Archive for July 2010

Joan Leegant on Woman-Stirred Radio   Leave a comment

This Thursday, July 15th, at 4:15 (eastern) author Joan Leegant visits Woman-Stirred Radio for an in-depth discussion of her new book: Wherever You Go, a novel which delves into some of the more problematic and emotional issues of our day, namely, “religious radicalism, terrorism, and truth” (1). The narrative explores “radical movements and the attraction they hold for people” (2) Leegant’s narrative voice is subtle yet engaging and powerful. She excavates her character’s internal lives, gifting them with insight and the ability to seek their individual truths. Here’s an excerpt from page one:

Yona Stern dragged her valises onto a cart and wheeled it to the line for Passport Control, her brain on automatic after the twelve-hour flight and the surreal change in time—it was still yesterday—threading her way through a sea of Hasidim in inky black hats, as if a flock of crows had swooped down and settled on everyone’s heads. The ones on the flight from Newark had prayed nearly continuously as the times slipped one into the next and the sun beckoned them eastward like a hungry lover, congregating every three hours by the bulkhead and the galley and the economy-class restrooms, prayer shawls draped down their backs like superhero capes. Yona was not a believer, had not attended a religious service in years, and found everything about them—their antiquated dress, their tribes of offspring—disturbing, yet their fervent shuckling in the cramped corners of the plane had provided a desperately welcome distraction. A spectacle she could follow with a kind of craven compulsion because it allowed her, if only briefly, to get her mind off herself.

Joan Leegant is the author of An Hour in Paradise, (WW Norton, 2003), a collection of short stories that won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for the best book of Jewish American Fiction and the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Leegant spends her time between Israel, where she teaches at Barllan Unversity, and her home in Newton, Massachusettes.

Woman-Stirred Radio is a queer cultural journal that broadcasts live every Thursday afternoon, from 4 to 6 (eastern) on WGDR fm, and streams live at http://WGDR.org. WGDR is a community radio station located on the campus of Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vermont, .

The air studio phone number is 802.456.1630; calls are always welcome. If you are interested in being a guest on Woman-Stirred Radio, email Merry: mgangemi@vtlink.net.

Posted 14/07/2010 by Merry Gangemi in Uncategorized

Welcome back   Leave a comment

I am of course welcoming myself back… after a road trip to NJ and the start of my final semester at Vermont College of Fine Arts, I can refocus on Woman-Stirred Radio. Today, I interviewed Chris Bobel, author of New Blood: Third-wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation. Chris is an associate professor and chair of women’s studies at the UMass, Boston. Chris’s earlier book is The Paradox of Natural Mothering.

The book takes a clear-eyed and wonderfully intelligent look at the cultural and social issues surrounding menstruation, the shaming and relative ignorance surrounding the singular most common experience women share. Bobel illuminates the new wave of feminist menstrual activists embodied by the Blood Sisters, and the Red Brigade, a fabulous group associated with The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

New Blood offers a fresh interdisciplinary look at feminism-in-flux. For over three decades, menstrual activists have questioned the safety and necessity of feminine care products while contesting menstruation as a deeply entrenched taboo. Chris Bobel shows how a little-known yet enduring force in the feminist health, environmental, and consumer rights movements lays bare tensions between second- and third-wave feminisms and reveals a complicated story of continuity and change within the women’s movement.

Through her critical ethnographic lens, Bobel focuses on debates central to feminist thought (including the utility of the category “gender”) and challenges to building an inclusive feminist movement. Filled with personal narratives, playful visuals, and original humor, New Blood reveals middle-aged progressives communing in Red Tents, urban punks and artists “culture jamming” commercial menstrual products in their zines and sketch comedy, queer anarchists practicing DIY health care, African American health educators espousing “holistic womb health,” and hopeful mothers refusing to pass on the shame to their pubescent daughters. With verve and conviction, Bobel illuminates today’s feminism-on-the-ground—indisputably vibrant, contentious, and ever-dynamic” (Rutgers)