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Feral Feminism at ISU Speaker Series

Written by on February 21, 2020

Feral Feminism is an independent online journal that was created by an Illinois State faculty member who is also in charge of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. 

NORMAL, Ill.- Ela Przybylo talked about the struggles of writing journals, especially feminist journals, at the Professional Speaker Series Friday, Feb. 21.

The talk titled “Publishing as Worldmaking: Why and How to Start a Badass Feminist Journal” started off with Przybylo reading an essay she wrote.

“I like to think of my work as proxy-space, so it is kind of theoretical,” said Przybylo.

According to Przybylo, online and open-access feminism journals have “mushroomed” in recent years.

Open-access means all of the journal pieces are available for anyone to read at any time.

These online journals create opportunities for community involvement she said.

“Each feminist journal, whether with the support of paid staff or not, makes decisions as to the world making capacities and potentials of the journal,” said Przybylo.

“Through textual or visual material, online journals convey the message of their role in the making of knowledge and the community.”

She stressed how journals are not just the medium or vessels of sharing knowledge.

They are “world-making undertakings,” said Przybylo.

World making is the action of establishing alternate views of the world.

“World making cultivates an opposition world view by questioning the givenness of certain realities as part of the ordinary rightness of the world,” said Przybylo.

Unfortunately when answering the question of the title of the event today, “How to create a Bad Ass Feminist Journal” Przybylo said it is not worth it.

“Let me explain why. First, on the record,  journal editing comes to count for little more than so-called service work in academia,” said Przybylo.

“Even though it involves the important work of bridge building and world making.”

While she says there is little given back to those who work on journals, she is still an advocate for them as well as a creator.