Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2013)

Volume 10 Issue 1

ISSN: 1524-6345

  Fahs & Bertagni

Up from SCUM:

Radical Feminist Pedagogies and Consciousness-Raising in the Classroom

Breanne Fahs

Department of Women and Gender Studies

Arizona State University

Arizona, USA

E-mail: breanne.fahs@asu.edu

Jennifer Bertagni

Arizona State University

E-mail: Jennifer.Bertagni@asu.edu


     Though radical feminist texts played a major role in shifting discourse within second wave feminism, women’s studies classrooms have rarely incorporated them on a consistent basis into the women’s studies curriculum.  While critical thinking and questioning the underlying premises of institutions remain two central goals of women’s studies as a discipline, radical feminist writings have been continually excluded from most women’s studies courses since the inception of women’s studies as an academic discipline in the early 1970s.  Reading classic liberal, feminist, queer, and antiracist texts have served as tools for consciousness-raising during third wave feminism of the last two decades; thus, unorthodox texts—particularly texts with overt emotion, humor, or anger—offer their own pedagogical value when teaching students about oppression.  Helping students connect to the affect in their texts should represent a central goal for women’s studies instruction.  As such, this study utilizes one such radical feminist text—Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto—as a basis for examining student attitudes about gender, power, and pedagogy.  In doing so, we outline some of the challenges and limitations of uniting radical texts and feminist pedagogy. 

      Keywords: SCUM Manifesto, Valerie Solanas, feminist pedagogy, radical feminism