January 31, 2012

FWO press release

FWOpressrelease

Feminist Writers Organization
Women Writing in the Age of “Post-feminism”
A panel discussion

Moderated by The Feminist Writers Organization
Co-sponsored by The New School Writing Program
Monday, March 26 2012, 6:00pm
66 W. 12th Street, Room 510

On March 26, 2012, the Feminist Writer’s Organization (FWO) of the New School will host and moderate a panel discussion featuring contemporary women writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, who have experience working in diverse fields of the literary world. The panel, titled “Women Writing in the Age of ‘Post- feminism,’” will examine the possibilities and limitations for women in the literary industry, and will seek to illuminate how the continued marginalization of women writers connects to the continued prevalence of sexism throughout society.

More women than ever before are seeking careers as professional writers and as teachers of literature and the craft of writing. Yet, as organizations such as VIDA (vidaweb.org) are demonstrating through wide-ranging studies, women rarely achieve equal representation in major anthologies and annual “Best of” lists, and are occasionally excluded entirely. VIDA and others have also shown that women continue to be under-published, under-read, and under-employed at all levels of the literary world. The one area where women are largely represented is in the classroom, as students. This suggests that women, while fit to study literature and the craft of writing, and to pay for the opportunity to do so, are nonetheless seen as less capable of writing literature of merit than men, a sexist misconception that spans the history of criticism toward the work of women writers. Indeed, the continued use of the label “women’s writing” implies the view of writing by women as “special” at best and “inferior” at worst.

The recent emergence of new movements for social justice and human rights on a global scale has highlighted the important contributions of women in all aspects of society. However, because these advancements have occurred alongside continued and increasingly hostile attacks against women’s rights, they demonstrate the need for a renewed feminism. 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 today, whether or not they identify their work as “feminist,” continue to question the present and envision new and strengthened roles as both women and writers in the future.

Panelists will be asked to comment on the above stated realities and the questions they raise, and to discuss their own writing. Panelists are encouraged to consider their own experiences as teachers and students of literature and creative writing, as well as their work as thinkers and activists outside of the classroom. Finally, panelists will have the opportunity to discuss new avenues available for the next generation of writers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
feministWO@newschool.edu ● facebook.com/FeministWO ● feministwriters.wordpress.com

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January 30, 2012

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