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  • "Varied Voices of Black Women: An Evening of Words and Music" #writinginpublic Spring 2016 (31 comments)

    • Comment by admin on February 25th, 2016

      Why hasn’t early, important, and deeply influential grassroots theorizing been honored?

      Comment by admin on February 25th, 2016

      How do we talk about the importance of interracial lesbian relationships in facilitating or constraining feminist anti racist coalitions?

      Comment by admin on February 25th, 2016

      How do we position anti racist feminist coalitions within the histories of women’s movements?

      Comment by admin on February 25th, 2016

      The concept of “shared oppressions” was quite pervasive in late 1970s feminist writing. What happened to this concept as the movements for women’s liberation were historicized?

      Comment by admin on February 25th, 2016

      Black women’s culture both emphasized the importance of women’s culture while pointing out the implicit racism that existed in much writing at the time about women’s culture.  Why has that nuance been lost in historical writing about women’s culture?

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      ineradicably – really? There isn’t a better adjective? 😉

      I think it is worth thinking about the extraordinary work done by a small number of people. I never know exactly what to make of it, but it is quite evident in this paragraph. Is that just the nature of transformation work – small number of people with big impact? Is it unique to feminism? How do we think about that and what meaning does it have.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      Well, it is grassroots activists theorizing. My Julia Penelope moment. Grassroots theorizing seems to eliminate the actual WOMEN that were doing it. I would think a bit about that phrase.

      Now why isn’t it honored? Why do we continue after so many feminist insights to regard only particular types of theories and not the theorizations that emerge from activism and from regular people’s lives? These questions plague me.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      I think it is important to really explication WHAT people did in this type of organizing. It is astonishing to a generation raised on the internet and the speed of organizing today. Partly, I think the type of organizing done for these types of events gave us DIFFERENT relationships with one another. The intimacy of calling someone on the phone – which didn’t seem necessarily intimate at the time – and answer a phone before answering machines. And writing letters. And the expenses of all of this. It requires and invites more explication and theorizing, I think. (Which I recognize isn’t really your project here, but I am reminded of it.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      And again thinking about the way to say this – important venues for publishing theoretical pieces written by grassroots activists. This is a whole area where a journal article could be written really explaining what those pieces were and how their circulated. Smith’s piece on “Towards a Black Feminist Literary Criticism” is emblematic – first in a journal, then as a small chapbook, then it gets anthologized. Both the thinking and the material practices that people used to attend to our intellectual lives.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      The malleability of identities seems always so crucially important. At this time, too, some people were thinking about Jewish women as women of color – and not just Sephardic Jews, but also Ashkenazic Jews. I think it is important to think about how who is included as women of color is contested at this point and emergent. You capture that well with the malleable bit here.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      Nice! And you know I think CRC deployed strategic separatism in useful ways and I challenge their dismissal of separatism.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      [While these debates occurred in the larger movement among women of all ethnic backgrounds, the term lesbian carried particular weight for Black women who at times faced intense homophobia in the Black community and from other Black activists. ]

      I know lots and lots of people say this, but I feel like the fact of the matter is that ALL lesbians faced intense homophobia in this period. Was there different experiences given the interlocking nature of oppression? Yes. But being labeled lesbian for all women at this time was no bed of roses. I wish you worked at another way to say this.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      Throughout, I’d love to see you be explicit of the racial-ethnic identities of each of the women you discuss.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      [Sexual identity then was also left open and flexible in documents produced for Varied Voices. ]

      As it was for many women in a variety of places around the WLM at this time.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      [Despite some examples of close friendships and long collaborations between women of different races and in spite of the commitment on the part of some white women who controlled much of the apparatus of women’s culture to support black women musicians and poets, some consumers, again mostly white women, proved resistant.  ]

      Would love to see you think more about this. Partly it seems to me because people like it better when their lives are just reflected back to them unproblematically and the goal of this work in feminism was transformation. I think this could be pulled out more an analyzed more.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016



      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      [A critic ]Formatting issue starts here.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      Lovely reading of this line – could be unpacked more, I think to make the ending even more beautiful.

      Comment by Julie on February 25th, 2016

      This refers to the last paragraph. I got tabled in the software!

      Comment by Liza Cowan on March 1st, 2016

      I am pretty sure that “the reason we can work together because we’re lesbians” is not just abut shared oppression but about shared joy, as well. Or shared fun, the bonds of dancing together, making music together, hanging out socially, seeing one another at various festivals, workshops and conferences, and I”m sure…having lovers in common.

      Shared oppression was certainly a big part of wanting to build activist networks, but the glue was stronger than that.

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      Does the / mark denote “either or”  “both and” or something else?

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      what happened to “shared oppressions” & “common differences” as histories were written?

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      Could the / also reference the collaborative process perhaps indicating points where precise word could not be agreed upon?

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      is this neologism artivism too odd?  I would use art-activism but since i’m hinging so much here on hyphens versus dashes it seems wong1

      Comment by Julie on March 2nd, 2016

      LOVE the neologism.

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      thanks!  It is from Chela Sandoval, so of course it is fabulous!

      Comment by admin on March 2nd, 2016

      pondering what women wanted in cultural products of women’s liberation, recognition yes, but more comfort? inspiration?

      Comment by admin on March 4th, 2016

      do I need to expand on difference from hyphen? I don’t want to distract from large argument.

      Comment by admin on March 4th, 2016

      is the feasible? am i reading too much in to a punctuation mark?

      Comment by admin on March 4th, 2016

      is this enough signposting?

      Comment by JoVE on March 5th, 2016

      I don’t think so. I didn’t even think of hyphens until you mentioned it in the comment. You do a good job of identify the / and then explaining it’s meaning in this context.

  • When women's history became dangerous (17 comments)

    • Comment by Mike Ceranic on November 21st, 2014

      I like this intro. It just needs more solid backing like the green party and the libertarian parties had made these platform issues. that will make this argument more solid. the websites give tons of info on this knowledge of their history. you can later on say this led to modern democrat party talking points with the issue of abortion.

      Comment by admin on November 21st, 2014

      thanks for commenting

      Comment by michelle on November 21st, 2014

      Does this jump make sense?  Echols got FAR more attention than Dubois and Gordon did, but her piece is very different and not particularly history-focused

      Comment by michelle on December 4th, 2014

      I’m struck by the way all these writers are seeing historical parallels, mostly negative ones

      Comment by admin on December 10th, 2014

      would love thoughts here as I attempt to untangle history of American made French feminism and tie to desire to legitimize feminism within academia

      Comment by admin on December 10th, 2014

      I’m fascinated by how both Gordon and Lorde (below) comment on bad histories, yet for Lorde the bad history isn’t (just) politically dangerous, but also personally damaging.

      Comment by admin on December 10th, 2014

      it isn’t pretty yet but at least I got a thesis down in words.  Yes no maybe?

      Comment by from twitter on December 10th, 2014

      Vim, Ph.D. @Exhaust_Fumes

      @ProfessMoravec yay for getting the thesis down! It’s a BIG DEAL!
      10:09 AM – 10 Dec 2014

      Comment by admin on December 12th, 2014

      I’m curious whether people think that there is a “yawning gap” between activists and scholars? Are these (always) distinct groups?

      Comment by admin on December 12th, 2014

      I’m wondering when difference became a important signifier in feminist theory

      Comment by admin on December 12th, 2014

      so far by collocation (statistical probability of 2 words occurring together in a span of words, in this case 10 words on either side of the wild card differ*) c 1978-1980 differences were largely considered in terms of sex, and then race & sexuality
      Collocates diffr*

      Comment by admin on December 12th, 2014

      [Does lorde invoke dreams metaphorically, way of envisioning impossible possibilities or does she gloss Freud here?]

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      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Love this section title

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Was there no contemporary rountable organized on such a controversial book, then?

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      None that I’ve found so far.  The very first journals that paid attention to feminist scholarship were just starting (Signs, Frontiers, Women’s Studies Newsletter, and Feminist Studies all existed by the time the book was published).

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Thank you.  I’m working hard to show that danger was present in discourse long before the Sex Wars

  • About (9 comments)

    • Comment by michellemoravec on April 4th, 2012

      HELP I really don’t want to birfurcate between activists and academics since many writers who eventually landed in academia were or continued to be active in WML. Any suggestions on terminology?

      Comment by michellemoravec on April 4th, 2012

      via twitter ‏ @MargoHThompson
      @ProfessMoravec Layout is clear, easy to use. Like that you have the book essentially outlined, shows parts are related b4 you fill it in

      Comment by Tobias Higbie on April 26th, 2012

      Great project, topically and in terms of open review! Regarding activists vs. academics: that’s a hard one. Both groups are “cultural activists” in the sense of co-creators or participants in a movement culture with two emergent wings. The distinction is their institutional position, and also how they self-identify. Can you right it without the labels, just following their lives? Or would this erase the real distinctions?

      Comment by Anonymous on April 26th, 2012

      thanks so much for the comment! I can in the beginning, but later in the story when some activists have moved “inside” academia while others stay “outside” I need to differentiate as it is crucial to my argument about what happens to the idea of “women’s culture.”

      Comment by Tobias Higbie on April 26th, 2012

      …err.. I meant “write” not “right”… not enough coffee in the system.

      Comment by CK on May 4th, 2012

      This is an amazing project! I’ll be reading with great interest.

      Comment by Elva on November 19th, 2013

      Hello Michelle, I am a senior at East Aurora High School. I am participating in History Fair for my Government class. I chose CWLU and the impact it has had on women in Illinois today. Can you give me your professional opinion so I can utilize it as a source? Thank you

      Elva Maria Mendez

      Comment by admin on January 29th, 2015

      I’m torn between CLASH and CONTENTION for the final section title. THOUGHTS?

      Comment by Casey Hayden on July 20th, 2015

      Who are you? I would like to contact you personally. Can you send an email address to me? Please push past the note that asks you to let me know you are trying to contact me, spam set high. Thanks.

      Casey Hayden

  • Historians at the Sex Wars (7 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      You use this quotation in another section. I’m so curious about how to manage the logistics of revision when writing in public.

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      It’s possible I’m just accidentally reading this twice…

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      I’m sure you did!  I’ve reworked this part so many times, cutting pasting deleting reinserting.  So much has already been written about the Sex Wars but not how I want to write about the event so you can see the struggle here to find the right format.


      Thanks for the heads up.  I’ll run down the duplicate and remove.

      As for the logistics, as you can see, I don’t worry too much about them in the process of writing in public. It does mean however that I’m sure some people become frustrated and stop reading. However, the idea of writing, revising, polishing and then posting is not what I think of as writing in public and so the messy behind the scenes remains here until I clean it up.

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 7th, 2015

      I think that it must be very difficult to track the whole project when it is written in sections like this. I write with a word processor, keeping each chapter as a whole so I can visualize it. Do you think of the writing and revising processes separately.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Do you think of the writing and revising processes separately.

      hmmm sort of? So far when I’ve pulled out sections to publish, I eventually have to edit them in Word in order to submit.

      I admit that writing in WordPress is harder than google docs, which was just a word processor on the web. In WordPress I’ve been trying to think about how breaks and jumps work, also recognizing that search engines mean that most people will come into the “book” in the middle somewhere.

      I do revise in the WordPress interface, returning to read over the pages and correct or continue or cut.

      Much like the Scalar project this means I need another sort of “visual” to keep an eye on the structure of the book (which I’m not really writing in chapters at all, but rather three sections that I sketch out at the start). How this becomes a paper book is of course the BIG question!

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 7th, 2015

      Hm…I got a reply comment on my email but it is not showing up here.

      This conversation helps me to see that writing in public requires some extra technological steps. It’s not just translating the writing process to a public setting. Instead, you really do  have to make some extra effort to get your prose out to the public environment–and then you have to use a different platform to take it to a traditional publisher.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      the spam filters on Commentpress are a little vigorous but this did eventually show up without me having to retrieve it from Spam. If your students are commenting please let them know that I always check the spam filters.

      So my other goal for writing online was to create non linear narratives. I thought perhaps I might actually publish this book in an e platform like Scalar. Early on in my test project I heard from one author that it took her roughly 3x as long to write the book in Scalar. It seems though that the presses are not excited about non linear e narratives, and since historians are fairly obsessed with 1. books and 2. linear narratives at some point I will have to pull this into a print book like architecture, which sort of makes me sad. Who goes first, for example, in this linear print narrative?

  • The Woman's Building (7 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Thanks for including this detail about the Columbian Exposition. I was wondering this from the first line of the section.

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Will you be specific about where in LA the buildings were? And what their architectural features were?

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      explained the meaning

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Is it worth discussing the use of the singular in the main text, rather than burying in the notes?

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Probably. I’m so torn.  My dissertation over 20 years ago was about the Woman’s Building.  This book started out as an effort to re-insert artists back into the earliest days of the movement for women’s liberation but has now shifted.  I’m struggling to decide how deep I’ll go into the WB now.  I do love this lesser known work.  I also wrote this before I started doing digital history and now of course would do a more complex corpus linguistics analysis of women v woman in the texts hmmm another companion project?

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Thanks! Fixed it!

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      I need to set up the Woman’s Building better in this section. I’m trying not to make it too long!

  • like living energy (5 comments)

    • Comment by From Facebook on January 15th, 2015

      Katie King and of course these influences are non-linear, complex systems of interaction and multiple origins. multiple movements in interaction and also moments of re-invention are all necessary in social movements.
      20 mins · Unlike · 1

      Profess Moravec exactly, how to capture in text on flat page that flow of energy, ideas, inspiration that circulated, sparked, clicked rather than traditional historical X lead to Y inspired Z credit to A B C but not XYZ The movements were physical and oral and visual and so many more things than quotes in an academic text reveal (and as always I’m re-reading Theory in its feminist travels)
      13 mins · Edited · Like · 2

      Katie King yes, and the temptation of archives of course, as we know, is that they appear to be “the truth” about something, when different from memories and individual experience, or other forms of evidence. we can mistakenly reify them in a hierarchy of evidenc…See More
      9 mins · Edited · Unlike · 2

      Profess Moravec as always Katie King you ask the most important questions that I can’t ever answer. Awaiting your next piece of writing as each one provokes me to create more than a historian would normally Right now I’m thinking about the women who didn’t go to Sand…See More
      4 mins · Like · 1

      Comment by admin on January 22nd, 2015

      Michelle Moravec @ProfessMoravec · January 21 2015
      on appropriations of blackness in white women’s liberation movement, some early #writinginpublic on hard topics http://bit.ly/1CuMNRw
      Sarah Pett@essiepett 20h20 hours ago

      In case you don’t know already how great @ProfessMoravec is, take a few minutes of your day to read: http://politicsofwomensculture.michellemoravec.com/about-2/consciousness-2/ 

      Michelle Moravec@ProfessMoravec 20h20 hours ago

      @essiepett wow thank you so much! This has been some hard writing for me, pushing the comforts of #writinginpublic to the limits!

      Sarah Pett@essiepett 19h19 hours ago

      @ProfessMoravec it’s fantastic and inspiring! Been dipping in and out but going to sit down for a proper read next week, can’t wait

      Comment by admin on January 22nd, 2015

      Michelle Moravec@ProfessMoravec

      appropriating blackness in white women’s liberation movement #writinginpublic on hard topic http://bit.ly/1CuMNRw  #wmnhist #twitterstorians

      @BlackDigitalHum Kim Gallon

      @ProfessMoravec I like the cover of Double Jeopardy on your site!

      5:50 AM – 22 Jan 2015

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Intrigued by illustrations in a writing in public work in progress. Are separate permissions processes required?

      Comment by admin on April 5th, 2015

      I don’t worry too much about that so long as the images are already on the web. Permissions for images from social movements are always complicated as they often were not credited. Sometimes publishers ask for permission, but most of the time they do not.

  • CWLU and Culture in Women's Liberation (5 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Very interesting to learn of that a tenure bid was an early struggle.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      CONSTANTLY, the history of early women’s liberation is dotted with women who didn’t get tenure or had to fight like hell to get it and their female students were VERY aware of it.

      Comment by admin on June 4th, 2015

      This is a great issue and I’d love feedback from readers.  This image is a traditional sort of “illustration” of what I’m talking about, but further down I embed a historical source and then a video from 2014 of CWLU members discussing their own history.  

      Comment by admin on June 5th, 2015

      Comment by admin on June 5th, 2015

  • Opening Night of the Dark Madonna (5 comments)

    • Comment by michellemoravec on May 21st, 2012

      @triciamatthew And the deflection of responsibility is shocking (even to a cynic like me). I wonder if she actually believed herself.

      @triciamatthew I think she did There was pretty rigid dileneation of resp, w/ academic doing symposium & her doing ‘art’ +@triciamatthew in her mind even if she recommended 2 speakers, overall composition reponsibility of “academics.” NOT OK justification IMHO

      but then I started thinking more about this and realized that this division of labor reflected the politics of women’s culture by 1984. The artist didn’t see herself as doing the “academic” work any more than the “academics” saw themselves doing the “community” work.

      @triciamatthew & thanks b/c this dialogue here just got me to add sentence to that effect. I’m not interested in blame game in this chapter

      Comment by tricia on May 21st, 2012

      I’m still learning about your project, so forgive me if this question is profoundly ignorant. Although I understand the division of labor between academics and artists, is it possible that she felt that, as an artist, she didn’t need to worry about things like representation and race? Is this a case where the artist thinks she’s above such concerns? That question isn’t necessarily a critique, but I can imagine that an artist’s sensibility resists being tied to messy racial politics. I don’t agree, but I wonder if that’s what is at work here.

      Comment by michellemoravec on May 21st, 2012

      no I don’t think so. Her prior work (like Donaldina Cameron that I write about her) as well as many other pieces specifically addressed issues of race. I will make that more clear here! thanks for the feedback!

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      I’m interested in that phrasing “how was the project described to them.” Might be worth some small notice of changing technologies of invitation…telephone, letter? This would not have been done by email.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      yes! I suspect it was a phone call.

  • Towards a Revolutionary Women's Culture: CWLU Rock Band (4 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Love that you have embedded a video in this draft…hard to imagine how you would do that in a finished “book.”

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      I think you want “off” not “of” in the last line of this paragraph.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Thanks for catching that!

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Yes this is where you can see the legacy of working in Scalar or even with Women and Social Movements. I really want as many images and videos as I can get in here to enhance the project.

  • Black Consciousness and Women as "Nigger" (3 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Unitalicize J in Jerry Farber.

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Italicize name of Psychology magazine

      Sometimes I can’t help myself with the copyediting…

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      This is the logical next idea…In earlier paragraphs I was wondering if something like “triple oppression” would come.

  • The Women's Culture Wars (3 comments)

    • Comment by michellemoravec on April 4th, 2012

      ‏ @HartmanAndrew
      @ProfessMoravec Gotcha. When you have something written, published or not, would love to read.
      ‏ @HartmanAndrew
      @ProfessMoravec Would love to hear more. I’m writing chapter 1 on 60s now where women’s and gay liberation figure large.
      3 Apr ‏ @HartmanAndrew
      @ProfessMoravec @TheRobinMorgan Based on recent immersion in radical feminist lit I agree with you that radical feminism was always cultural

      Comment by lizacowan on May 23rd, 2012

      I think the “shared culture” was based on sex, not gender. Gender wasn’t a word we used much in the 70’s. Women were a sex, not a gender. Also the culture, for many, was based not just on sex, but on sexuality. So that it was “Lesbian culture” that was the focus of analysis and activism. And…don’t forget that before the sex wars, there were the Lesbian Wars, which were mean spirited and exhausting, but not that much written about. Do see/hear Alix Dobkin’s song, My Lesbian Wars

      “but it’s so hard to defend myself from hostile lesbians
      abuse suspicion they feel free to treat me like their enemy”
      “but we don’t have to be friend to work it out together.”

      Comment by michellemoravec on May 23rd, 2012

      thanks for the comment, will look again at sex v gender in docs, will be interesting to see when language shifts. WLM actually could be viewed as series of “wars” Left/radical split, gay/straight split

  • The Women's Culture Wars: From Women's Culture to Cultural Feminism (3 comments)

    • Comment by Shawn on November 21st, 2014

      Excellent! I look forward to seeing how this project unfolds, and will be directing students here as well.

      Comment by Michelle on November 21st, 2014

      thanks Shawn, I’m looking forward to imput on either form or content!  !

      Comment by David on October 11th, 2016

      It’s a cool thing that we can comment any paragraph. And not the entire article.

  • When Difference became différance (2 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Some nice parallels here with the argument over the Chicago rock band as too much tuned in to culture.

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      Thank you.  One of my major tasks is to resituate Audre Lorde back inside the debates over women’s culture and what became called cultural feminism, something people have worked very hard to separate her from.

  • The Dark Madonna: Women, Culture and Community Rituals, a Symposium (2 comments)

    • Comment by michellemoravec on May 21st, 2012

      is what happened in Dark Madonna discourse example of oxymora of women’s liberation rhetoric?

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Fascinating! The Help, anyone?

  • The Graphics Collective (2 comments)

    • Comment by Liza on April 26th, 2012

      Hi. This is fascinating, thank you.
      I have a section on the CWLU in the lecture I do called “DYKE is out, are you? How we created Lesbian Culture and Community in the 1970’s” One of the ways we created community was by sharing images. It was rare to visit a Dyke household in the 1970’s and not see at least one poster from CWLU. These beautiful, -and beautifully silkscreened, – posters, became part of the imaginative landscape of 1970’s Lesbian Culture. And today they are highly collectible. My personal favorite is In Celebration Of Amazons. In 1975 I met Jogie, the woman on the back of the horse, and felt like I was meeting an icon.
      I wrote a little bit about CWLU in my archive here http://seesaw.typepad.com/dykeaquarterly/2010/10/dyke-a-quarterly-no-2-correspondents.html

      Comment by michelle moravec on April 26th, 2012

      thanks LIza for the pointer to exactly where to find your writing on CWLU. I’m really looking forward to teasing out connections between Dyke and the stuff I’ve got written now.

  • liberation - art world style (2 comments)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      What’s the definition of “successful” embedded here? Finances? Fame?

      Comment by admin on April 7th, 2015

      For Judy it would be recognition by the art world as artists.  Thanks for pointing to the sloppy language.

  • Consciousness (1 comment)

    • Comment by Casey Hayden on July 21st, 2015

      page two: lots of say about the analysis in the papers cited…too long to going here.

      the question at the end is the right question. cf David Barber, A Hard Rain Fell. right on.


  • Who is raising whose consciousness? (1 comment)

    • Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Shouldn’t that be “whose” consciousness in the section title

  • Stuck in the Middle: Chicago Between NY and DC (1 comment)

    • Comment by Joanna Gardner-Huggett on June 5th, 2015

      Thank you for complicating this narrative by including the voices of key feminists operating in Chicago. I particularly appreciate your point, “Firestone  sees the “talking” and “doing” as related in her defense of “dramatic action” as sometimes “most effective.”  There is so much amazing archival material to address and I’m glad you are the person starting the conversation.

Comments on the Blog

  • #writinginpublic (28 comments)

    • Comment by Monica Mercado on December 28th, 2014

      This is what also fascinates me–as a frequent clicker but infrequent commenter. Can we also talk about reading in public? Conversing/commenting in public? Time and generosity of scholarly communities? I may not be at your panel so I ask here!

      Comment by admin on December 28th, 2014

      not sure if I understand you correctly, but do you mean the back and forth conversations that take place say on Twitter or Facebook?  It is a HUGE act of scholarly generosity for people to take time to comment on work in any forum which is why with permission I usually move the comments from Twitter to the Writing In Public platform I’m using at the time.

      Comment by Monica Mercado on December 29th, 2014

      Actually, this leads me to a lot more questions, so I’ll try to explain further. I think it’s obvious but maybe deserves future discussion — “Writing in Public” also requires thinking through what it means to read in public and online, and to comment in public. So I’m interested in how all these acts have to function for the writer in public to get the most out of the practice, perhaps?

      Your note about conversations happening elsewhere–not just on the comments screen–interests me because of the way that social media can be a part of this, if you’re willing to mediate. Even if you argue “ultimately writing in public is a process for me that has moved beyond reader interaction,” I look forward to talking about reader engagement in our future conversations!


      Comment by Stephanie on December 29th, 2014

      I find the process of writing in public both exciting an intimidating. As I work in a field that is currently “hot” in history, there is an element of competition in everything I write and read.  I would also worry about the problem of not being able to publish pieces that are been available online, although I wonder how editors are going to keep track of it all with their already busy schedules.  I know several journals have started plagiarism checking articles, which might mean your writing in public will show up.

      I am also very complicit in the read-but not comment. It often takes me time to digest what I have read and then I forget to go back to comment.

      I would also ask, related to the first point about competition, how WIP shapes citations and possible student plagiarism? Have you found your work in TurnItIn or other databases?

      Comment by admin on December 29th, 2014

      I guess I sort of worked through this in the beginning when I’d get ALL these clicks and FREAK that no one was commenting, and then think GAH people hate my work.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to engage readers before the Scalar project but Alex Juhasz really helped me to understand that if you use reader comments as a metric you could end up feeling very sad.  Even her Learning From Youtube which has TONS of clicks generated relatively few comments.

      That got me thinking about what I really wanted from Writing in public, and eventually I came to two conclusions.  1. a few really good commenters, who tend to be people who gravitate to the subject for whatever reason, are all I really need.  2. the act of writing in public as a method of demystifying academic labor just needs readers not necessarily commenters :)

      Also really hoping that you can come to session to make these point :)

      Comment by admin on December 29th, 2014

      so yes, someone somewhere does appear to have submitted a dissertation based on my work.

      For me, the idea that someone is going to steal my work is there (I can’t lie) but something that I force myself to push back against.  I write about contemporary activists that I WANT written into the historical records.  I’ve got two decades or so head start on most people and the likelihood that anyone would write like I’d write about my topic is not high (since I’m sort of interdisciplinary).  Also in a strange way I feel like writing in public gives me a first dibs, like even if someone else does publish before me, I still have staked my claim?

      More than that though, I feel like the risk is offset by the citations I’m getting from the work that is put online.


      Comment by admin on December 29th, 2014

      On the flip side, I’d love to know what readers think about the investment made in commenting, especially those people who have read and commented! It is a HUGE act of generosity.

      Comment by Sheila Brennan on December 29th, 2014

      I’m sorry that I’ll miss the discussion at AHA. I, too, am writing and publishing in public through CommentPress, stampingamericanmemory.org, and have been publishing my talks–sometimes with just cursory notes. But, I think it is really important for us all to make visible our thinking, our processes, and help others to discover them. For example, when I hear someone is going to write about writing in public, I can very quickly point them to your work, Michelle. One of the advantages, I find, to writing in public, is that it is very easy to trace and track my writing, since it’s time-stamped through WP. So that if someone tries to “steal” any of my work, I can easily show that mine came first. Given the topic of my current long-form work, I”m not worried. But, given the rise in digital history and humanities discussions, I do want some of this published somewhere.

      Comment by Stephanie on December 29th, 2014

      I think commenting might be a bit like attending a panel at a conference. You read/listen, absorb, think, enjoy the scholarship, but you don’t always have a comment/question right away.

      I do think that by training academics are pretty generous, and we’ve been trained to think that commenting on other’s work is part of our job. If only there was a measure to put in our annual evals for work on commenting on blogs/tweeting as equal to reviewing for a journal/press or serving as a panel comment at a conference.

      Comment by Katrina Gullivar (via Twitter) on December 29th, 2014


      in response to


      Comment by Tricia Matthew (via twitter) on December 29th, 2014

      tricia matthew @triciamatthew

      I tend to comment when I have something really specific to offer or if I’m asked a specific question.
      6:21 PM – 29 Dec 2014

      tricia matthew

      @ProfessMoravec I’m ideologically aligned with your research goals but not a historian so I’m more a user/consumer than critic.
      6:28 PM – 29 Dec 2014

      in response to tweet

      #writinginpubilc if u comment, Y do you? It is time taken in already busy schedules!
      3:14 PM – 29 Dec 2014

      Comment by admin on December 30th, 2014

      yes to both!  The drafting in public is important to provide opportunity logistically for collaboration at a point when it can matter (which is what I think Mark and Kristen meant in the exchange referenced above. Psychologically there is something about seeing a “completed” looking argument and yet still feeling empowered to comment.  While that is the model for (blind) peer review that commentary is more akin to judgment, rendering a verdict on the outcome, rather than attempting to assist the development (although obviously really good peer reviewers do the latter).

      […] Politics of Women’s Culture – #writinginpublic open review site […]

      […] Moravec, who spoke at AHA about her practice of writing in public, made a similar […]

      Comment by Stephanie Harper on February 15th, 2015

      This is the most inspiring passage I’ve read in weeks. I have often given up on projects because the isolated nature in which they were conceived proved to become demotivating. Further, I have put more pressure on myself to perform in the isolated private sphere in order to break into the public, peer-reviewed journal. One reaches a point in pressure-filled isolation when she simply cannot compose sophisticated thoughts and prose.

      To imagine a venue in which my work is already out there, open to comments and criticism, is to embrace liberation.

      Thank you.

      In solidarity,


      Comment by admin on February 15th, 2015

      Thanks for commenting!

      I have found a certain sort of strange liberation in letting my messy work be free, as well as encouragement to let myself stretch further than I ever thought possible.

      I don’t know what would happen if someone left a comment along the lines of  “you work sucks and you should give up now,” but I suspect that the positive feedback and encouragement I’ve received would outweigh it.

      I’m glad you too a moment to share your reaction.


      Comment by Stephanie Harper on February 15th, 2015

      It’s lovely to learn that you have received a great deal of positive feedback. This has me thinking of ways in which I can incorporate it into my future work and classes. Have you ever had a student write in public, digitally speaking, and outside of the privacy of education software such as Moodle, WebCT, Blackboard, etc.

      Comment by admin on February 15th, 2015

      So far undergraduate students have produced written work, somewhat in progress to a lesser degree in public (how is that for prevaricating?)

      I have two current digital projects done with students.  We decided on one to append “beta” to the project (http://clarke.rdigitalh.org/) while they were working, which remains still there, and for the other we placed on the home page an explanation of the process (http://chapel.rdigitalh.org/)  as they wrote and developed the website.

      I work with students from a close-by graduate program and so far none has written in public.

      I do know of graduate students who are #writinginpublic as they have graciously shared their work with me.

      The process works for me.  I try to share the potential pitfalls and benefits as people have asked, but I abstain from making recommendations (which comes up frequently of course).

      I’d love to know if you do use it in class how it works!


      thanks Michelle

      Comment by Stephanie carried over from Twitter on February 16th, 2015

      Stephanie Harper @HarperatCSUN

      @ProfessMoravec You are welcome and thank you for the OP! Very compelling. I am going to start #writinginpublic now

      @ProfessMoravec It reminds me of Cixous. “…you’ve written a little, but in secret. And it wasn’t good because it was in secret.”
      8:57 PM – 15 Feb 2015

      […] Melhor exploração de falhanços da HD – 1º – Melissa Terras: Reuse of Digitised Content – 2º. – Quinn Dombrowski, “What Ever Happened to Project Bamboo?”  – 3º. – Michelle Moravec: #writinginpublic […]

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      Inquiring minds want to know: is there an update about your article?

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      This paragraph makes me want to know more about the virtues and weaknesses of given platforms for writing in public.

      Also, and perhaps more immediately important for me, I want to know more about the process. Is there a distinction between “writing in public” and “live writing”? That is, I can imagine that with a platform like google docs, you were “live writing” so that readers could follow every click of your keyboard–as if it were a performance. My (small) understanding of WordPress is that you would post paragraphs after you wrote them. Is this correct?

      Also, assuming my understanding above is correct, inquiring minds want to know how much you polish behind the scenes before you post something.

      Comment by admin on April 5th, 2015

      you and me both! So far no rejection or acceptance.  I don’t really know WHAT to think at this point as my last communication was in NOVEMBER and indicated that the paper was going forward in the review process.

      Comment by admin on April 5th, 2015

      You got it precisely.  Google docs facilitates live writing but has many platform glitches once you get to a certain length.  The commenting is sort of awkward given the ever evolving interface that seems to change weekly.  

      In this site I write in the web interface and periodically hit publish. As you page through the book site you will see I don’t polish at all, unfinished sentences, notes, typos, they all remain there for the world to see.  I wish there was a way to make the drafting more legible to the reader.  On the back end of wordpress is the function of page revision history but readers can’t see that.  On the plus side, commentpress captures beautifully the input of readers.

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      I’m developing a ton of questions about process and implications for my class to discuss. I will post the class discussion plan on my blog and try not to pester you with them all as they roll into my head.

      Comment by admin on April 5th, 2015

      I’m delighted to have them here as it becomes part of the process!

      Comment by Amanda Seligman on April 5th, 2015

      How about if I add them after I’ve done my class prep? I’m not ready to fully teach in public!

      Comment by admin on April 5th, 2015

      of course :)

  • Beyond Citations: Who gets counted when we count? (3 comments)

    • Comment by Max Kemman on January 12th, 2015

      Max Kemman @MaxKemman

      @ProfessMoravec Interesting project, though the framing of going beyond citations seems more confusing than enlightening to me
      9:51 AM – 12 Jan 2015

      User Actions

      Max Kemman
      @ProfessMoravec I see, perhaps something like “Non-written Influences” or “Non-writing Influencers”? Beyond Cit makes me think of altmetrics

      10:02 AM – 12 Jan 2015

      Comment by Merisa Martinez on January 12th, 2015

      User Actions

      Merisa Martinez‏@merisamartinez

      @ProfessMoravec @MaxKemman notice grammatical error @ bottom, shd be “my project is inspired by Beyond Citation” not “Beyond Citation by”



      9:58 AM – 12 Jan 2015

      Comment by Jo VanEvery on January 12th, 2015

      The key here is that the feminist networks you are working with are not purely scholarly networks in the sense usually meant in that kind of citation analysis. I suspect this also applies to other fields in which there are significant contributions from outside the academy.

      This project is important precisely because it challenges methodologies that colonize knowledge production for the academy even when that knowledge production includes significant participation from activists, writers not (securely/primarily) employed in universities/colleges, and so on.

  • #Dhexceptionalism (3 comments)

    • Comment by Katrina on March 21st, 2015

      “Stretch and and time rent”

      Comment by Alex Gil on March 23rd, 2015

      You ask ‘where are dh’? You offer a map. We asked the same question, and offered this map. Your architecture makes the work of the world invisible in the interest of supporting a particular narrative of neo-colonialism which only has purchase in certain pockets of the north american academy. We hoped NOT to do that in ours. I don’t think we can escape the lie of the map and our own exceptionalisms, but to a certain extent, we can control how useful our own speech can be. For whom is your mortificatio useful?

      The whole affair reminds me of the time when the first delegates of the Soviet COMINTERN went out to preach communism, and came back with a report that the Hindus were already practicing it, they just didn’t call it that!

      Comment by admin on March 23rd, 2015

      Thank you for sharing the link to your map. I’ve been gathering as many maps as I can. I find mapping data a useful way to visualize information that I wanted to explore here. I’ve found quite helpful the responses I’ve received so far, and I shall mind your delineation of “certain pockets of the north american academy.” I hope you will continue to comment.

      Most interesting so far is that the map wasn’t meant to comment on geographic isolation of DH at all, but rather to see where in the Continental US self identified participants in digital humanities located themselves. In particular I wondered how closely the lines would match the original British colonies in what is now the U.S. and even more particularly how New England appeared. The interpretation of the map of course reveals a great deal about the present state of DH and I think also points to the wider context, which I’ve started to sketch out in this draft, that the field itself feels quite imperiled. FInding a way to provoke some productive discomfort is proving more difficult that I anticipated and that too will become part of the essay.

      Usefulness is in the eye of the beholder of course, and perhaps I’ve slipped too far over into mortificatio or perhaps it is because I come from a field quite prone to self-reflection that I find the comparison one that is useful. I suppose my back ground in the contentious fields of feminism will serve me well as I continue to write.

      Thanks again for commenting.

  • When your historical evidence is numbers (1 comment)

    • Comment by Michael Robinson on January 5th, 2015

      Great post. This is really, really interesting. First, I find it fascinating that there is a ‘decline of quantitative history’ since many of our cousins in the social sciences seem to embrace quantitative data (presumably because it appears more scientific than qualitative approaches). Second, it echoes  of earlier challenges 19th century scholars who sought to represent big data to make arguments. The explorer Alexander von Humboldt, for example, first introduced “isothermal lines” in 1805 to show regions of similar temperature across the spacial lines of a map. This was really the beginning of thematic mapping and Humboldt had to explain what he was doing with copious instructions to his readers. Today, we understand the isothermal lines of a weather map without even thinking about it. I wonder if one or more of the visualizations you present will become standard features of historical argument going forward — just reading this makes me want to figure out how to use Gephi. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to see your talk at AHA :(. Good luck with your work!


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