July 25, 2012

FWO at the NYC Poetry Festival

On Sunday, July 22nd, the Feminist Writers Organization joined dozens of other writers organizations from NYC on Governor’s Island for the 2nd annual New York City Poetry Festival, organized by the Poetry Society of New York. FWO co-founder Nora Boydston was the MC for the reading, which featured FWO members Nathalia Perozo, Justin Sherwood, and special guest poet Amy King.

FWO was thrilled to represent feminist perspectives at the festival, as it has always been our mission to bring feminist thought and action into the greater creative writing community.

Check out some pictures of the event, below:

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April 27, 2012

FWO Honored at The New School

Last night, The New School’s Office of Student Development & Activities held their 10th Annual Student
Leadership Awards, honoring individuals and groups at The New School who demonstrate a commitment to community leadership. We knew ahead of the event that our advisor Lori Lynn Turner received a nomination for Outstanding Advisor to a Student Organization, but we were surprised to learn that FWO had also received two nominations, one for Outstanding New Student Organization and one for Outstanding Student Organization or Group.

We are proud to announce that Lori Lynn won for Outstanding Advisor to a Student Organization! She was presented with a beautiful framed award, just as fabulous as the one you see here. Lori Lynn has worked tirelessly to support the FWO since its inception, and was instrumental in encouraging and facilitating  our most successful and ambitious event of the year, our Women Writing in the Age of ‘Post-feminism’ panel back in March. We are thrilled to see Lori Lynn’s hard work and dedication as an advisor, feminist, and an all-around inspiring person recognized.

Congratulations, LL!

April 15, 2012

Film, Food & Feminism: FWO Screens ‘The Purity Myth’

Join the Feminist Writers Organization at The New School as we celebrate the end of the semester and look ahead to the organization’s future by enjoying an evening of film, food, and feminism!

We will screen the “Purity Myth,” a documentary version of Jessica Valenti’s book of the same title, in which Valenti “trains her sights on ‘the virginity movement’ — an unholy alliance of evangelical Christians, right-wing politicians, and conservative policy intellectuals who have been exploiting irrational fears about women’s sexuality to roll back women’s rights.”

No need to be a student to attend, all are welcome, but we encourage you to RSVP.

FWO Screens ‘The Purity Myth’
Wednesday, April 25th, 6:00 p.m.
72 Fifth Ave., room 306

April 5, 2012

Don’t discriminate a book by its cover

Last week’s Sunday Book Review section of the New York Times has an essay by Meg Wolitzer, “The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women“. It’s yet another discussion about the disparities between published men and women authors, and she takes a closer look at book covers and how even those tend to convey sentiments of the books and their authors to the public.

Look at some of the jackets of novels by women. Laundry hanging on a line. A little girl in a field of wildflowers. A pair of shoes on a beach. An empty swing on the porch of an old yellow house.

I took semiotics back at Brown University in the same heyday of deconstruction in which Eugenides’s novel takes place (he and I were in a writing workshop together), but I don’t need to remember anything about signifiers to understand that just like the jumbo, block-lettered masculine typeface, feminine cover illustrations are code. Certain images, whether they

summon a kind of Walker Evans poverty nostalgia or offer a glimpse into quilted domesticity, are geared toward women as strongly as an ad for “calcium plus D.” These covers might as well have a hex sign slapped on them, along with the words: “Stay away, men! Go read Cormac ­McCarthy instead!”

It’s interesting to think about, given how size and shape are associated with men and women’s actual appearances. Shelley Jackson, in the FWO panel last week, described good writing — per critics — as being “lean”, and someone remarked the other day about how few women writers can write as sparsely as Hemingway. Perhaps there’s something to the declarative all-text titles on book covers by men that women’s books state less aggressively, but are starting to adopt more actively nowadays?

–Aditi Sriram

April 2, 2012

Open Meeting Wednesday, April 11

Join FWO for our next meeting on Wednesday, April 11th as we distill and discuss the fine points of our panelists’ remarks during our Women Writing in the Age of ‘Post-feminism’ panel.

Discussion topics will range from Cate Marvin’s take on the “numbers trouble” of VIDA’s reports, Shelley Jackson’s ideas of destabilizing both genre and gender in order to “do feminism” in writing, Camille Rankine’s troubling of the notion of focusing on just one of our multiple identities, and Ann Snitow’s framing of VIDA and FWO’s work in the broader history of social justice movements.

FWO will also plan our final event for the academic year,  a celebration and sharing of the creative work of the FWO community.

Newcomers are welcome! The q&a session at the panel was provocative but all too short, so come by and share your ideas on feminism, writing, and whatever else!

FWO Open Meeting
Wednesday, April 11th, 6:30 PM
New School Student Study Center
90 5th Avenue, room 211

March 21, 2012

Women Writing in the Age of ‘Post-feminism’ panel this Monday!

March 10, 2012

Daring to use the “F” Word: New School Students will Lead Panel Discussion on Feminism, Writing, and Activism

On Monday, March 26, 2012, the Feminist Writer’s Organization (FWO) of the New School will host and moderate a panel discussion titled Women Writing in the Age of “Post-Feminism.” The event, co-sponsored by the Writing and Gender Studies Programs at the New School, will examine the possibilities and limitations for women in the literary industry and will investigate writing as both a battleground and a crucial tool in the continued struggle for women’s rights.

The panel will feature four contemporary women writers whose work spans diverse genres and professions. Ann Snitow, director of the Gender Studies Program and Associate Professor of Literature and Gender Studies at The New School will speak from her experience as a feminist activist, writer, and teacher. Snitow has participated in movements for women’s rights and social justice across the globe for over thirty years, including most recently Occupy Wall Street, and is the author of numerous essays and books, including The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Women’s Liberation (ed. with Rachel DuPlessis,Crown 1998; Reissued by Rutgers University Press, 2007). New School faculty will also be represented by fiction writer and artist Shelley Jackson, who teaches in the graduate creative writing program. Whether printed on the page, such as her 2006 Tiptree award winning novel Half Life, or the flesh, as with her 2003 project SKIN, a story published in the form of tattoos, a single word etched onto the bodies of over two-thousand volunteers, Jackson’s work utilizes non-traditional forms and experiments with language and meaning.

Two poets from outside the New School community will also bring their perspectives to the panel. Camille Rankine is the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship, former Manager of External Relations & National Programs at Cave Canem Foundation, and acting Assisant Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Manhattanville University. Rankine will discuss the politics of identity in contemporary women’s writing. Cate Marvin’s poetry has also garnered multiple awards and acclaim, including her first book,World’s Tallest Disaster, chosen by Robert Pinksy for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize. Marvin teaches poetry writing in Lesley University’s Low-Residency M.F.A. Program and is an associate professor in creative writing at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Marvin is also co-founder of VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, an organization that “seeks to explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities” (vidaweb.org).

In an age where some purport that equal access to institutions of power has heralded the “end of sexism,” and with it the end of the necessity of feminism, women writers continue to question the present and envision new and strengthened roles as both women and writers in the future. The FWO hopes this event will spark a broader dialogue about a range of issues effecting women’s lives while highlighting the innovation and diversity of contemporary writing by women.

February 20, 2012

Wed. Feb. 22nd, FWO Hosts Networking Social

The FWO, a New School student group that believes reading and writing can be revolutionary acts, invites you to the next Student Org. Networking Social this Wed. Feb. 22nd, from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm, at Qi Restaurant, 31 W. 14th St. (between 5th and 6th Ave.).

Stop by for some food and drink on us and to hear what the FWO and other student organizations are doing this semester. Whether you are a student, faculty, or staff at the New School or just a supporter in the community, this is a great opportunity to come discuss issues related to reading, writing, feminism, student and other social organizing, and to learn how you can get involved. We hope to see you there!

RSVP Here!  

February 13, 2012

FWO Meeting for New Members

Wednesday, February 15th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
72 Fifth Avenue, rm. 321

Join FWO for our OSDA sponsored recruitment meeting this Wednesday at 6! All members and interested parties are welcome to come together for a short presentation, a lot of conversation, and plenty of food.

For the first half of the meeting, Joanna will screen the notorious 1971 documentary Town Bloody Hall, in which feminist scholars and activists Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, Diana Trilling and Jacquelline Ceballos take on Norman Mailer in a discussion of women’s liberation. What is sure to be a lively discussion will follow!

After the screening, we’ll go over FWO’s current and future events and plans, leaving plenty of time to enjoy food and drink and get to know one another.

We hope to see you there! Bring your questions, comments, and frustrations, and most of all a sense of humor!

RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/228429403917880/

January 31, 2012

Open Meeting for New Members on Feb. 15th

(Click the image to enlarge and view details!)