Calling all Barnard students: Come work at BCRW!

Applications for the Barnard Center for Research on Women’s fall 2015 Research Assistant positions are OPEN! CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

BCRW Staff

About the Barnard Center for Research on Women:

Since our founding in 1971, BCRW has built collaborative feminist activist-academic projects, programs, and publications on subjects ranging from domestic worker organizing to prison abolition, trans feminism to the Black radical tradition, and analyses of anti-violence movement strategies to the non-profit industrial complex. We believe that the issues of our time require bold and rigorous feminist research and education coordinated with grounded action.

About the BCRW Research Assistant position: 

BCRW Research Assistants work 2-6 hours per week. Students work on projects in coordination with BCRW staff, including:

a) Digitizing BCRW’s archives.
b) Organizing and coordinating event logistics and outreach.
c) Promoting BCRW events and publications.
d) Amplifying BCRW on Facebook and Twitter by curating content.
e) Creating blog posts and podcasts about BCRW programming and social justice feminism broadly.
f) Assisting academic and activist fellows in their research.

About YOU: 

Want to be involved in planning exciting and engaging events like the Queer Survival Economies conference and Redefining Realness: A Salon in Honor of Janet Mock? Are you interested in using media (podcasts and blog posts and social media) to highlight social justice feminism? Are you interested in creating and digitizing feminist archives at BCRW as part of creating an infrastructure for feminist futures? Then join us!

This position is open to Barnard College students. Students of color, first-generation students, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans and gender nonconforming students are strongly encouraged to apply!

What We’re Reading at BCRW

Last week, BCRW Program Manager Avi asked me, resignedly and with despair, “Did you see the new #SayHerName? The news of another trans woman of color’s murder?” The body of Shade Schuler, 22-year-old trans woman, had just been found (August 12) in Dallas. In that moment last week, she was the 13th trans person murdered in 2015. That public number has since increased to 17 with the recent murders of Tamara Dominguez, Elisha Walker, Amber Monroe, and Kandis Capri. Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney representing Chelsea Manning, declared to Democracy Now a “state of emergency for the trans community.”

We have conversations like this a lot in the office, back and forth about the latest traumatic news: “Did you hear..?” “Did you see…?”  These are conversations that never really end—they’re just picked up with the next hashtag, the next name, the next murder, the next protest. Sometimes we have some new analysis to add to this revolving door of a conversation, but mostly we are just saying out loud our own renewed hurt.

It feels as if we are perpetually discussing recent news of another murder of a trans woman of color, or the renewed attention to protests in cities such as Ferguson, and just generally the anti-black and anti-trans violence that has had a seemingly persistent presence in media.  We, whose social media feeds are full of social activist voices, are bombarded with seemingly endless images and stories of violence, anger and despair. We are in trauma, in perpetuity.

This is perhaps stating the obvious, but here at BCRW, we—as individuals and as a Center—view study and learning as a critical part of movements and resistance work. We were struck by the support our daily BCRW conversations provided us, and wanted to extend that support beyond the walls of our offices.

So, here’s our idea: A semi-regular resource list, published on BCRW’s blog, that offers things to read, watch, and listen to. These can be resources that point people in the direction of how to be involved or act, or that provide us with information, perspectives, and frameworks for working through the issues, for wading through the daily trauma of reading the news. We hope to submit to conversations similar to our own, and to support the social media and activist momentum that has been generating in response to our current moment’s anti-black, anti-trans violence.

brown-girl-in-the-ring

Avi, Program and Media Manager, is reading Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (thanks to Kim Hall for the recommendation!) and Lillith’s Brood by Octavia Butler.

Kim, Barnard English and Africana Professor and member of BCRW Advisory Board, says she’s been revisiting the work of her colleague Saidiya Hartmann.

Research Assistant Carly is watching What happened, Miss Simone, a 2015 documentary about the music and activism of Nina Simone currently streaming on Netflix, reading the short story and novella collection Counternarratives (2015) by John Keene and “How Black Reporter’s Report on Black Death”, an article that  makes visible a stunning post-Ferguson 2014 reality: black death has become a mainstream reporting beat, by NPR’s Gene Demby.

citizen an american lyricTina, BCRW Director, had this to say in response to my call for recommendations: “Oddly, I find myself with so little time to read, I often ask myself if I’m really a professor. So rather than sustained reading, I actually get an awful lot out of lingering on particularly striking passages that I find myself coming back to for inspiration. Right now, I’ve been returning again and again to Dispossession: The Performative in the Political by Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou. There’s an amazing exchange between them on ‘the refusal to be refused,’ which I’ve been thinking and writing about. It’s really helpful to me in thinking about recent events.”

Tami, Associate Director of the Center, is currently reading the book of poems Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.

 

Anne recently “read a wonderful interview with Miss Major on Autostraddle” that she recommends.

Miss Major via Autostraddle.com

Miss Major via Autostraddle.com

Che, our Community Archivist and Student Coordinator, offered this contribution: “I’ve been thinking a lot, strangely, about racialization as animalization and how the devaluation of black life plays out anthropomorphically (“the Negro is an animal, the Negro is bad, “— Frantz Fanon) , and how black radical thinkers from Frederick Douglass to Fanon to Angela Davis have challenged how blackness is figured outside the racial and colonial category of the human and placed close to the category of the animal (which is problematic in of itself)…  A book that I read that really made me think about race, animality and queerness is Mel Chen’s Animacies.” (Che is currently writing something for The New Inquiry about how blackness and abolition stages a crisis for the human/animal divide. Once it’s done, we’ll be sure to share it!)

As a group, we would like to acknowledge the bitter irony of our post as it relates to Chelsea Manning’s current situation, as she is found guilty for possessing expired toothpaste and LGBT reading material. From Kim: “Here we are celebrating reading and consuming culture as a way to expand our sense of the world—as we should be—and she is being threatened with torture, i.e. [indefinite] solitary confinement for reading.  Aaaaarrrgh.”

Che pointed out that Chelsea Manning is actually doing the introduction to the forthcoming 2nd edition of Captive Genders about the prison industrial complex (domestic and imperial) and gender self-determination. From Che: “The book highlights how torture and sexual violence of U.S. prisons is legal and how trans and gender non-conforming people are subject to solitary confinement for transgressing the gender binary (which the prison system reproduces).”

Carly Crane (’15) is a Research Assistant at BCRW.