Code for Philly was thinking about how to make their hackathons more accessible and welcoming to all. They renamed it a launchpad, and asked several of us to write about our experiences at past events.
In an essay called "Square Dancing and Title IX" I reflected on learning gender as an elementary school student, as square dancing was my school's solution to the new challenges of Title IX; how the Daring Book for Girls was supposed to be a non-nostalgic paean to the 1970s, and how much Free to Be You and Me had helped me imagine a new world outside my small town.
I was asked for a piece by the editors of this volume. I wrote about my mom's bat-mitzvah, held in her late 70s. If you go to the amazon website for the book, click Look inside, pick the Table of Contents, find my essay near the top of the table of contents, and click there to read a chunk of it.
Writing these blogs, a requirement of my late-in-life dev program at the Flatiron School, which I am perennially two weeks away from finishing, was oddly hard, in part because short-form isn't my favorite, and in part because there's a 'tech voice' that is preternaturally cheery, and I both desired that voice and detested it. I was never good at separating a small piece of knowledge from it's surroundings, cousins, contexts, and yet, here, I found a way to, by exploring the mysterious command line.
In my heart I am still a scholar of the history of Judaism, even though it has been many years. Nothing touched me like writing this article. It comes in part from a work in progress, about queens of the ancient world. I was happy that it was included in the AJS Perspectives Transgressions issue.
Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant convened writers who are both mothers and PhD students to mash together what had been separated: being a mother-parent and getting a PhD. I was beyond thrilled to be asked to contribute a foreword. I'd finished mine many years before becoming a parent, and can not imagine how I would finish if I had children. I have so much admiration for the writers in this collection, struggling, determined, fiercely claiming their place in the production of new knowledge and in the professoriate. "The real question, then, is why has so little changed." Yeah, we know the answer: patriarchy doesn't want it to change. Those in charge don't really want to share the chance and authority to create new knowledge, and they keep fighting it, year after year.
In Oxford Online Bibliographies: Jewish Studies. This is full-field, multi-disciplinary annotated bibliography on Jewish feminist scholarship, spanning all fields and disciplines that comprise Jewish Studies. Co-written with the inestimable scholar Laura Levitt. True story: I didn't really want to do this, but I adore working with Laura, who didn't want to do it alone and promised me a Vitamix in return for my labors. We nicknamed this project "the beast", for good reason. I love hearing that it has been helpful.
"We Need a Playground Revolution" was a feature in Lilith Magazine (Summer 2004, 19-20), named after a blog I kept during the same time, when my first daughter was very young and I wanted to think aloud about female labors.
Thanks again to my dog Wiggles, whose image is standing in until I find a better one.
“Passing/Moses’ Wilderness Tabernacle" is a piece from my Bible Theme Park project; I read portions of this, including at Oberlin College, and it details my visit to the grounds of the Great Passion Play in Eureka, Arkansas. Published in Passing: Essays in Identity and Interpretation, ed. Maria Sanchez and Linda Schlossberg. New York: New York University Press, 2001. (On this link, scroll to chapter 10/page 260 to read.)
The exchange with Carol Christ, in Women, Gender, Religion: A Reader, edited by Elizabeth Castelli (Palgrave Macmillan) . Pages 29-48 in this document.
Tikkun 12.2 (March/April 1997): 57-59. wrote a longer version, published as
“Beauty Routines, or Jewish Study as a Feminist Practice.” In The Shabbat Series: Excellence in Continuing Education for Jewish Women, ed. Irene Fine. Pages 111-131. San Diego: Woman's Institute for Continuing Jewish Education, 1997.
“‘Just an Experiment for My Women's Studies Class’: Female Students and the Culture of Gender.” Co-authored with Jean O'Barr and Michelle LaRocque. In Feminism in Action: Building Institutions & Community through Women's Studies, ed. J. Fox O'Barr. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
©2019 Miriam Peskowitz