be a writer again. Not constantly jumping to producing according to deadline.
Well – let’s see… I have to write three pieces on (subalternity, diasporas, networks, platforms) Affect and social media – in relation to two different kinds of online/offline communities -
one in relation to youth, digital diasporas, social media and virtual worlds through international contexts (where US youth also count as one of several inter-national contexts).
another in relation to craft communities and networked affect
forthcoming paper presentations at conferences will take both these up and yes they continue and connect (with) what i started in recent publications – including the book-length MS I just mailed to my publishers.
I should also probably rework the Cambridge Platforms conference presentation into a paper for the special issue… (this connects subalternity and affect with non-profit presences online – and actually also connects with craft communities research – so it bridges from my recent book-length MS – chapters 1 and 2 espectially – and the work I will be presenting at AOIR – hopefully have written it for Ken and Susaana before then…)
Still – there are so many thoughts and reflections that happen – which I cant and wont put down in public space anyway.
just a thought.
In the interim. so to speak.
Introduction: Subaltern empowerment, socio-economic globalization and digital divides
1. Producing the Global: Microfinance Online
with Franklin Yartey and Anca Birzescu
2. Philanthrophist or Investor? Microlending to the Other
with Anca Birzescu, Franklin Yartey
3. Snapshots from Sari Trails, Cyborgs Old and New
with rad Zabibha
4. Framing the Loom: An Indian Context
with Seemanthani Niranjani and B. Syamasundari
5. Kente Cloth and Adinkra in the Global Market
Precious Yamaguchi and Franklin Yartey
Conclusion: Multiple interfacings with the so-called subaltern: To be continued
Key Concepts and Terms
About the Author
One aspect of it will possibly be presented soon (details forthcoming) as
“Gandhi’s Granddaughters Scattered Worldwide: Spinning, Weaving and other Craft(ed) Networks in (Post)Modernity”
I should do more research workshops in my weaving room (the other living room in my house) – around cultural work, craft, economy, nationalism, Gandhi, Marx, affect, labor, value, everyday rural (and urban) practice and globalization…
Y O, D P, A B and I had a very engaging conversation intertwined with demonstration of four harness loom use and Y J’s modelling of the Kanjeevaram sari
[my initial instinct is to put this post on my LJ and/or in a private setting - and maybe I will change this into a private setting later...even here]
Being part of multiple contexts – as I immerse myself here, there and then there and here – following the connections – I am once again sinking in and getting lost in being within them – the angst, joys and practices carrying me through – I have to remind myself to write – to pick up those scattered post it notes and scribblings in the margins and make them into sentences and paragraphs… linking them to the parallel journey of reading that each intersection leads me to in order to get a broader view or more detailed historical context for….
How do I write all this without freezing and type-casting – how can the act of writing and theorizing record the active fluidity while noting the nodes and shifts and connections with clear evidence that what I see is happening?
Starting with a story that dates back to 2006 to note what seemed like a power imbalance when viewed through language and image – that hid expertise and located the Othered body in local weavers… then finding out about how existing binaries are mired in historical rewritings and encounters with various forms of romanticizing and Othering – while the materiality of everyday life shifted because of policy made in response…
how do I stack these up (do I “Stack”) – organize and write?
The positioning of particular theoretical knowledge and expertise – production modes in the space of practice – while placing others in the domain of Theory, Abstraction and drawing them into policy… when traced through history go back into a intertwining of both colonial and nationalist imaginaries… decisions made through multiple kinds of exchanges and dialogues across contexts to place them in one…
Indeed, even the writings of nationalist leaders Gandhi and Nehru reveal that they were very aware of these binaries in practice… resistance movements and later national policy was developed with this awareness..
yet the policies perpetuated some of these – and solidified particular ethnographic observations as actuality – so that even when at the time of writing those ethnographic writings were as much partial truths and shaped by ideologies and viewpoints of those writing them – as they wrote them as “history” – these ethnographic observations are now acted on as the only historical reality…
multiple histories of social movements, political movements and industrialization provide the possibility of re-routing through another strand… what sorts of shifts and collaborations might those lead to?
would this happen through grassroots everydayness, networks of active resistance, planned policy intervention?
yes the writing has to commence – but where do I start?
what are the limits to unravelling? The key nodes/knots formed that refuse to unravel – these might be the moments to stop and reflect on before unravelling further and …
[[ok ok - I will stop with the roving metaphor - there is a point when it cannot go back further -
and the metaphor can carry me to a logic that wont allow me to see something else...]]
This is why, of course, it is a good thing the MS for the Weavings book is at a stage where I cant drag it back into a full overhaul – even though I will likely add and revise a bit more before the final stage of going to press in the next couple months….
These questions will organize a into a next book project – based on which intersection I land on in the articulation of that project.
I realize now that the question “has the internet empowered the subaltern woman” is not the question to ask – in one sentence – the answer could be “yes” – in another reply the answer could be “no” – but…. it tells us nothing about what I set out to investigate in the past 18 or so years…
the point is that the “internet” is part of a logics that are even in place in processes offline – and from before the “internet” came along to “empower” the subaltern (at the risk of sounding repetitive and restating what many others have stated).
the issue then is why is the “internet” considered an outsider and who does the “west” vs “rest” binary serve.
My articles from Development in practice and Gender and Development – from 1999 – both fail to extricate themselves from this binary… because they start with the question and assumption of empowerment through the internet – which is a question imposed from a logic that such research is forced into – and therefore is a logic even non-profits and ngos are complicit in.
more on this in the book – perhaps.
As I work on the final revisions on the book manuscript while the publishers examine the camera-ready samples – I once again got caught in an archive search frenzy.
Also my continuing work and leisure in various mostly women-centered networks (because the practice of knitting and related fiber craft is still gendered as a female activity) made me think back on the spoon collective listprocs I founded and ran in the 1990s – women-writing-culture, third-world-women and sa-cyborgs.
Discussions on that are still relevant – and suddenly I need to find archives if I am to historicize net presences of women writing and creating and connecting through the internets…
The other day it was:
So there’s this one word I am fixated on
going back, going into texts, looking at histories, going bck – relooking at the relationshp. unpacking, layering
temporarily, multi contextually, placing it in various relationships…
the day before that it was …
Yesterday, it was
and then …
today – I am back to leafing through pages in books (hardcopy and on kindle and google) searching for the “exigency” – two points in history – two totally different geographical locations that weave virtual and real in ways that pose yet again when is virtual and when real – why did these practices and focus on process (as opposed to product for sale) re- surge in this way…
and did one of these re-surgences further the binary of practice vs theory in this context
while the other blurred it in the moment – but continues the binary because of the impossibility of archiving without freezing?
yet can the practice be “re-surged” without resorting to archives – how is practice coded outside of bodily experience when intergenerational exchange and apprenticeship has been disrupted through modern modes of production and standardization?
perhaps I need to look for the relationship (sometimes hidden and barely visible and not always noted) of learning and doing intergenerationally – in spaces of so-called leisure…