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01 March 2021
Feminist Perspectives on Learning, Media and Educational Technology
There is a long and rich history of feminist perspectives on technology (e.g. Cockburn 1985; Haraway 1988; Wajcman 1991) and pedagogy (hooks 1994; Lather 1992; Shrewsbury 1987). These have been informed in turn by feminist epistemology and philosophy, challenging Western rationalist assumptions about the subject of these powerful knowledges (Harding, 1991), or what Haraway (1988) calls the decontextualised and disembodied "gaze from nowhere". As Rose (1983) has said: "science … is neither sexless nor classless; she is a man, bourgeois, and infected too."
Earlier feminist frameworks for thinking about education and technology include a feminist ethics of care as relational (Gilligan 1977; Tronto 1993) in contrast to an ethics of justice (Kohlberg 1971); and a feminist epistemology of knowing as difference (Belenky et al 1986) in contrast to a linear model of development (Perry 1970). There are echoes of these concerns in current thinking about digital pedagogy. Adam (2000) observed that AI projects of the 1990s ‘deleted’ subjects other than the assumed white male norm: today, ‘other’ subjects are still routinely deleted or oppressed through algorithmic bias.
The aim of this Special Issue is to explore how this diverse legacy of feminist scholarship and activism might be deployed to interrogate the power relations of current educational technologies and practices. Our efforts are aligned with Weber’s claim that:
At the heart of feminist studies lies the search for better, or at least more visible, ways to design and use categories, knowledge, and technologies, to shape objects, artifacts, and worlds in order to make exclusions visible and to overcome the hardships of gender-asymmetries, reductionism, and injustice. (2006, p. 402).
There is also a history of contestation amongst feminists, as "first-wave" and "second-wave" feminisms focused on gender equality have been challenged by an intersectional "third-wave" that examines how interactions between gender, sex, race, class, disability and colonialism produce distinct forms of oppression (Crenshaw 1991). These intersectional perspectives have led to alliances with queer scholarship (Anzaldúa, 1987), posthumanist thinking (Braidotti, 2007) and postcolonial studies (Dussel 2015; Pollock & Subramaniam, 2016), reflecting the belief that "a singular focus on gender, race, coloniality, or indigeneity alone leaves numerous gaps in our understanding of the constitution of science and society" (Subramaniam et al., 2017, p. 407).
Feminist perspectives on technology and education are not only of interest to women, and not only because of their focus on gender inequality. In this time of pandemic and inter-related health, social, political, economic and environmental crises, how can feminist epistemologies, theories, methods, frameworks and debates support more emancipatory research and practice – for the benefit of everyone?
Examples of topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Gender, race, class and digital labour
- Gender, surveillance and learning
- The ‘pivot’ to online and educational inequalities
- Feminist (digital) pedagogies
- Feminist perspectives on open education
- Feminist approaches to design and computing
- Emancipatory research methodologies
- Feminist, embodied and situated epistemologies
- Critical intersectional and transnational perspectives
- Feminist science and technology studies (STS)/ techno-feminism
- Post-humanism, trans-humanism
- Imagining feminist futures
Special Issue Editor(s):
Frances Bell, Independent Researcher
Javiera Atenas, Open Education Working Group, Open Knowledge Foundation (United Kingdom)
Helen Beetham, Institute of Education, University of Wolverhampton (United Kingdom)
Catherine Cronin, National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Ireland)
Jade Vu Henry, Centre for Invention and Social Process, Goldsmiths, University of London (United Kingdom)
Sukaina Walji, Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Looking to Publish your Research?
We aim to make publishing with Taylor & Francis a rewarding experience for all our authors. Please visit our Author Services website for more information and guidance, and do contact us if there is anything we can help with!
- Deadline for submission of abstract: 15 July 2020
- Successful authors informed: 26 August 2020
- Deadline for submission of full papers: 1 March 2021
- Final revised papers due: 30 September 2021
As well as your 300 word abstract, title and author details, we request that you address how the full paper (expected to be between 6,000 and 8,000 words including references) will fit the Aims and Scope of the Learning, Media and Technology journal, in the specific context of this Call. Please submit abstract and other information via bit.ly/FemPerspectives. All final papers will be subject to the usual blind reviewing and refereeing processes.
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