The Abstracts — Femspec 8.1-2, Vol 7, Issue 1, 2007

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EDITORIAL REMARKS:

“Getting the Mad People Out of My Attic: Not an Advertisement for Myself” By Batya Weinbaum
Batya Weinbaum introduces this special issue on tenure, promotion and women in academia

MEMOIR & NON-FICTION NARRATIVE:

“Growing Thick Skin” By Tina Andres
Tina Andres reflects on her life experiences within academic and engineering culture.

“Derailed but Not Defeated” By Helen Bannan
Helen Bannan writes about the long road to tenure which began in interdisciplinary social science program in 1969.

“The Value of Stupidity: Negative Values in Academia” By Jane Davis
Jane Davis documents her experiences in academia and tries to understand why racist behaviour is still tolerated within North American Universities.

“What to Do When You Are Stuck at Toxic U: Strategies for Avoidance, Sabotage, and Survival” By Linda Holland-Toll
Linda Holland-Toll offers ten rules to other academics "to help you avoid digging your own pit and tumbling into it."

“Professor/Mother: The Uneasy Partnership” By Ruth Panofsky
Ruth Panofsky writes about the paradoxes and problems encountered by academic women who are also mothers.

“Memoirs of an Academic Career” By Batya Weinbaum
Batya Weinbaum reflects on How Buddhism and the act of going on retreat has helped her the many problems she has faced in her academic career.

CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS:

“Don’t Tread on Me: Painting My Way Through” By Pat Ortman
Pat Ortman talks about how loosing tenure helped her re-discover her love for painting.

“Waiting for Justice: Scene for TV” By Batya Weinbaum
A short drama about a legal gender discrimination case.

“New Blood” By Gina Wisker
A cautionary tale about applying for 'New Blood' appointments in England.

GENERAL QUEUE:

“Overlays, Matrices, and Boundaries: A ‘Mixed-Media’ Approach in Pedagogy and Art” By Geraldine Wojna Kiefer
Geraldine Wojna Kiefer's essay maps out her methods for linking teaching and creativity in her drawing and art history classes.

FICTION:

“Eating the Dream” By K.A. Laity
A hungry visitor tours America in a rusty Honda Civic.

POETRY:

“Joan of Arc” By Louise Moore
A humorous poem describing what Joan of the Arc would be like in these modern times.

“Circe” By Louise Moore
A poem about Circe and some other mythological characters. Excerpt: “She wove a tangled web and caught him, kept him fed with those layered songs till finally he woke to all too real starvation.”

“Cassandra”By Louise Moore
Excerpt: “Visions leave no room for ordinary love. Acolytes only want to worship.”

“The Annunciation Angel” By Louise Moore
A humorous poem about an angel’s role with others. Excerpt: “He couldn’t take tricks; She couldn’t take lovers. Joseph didn’t even have a folding couch. It’s a wonder Luke ever claimed her.”

REVIEWS:

“Review of Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975” (Edited by Barabara J Love) By Ardys Delu
A review about a book the reviewer received during a gala in Oakland, California. The book in question is a reference book containing over 2,000 “biographies of feminist women and some men.” 1963-1975 is considered to be a time when the most number of feminists were involved in the feminist movement. Each biography of those in the historical text describes how each made monumental contributions to feminism. The reviewer feels that the book would be a useful reference for Women’s Studies or American History courses.

“Review of Daughters of the Great Star” By Ardys Delu
A review of the first of a series of fiction books by Diana Rivers, which she claims she was able to write due to a phenomenon called channeling. The book is about a separate society of women which was formed out of survival. Due to the society consisting mainly of women, all the love scenes in the book are between lesbians. The reviewer recommends the book to those “who enjoy female adventures and fantasies.”

“Review of the Code Pink Women for Peace fund-raiser” By Ardys Delu
This is a review of a fundraiser titled “Code Pink Women for Peace” that took place on New Year’s Eve 2006-2007 in San Francisco, California. The author of this review feels the event relates to Femspec in a way because she was able to speculate with others about another society, and witnessed the presence of a continuing utopia where people can celebrate and relate to one another safely.

“Review of The Red Rose Rages (Bleeding): A short novel by L Timmel Duchamp” By Ardys Delu
The reviewer discusses a novel that is part of a series called “Conversation Pieces,” which is about the work of a mental health professional that puts her subjects (prisoners/mental patients) through some controversial experiments or tests. The professional named Eve, shockingly allows herself to undergo brain surgery for the job, in which a verbal implant was installed. The reviewer believes that such places as the one described in the book probably exist today, with college students being some of the workers.

“Review of ‘We, Robots’ by Sue Lange” By Ardys Delu
Here is another review of a book which is part of a series titled “Conversation Pieces” published by Aqueduct Press. In the story, a robot is the narrator in which it was created far in the future and sold at a Wal-Mart. The robot ends up developing feelings due to its perceptions of childcare, women, and the wealthy in relation to the workforce. The reviewer feels the book would make a good reference for college discussions regarding topics such as labor, childcare and society. However, the reviewer feels that due to the book lacking in excitement in the narration, it should only be assigned as a textbook to upper level students.

“Review of Naomi Mitchison: A Profile of Her Life and Work” by Ritch Calvin
A review of a book about an activist at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine who came from the Haldane family. The author of the book claimed that Mitchison’s representations of women in her writings were very “pr

“Review of Becoming the Villanness” By Lynn Reed

A review of a book of poetry by Jeannine Hall Gailey. The reviewer believes Femspec readers are “in for a treat” when they read this collection of brilliant poems. The reviewer feels the author produced poems with a “modern edginess,” which she clearly enjoyed reading.


“Review of Fissures” (A film directed by Alante Alfandari) By Batya Weinbaum
Batya Weinbaum discusses a movie about the lives of female psychics and Tarot readers. One of the characters in the film faces judgment and scrutiny from the town due to the family she comes from. The daughter relives memories from her childhood in which her mother had psychic powers and helped others with her gift, which embarrassed the daughter at that time. This character ends up using her own psychic powers, thus discovering some disturbing facts about her mother’s death and who was responsible for it.


“Review of Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist By Gerardo Cummins, Thought by Patricia Melzer
This is a review of a book by Patricia Melzer, which was published by the University of Texas Press. It is a study of science fiction movies, such as Alien and Matrix, and Octavia Butler written with a feminist perspective. The book was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award in 2007. The reviewer feels that the critical work by Melzer advances feminist approaches to science fiction.



“Review of Paprika” (A film directed by Satoshi Kon) By James D. Brown
Here is a review of an interesting science fiction film which is about an invention that records the dreams of a sleeping person to the point that the dream images actually become visible to another person. Ethics become questioned, as another person can also influence the sleeper’s dreams in any way he or she chooses, making the dreamer vulnerable to another person’s will.

“Review of The Secret (DVD) By Doctress Neutopia
Doctress Neutopia reviews a film which sends a message that one creates what one focuses on, or can create situations based on the energy one gives out. This is basically what many refer to as the law of attraction. Although the reviewer believes in the power of visualization to a certain extent, she questions the efficiency of the tactics described in the film. She implies that such positive thinking without facing the real issues can actually cause people to live in denial, thus stating that doing so “could be called the law of distraction to escape reality.” The reviewer believes that using visualization to create a better world is possible, but only if the visualizations include all of mankind, rather than a chosen few.

SPEECHES

“Gertrude Stein as Mentor and Passing the Flame” By Gloria Orenstein
A speech about Gertrude Stein, the speechwriter’s muse and mentor. The speechwriter discusses how she discovered the pioneer and how she was inspired by her. A background of the mentor’s life and upbringing is also mentioned in the speech.

MEMORIAL

Grace Paley (December 11, 1922 - August 22, 2007) By Ardys Delu
A memorial of Grace Paley who died of breast cancer on August 22, 2007 is presented. Topics regarding Grace Paley’s life and writing are discussed fondly.

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