By Angelina Eimannsberger and Ian Kennedy, Indulgence Editors
We’re excited to share that in September, Indulgence will be all about women’s life writing.
We turn to narratives that women tell about their lives because by reading about the private, the specific, and the personal, we can assert the humanness of those sidelined in the current political situation: women, black women, brown women, asian women, native women, queer women, immigrant women, muslim women, women of multilayered identities, and so many others.
The United States was formed with slavery and oppression as guiding tenants, and with the white landowning cis-hetero Christian man as the norm of what a citizen should look like. More than 200 years later, a powerful confluence of people and organizations are trying to preserve that inhumane legacy, and we must stand against them.
We assert through our reading practice that the lives of those who are not white, male, cis, hetero, or Christian, matter, and that their writing is of great interest for readers and scholars because of what they can teach us about specificity of life on the margins.
Moreover, women’s writing can help us understand women’s complicity in racism: ‘white feminism’ is real and dangerous. Since white women tend to be positioned relatively powerfully, we need to be self-critical in our work and remind ourselves of the limits of our own experience and hence understanding. Life writing and its discussion can be a crucial tool for this kind of work.
Here is our preliminary list of titles, in chronological order and open to amendments:
- Mindy Kaling, “Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?” (2011) and “Why Not Me?” (2016)
- Amy Poehler, “Yes Please” (2014)
- Veronica Chambers (Ed.), “The Meaning of Michelle” (2017)
- Janet Mock, “Surpassing Certainty” (2017)
- Roxane Gay, “Hunger” (2017)
Who else would you like us to read and discuss?
Would you like to write about one of the titles mentioned or pitch a different topic idea?
Share your thoughts, we’re excited to make this a community project!
Your Indulgence editors