Now that I have explained what a face-to-face week is, I am going to go more into details when it comes to the workshops, lectures and seminars we attended. I want to emphasize the fact that this face-to-face week really made me feel like I was developing an expertise in Intersectional Gender Studies, something I was still not really aware of before. During this week, I learned how to design a Gender Studies course, wrote (part of) a thesis introduction & a pitch, and participated to a forum theatre. All of these were really rewarding experiences.
Of course, we attended a bunch of lectures. They were mainly about career outputs for Gender Studies students and how we could implement our knowledge in a professional framework. What I keep from these lectures is
- How Gender Studies students mainly choose to study this subject out of interest more than to really make a career out of it, they are just willing to participate in changing our society by understanding it better
- Gender Studies are about studying, but also about being creative and find innovative ways to teach, write, shoot movies, do politics etc.
- Gender Studies scholars and students are devoted to equality and tolerance, and that is what makes us a threat to conservative voices. Even though it sometimes a burden, it is also a strength. Because when we acted together and debated among ourselves, I jus had the feeling to be part of change.
I think the workshops were the most interesting activities we had during this week. There were four of them.
- Write a thesis introduction. With the help of Emerita Professor Nina Lykke, we used creative writing as a start to write an introduction to a chosen thesis topic. We mainly used automatic writing as a mean to encourage our creativity (that means keep writing and when you don’t have any ideas coming in anymore you just write whatever). Then we exchanged texts with our partner, it allowed us to break free from academic rules and have relevant feedback from one of our peers.
- Write a pitch for a thesis proposal. Journalist Anna-Maria Söderberg gave us a lecture about her experience as a feminist and queer journalist in Sweden. Then, she told us to write a pitch for our thesis topic: five sentences to catch the reader’s attention.
- Forum Theatre. That was my favorite. Forum Theatre consists in performing a play which allows spectators (“spect-actors”) to intervene and replace one of the actors or actresses to change the outcome of the story. Basically, we would play a scene taking place in a workplace where there were tensions around feminist topics once, and the second time, the audience could come and be part of the story. That was super interesting!
- Teaching design. I also liked it. It was really interesting to feel like I was on the other side of the classroom and that I could create a whole new class about Gender Studies.
Besides lectures and workshops we had co-tutor meetings where each of the three groups was meeting to discuss assignments. One of them was a presentation we had to give on the last day. Otherwise, we chatted, laughed and talked about feminism and so many other topics. That was one of my favorite part of this face-to-face week: being able to speak about my predilection topics with equally-interested people in a chill atmosphere. We even had dinner all together on Wednesday night!