From the Editors
We are pleased to announce the publication of the fifth issue of the Journal of Feminist Scholarship. This ensemble includes an exploration of the role and meaning of feminism for younger women, a timely analysis of gendered discourse on the social-media site Pinterest, a probing discussion of ethical reading in the context of feminist literary criticism, and a "Viewpoint" article on the history and present-day imperatives of feminist ethnography.
Claire Carter's "What's Feminism Got to Do with It? Examination of Feminism in Women's Everyday Lives" takes on the debate regarding the role and meaning of feminism for the generation of women who came of age after the second-wave heyday and relates it to women's body practices and regimes of self-care. Drawing upon Michel Foucault's concept of "care of the self" and third-wave feminist literature, Carter analyzes three diverse case studies from Canada. Throughout her essay, Carter demonstrates how women's relationships to feminism, influenced as they are by intersecting facets of identity, social location, and personal interests and experiences, are highly complex and not easily definable. Ultimately, Carter argues for the need to take an intersectional approach to understanding women's relationships with feminism if feminist movement is to continue to grow and exercise a meaningful impact.
In "Re-Pinning Our Hopes on Social Media: Pinterest and Women's Discursive Strategies," Katherine Gantz argues that an examination of Pinterestwhose US site has attracted a predominantly female membershipoffers insight into the forms and directions of women's discourse and communication within the rapidly evolving technological environment. Gantz observes that Pinterest is not necessarily liberatory, as the site often functions through its user rulesimplicit or explicitto repress discourse, keeping it within prescribed boundaries of feminine politeness and heteronormativity. However, Gantz also posits the possibility that sites like Pinterest have value for feminists, specifically for alliance building and information sharing among individuals and groups who may be geographically and politically isolated.
Meredith M. Kruse takes up the notion of ethical reading in "Was That Ethical? Feminist Critics' Response to the 'Queerness' of Modernist Women's Writing." Kruse examines what we mean by "ethical reading" through the lens informed by the writings of Jane Gallop, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Emmanuel Levinas, and Carol Gilligan, coupled with a historical overview of feminist critics' reactions to "queerness" in modernist women's writings. Kruse's case study in this context consists in examining how specific feminist critics, among them Marianne DeKoven and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, approach the "queerness" of Gertrude Stein's experimental language. Kruse urges her readers to consider how close-reading strategies can inform a contemporary feminist and queer ethics focused on developing the readers' ability to confront and respect difference.
Richelle D. Schrock's "Viewpoint" offers a historical overview of the debates structuring the theory and practice
of feminist ethnography since the 1980s and identifies three major challenges faced by feminist ethnographers.
These challenges, Schrock argues, can be confronted successfully by observing the methodological imperatives
her discussion identifies: producing context-specific knowledge about women's lives, practicing ethnographic
representation reflexively and critically, paying attention both to women's experiences of oppression and to their
agency, and recognizing the ethnographer's ethical responsibility towards the community she studies.