Collins, P.H. 2012. “Looking Back, Moving Ahead: Scholarship in Service to Social Justice.”

Collins, Patricia Hill. 2012. “Looking Back, Moving Ahead: Scholarship in Service to Social Justice.” Gender and Society 26 (1): 14-22.

Of her identities: “I am all of these things some of the time, but not of these things all of the time” (14). Fluidity in how others perceive her shape her intellectual production, involves multiple situated standpoints that can compete and contradict based upon social locations. Cannot merge standpoints into situated narrative – works to sustain commitment to dialogical knowledge production – therefore, true synthesis is futile. Describes work in community schools and professor in AA studies department – was not trying to change society nor study it, but trying to use ideas as a mode of fostering social justice.

Intellectual production as intellectual activism – — engaged, ethical scholarship

Bases in combining continental philosophy, Frankfurt school background, importance of scholarship for social justice, exiled Jewish intellectuals, ethical frameworks of Catholicism.

“Fostering social justice required finding a way to speak to [students, marginalized populations] and not just about them” (18). Students’ rejection of feminism (assumedly for white women), engagement of alternative epistemologies – the need of knowledge and power relations for those seeking social justice.

Asks: What accounts for social justice? What can we do to foster social justice? (20)

Forthcoming works:

  • Public Conversations: collects unpublished essays on longitudinal social justice projects, dual-forms of truth-telling, focuses on dialogical knowledge projects
  • Intersectionality: examines intersectionality as a knowledge project that is itself situated in material, social, and intellectual contexts, as an interdisciplinary, international form (asks – What happens when an idea like intersectionality travels across multiple social locations?), questions the scholarly “definition” offered to the term intersectionality as it is “a diverse set of practices, interpretations, methodologies, and political orientations” (22) – cannot be assume to be a fixed body of knowledge, method, or theory. Lastly, questions prospects and future of scholarly and social action applications of intersectionality.
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