May 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

English Alum: ‘A Black and White Feminist Working It Out’

“I’m complicated,” says Heidi R. Lewis ’05M in an article on the Feminist Wire about “the ways in which gender, race, socioeconomic status, and age intersect and shape our experiences.”

After earning an M.A. in English Literature from Ohio University in 2005, Lewis earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University and how is an Assistant Professor of Feminist & Gender Studies at Colorado College. Her teaching and research focus on feminism, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity (black culture especially), Critical Race Theory, Critical Whiteness Studies, and Critical Media Studies. She has articles forthcoming in the Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Pan African Studies, and a reader examining the influence of rapper Kanye West.

Read her article: “I’m Complicated, Just like Feminisms: A Black and White Feminist Working It Out”.

HEIDI: I definitely get that. However, let’s think about it in another way. I had a professor in the English Department at Ohio University that taught Spenser and Milton. Even though she was white, what would she know about living in London in the 16th and 17th centuries as a white man? I think that even when we can’t “fully or adequately” understand that which we’re studying or teaching, we can do so with a kind of love and care that is significant. Thankfully, there are some texts that address the kinds of concerns we’re discussing here. I’m thinking specifically of White Scholars/African American Texts edited by Lisa A. Long, for example. So, there are definitely ways that we can overcome the challenges we face in order to move forward, healthy and constructively.

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