About a month ago, I (fearlessknits) had an awesome idea and shared it with Zoe Stavri (Another Angry Woman) because she’s also awesome, and the nature of the idea invited collaboration. That idea was to create an anthology of feminist blog posts from a wide variety of writers which would provide a snapshot of feminist discussion for the year.
Because blogs are an increasingly important forum for discussion and learning, and yet are also ephemeral. Blogs arrive and disappear, and sometimes a truly important post is one that goes viral from a fringe blog which isn’t commonly read. Discussions happen, people post and respond, important points may be made in comments or traded blog posts between two or more writers, and following this discussion can be difficult.
It can be even more difficult if you’re trying to get up to date, if you’re entering the field for the first time, or if you just want to gain a wider perspective and don’t know where to start.
The nature of feminism means that the blog is the ideal way to explore many issues. A lot of the things that we want to discuss and problems that need to be solved are, to a greater or lesser extent, dependant on the identity of the person writing. For example, in the last month we have quite graphically seen that the voices of trans* people are needed, and that they have a perspective and experience which the wider field of feminism urgently needs to hear and respond to.
When the printing press came into being, it was quite some time before the academic community moved from exchanging letters and writing books to the journal process that we now accept as a fundamental part of academic life.
The journal solved many of the problems of academia as it was conducted beforehand. One could go through the archive of a journal collated on your subject area and get a good sense of the scope of the field, the position of the field now, and also the way that it had developed and reached those conclusions.
All of these problems that were helped in academia by the development of the journal are now problems that exist in the feminist blogosphere and require a solution. Our suggested solution is an anthology of blog posts, each with an introduction from the editors to say why it has been included, and a post script from the author to give context to the post and say why they wrote it. We will then put this anthology out as a free e-book on this blog, our own blogs, and available as an Amazon kindle book and as many other mainstream e-book sellers as we can strong-arm.
Now, here’s where we’ve come up against a bit of an issue. We came up with this idea in December 2012, and were initially thinking of getting the 2012 anthology out before the end of January 2013. We are both bloggers ourselves, and are used to being able to think of something we want to publish, and then get it out within an hour or so. An edited book takes considerably more work.
We are both currently unemployed and so are understandably working quite hard to change that. We both got made redundant in 2012 and both had hard times in our personal lives that mean that there were gaps in our engagement. It’s also quite hard to go back through an entire year to find the truly exceptional and informative posts to include. We are, in short, encountering the very problem of limited time and difficult searching that we hoped to solve with the anthology.
We currently have 15 articles which we are considering for the 2012 anthology, but this list is far from complete, and we have some categories where we so far have no articles at all. Which is frustrating, however all the articles we have so far are good, and we really want to get this project kicked off.
We feel that, at this stage, we should publish what we have and state in the introduction that we know that it is limited and flawed. We can then concentrate this year on producing a fully representative anthology for 2013.
We would be grateful for your input for the project as a whole, and for your thoughts about the 2012 anthology in particular.
[Edit: Sam Ambreen has also now joined the editorial team. Hurrah!]