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In this time of protests against anti-Black violence, this Feminist Studies issue brings together a range of essays that highlight the multifaceted work required to dismantle white supremacy and create a just world. The Feminist Studies editorial collective’s opening statement, “Anti-Black Violence, Police Brutality, White Supremacy,” grieves the many Black lives lost to police brutality, racial capitalism, and COVID-19 and pledges solidarity with efforts to achieve justice for Black people. Several essays in this volume advance the necessary work of examining structural racism in its myriad guises. Heather Berg’s analysis of the #MeToo movement and Julienne Obadia’s analysis of the movement to recognize polyamory as a sexual orientation find that both movements adopt an individualizing politics of white, middle-class respectability that looks to the law and the state for protection; in so doing, both movements erase the needs and experiences of people of color and working-class people. Minh-Ha T. Pham’s essay about making face masks, Jaime Madden’s commentary about socioeconomic divides pervading online instruction, and Callie Danae Hirsch’s artwork each respond to the effects of structural racism brought into stark relief by the COVID-19 pandemic. The next three authors featured in this issue grapple with the ethical and methodological complexities of doing feminist research and activism. Aslı Zengin reflects on the challenges of conducting ethnographic research in Turkey, Su Holmes explores what feminist research may offer to women struggling with eating disorders, and Becky Thompson offers two poems featuring the dilemmas faced by an aid worker assisting refugees in Greece. Three additional essays interrogate the relationship between gender and conceptions of home. Focusing on writings by prominent male nationalist figures in early twentieth-century India, Gyanendra Pandey explores the contrast between these men’s domestic lives and their proclaimed commitments to reforming Indian womanhood. Cynthia Belmont and Angela Stroud explore how the survivalist magazine Offgrid encourages “disaster consumerism” as a means for white, middle-class men to salvage their masculinity in the name of protecting their homeland. Elizabeth Currans highlights how participants in the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival struggled, over time, to make it more hospitable to people of color and to genderqueer, non-binary, and transwomen participants. We close the issue on a hopeful note with pieces that illuminate the transformative power of feminist lineages of learning and collective knowledge-making. In her poems about making lace and crochet, Dana Sonnenschein foregrounds women’s history of teaching each other “the art of making something of absences.” Anna Guevara and Maya Arcilla describe recent activism by feminists against Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Law. Shelley Streeby’s review essay underscores how working-class, Black, feminist author Octavia Butler continues, even after her death, to inspire writers, artists, and activists to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary, and intersectional feminist world-making. With its sustained attention to racial, sexual, economic, and ecological forces, Butler’s speculative fiction serves as a vital resource for envisioning justice and making equity a shared reality.

Responses to the Pandemic

Look for our next issue:

Feminist Analyses of COVID-19

Claire G. Moses Award
for the Most Theoretically Innovative Article Published in the Journal in 2019

Feminist Studies is pleased to announce that Bettina Judd won this year’s prize for the 2019 “Claire G. Moses Annual Award for the Most Theoretically Innovative Article.” Judd was selected for her article “Sapphire as Praxis: Toward a Methodology of Anger,” which was published in Volume 45, Number 1 (2019).

In her article, Judd engages the trope of the angry black woman, offering a “methodology” for dealing with the dilemma produced by the figure of Sapphire, who is, for many black women, both heroine and adversary. Her essay beautifully weaves together poetic responses to current events, autobiography, television, and music, offering an illuminating example of the varied registers in which Black feminist theory is practiced.

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The award, given to the most theoretically innovative article published in Feminist Studies each year, was created to honor Claire Goldberg Moses on her retirement as editorial director of Feminist Studies, a position she held from 1977 to 2011.

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