Workshop on Media Writing (19 Oct)

The Feminist Research Network invites you to
Pitching Feminism without Compromising Feminism:
A Workshop on Writing for the Media as a Feminist Academic
Dr Michelle Smith (Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow, Deakin University)

Date: Wednesday 19th October 2016
Time: 12 – 3 pm (lunch included)
Location: LHA Research Hub, Building 19, Room 2072
RSVP: By Wednesday 12th October for catering purposes Sharon Crozier-De Rosa

Feminist discourse has never been more visible in the media. Popular feminist writers like Clementine Ford, Celeste Liddle, Laurie Penny, and Lindy West are well known for their contributions to major newspapers, radio and television interviews, as well as their own books. What role can feminist academics play in this expanded—and yet often extremely hostile— space for feminist writing for the general public?

Deakin University academic and feminist columnist for The Conversation, Dr Michelle Smith will share her experiences of writing opinion pieces for a range of publications from major daily newspapers, such as The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, to online sites such as The Guardian and The Drum. She will discuss the differences between scholarly writing and writing for the media and the challenges posed by writing about feminist topics, in particular. She will guide participants through the process of writing for the media from the initial idea and pitch through to dealing with the repercussions of your writing if your piece goes viral.

In the second half of the workshop, we will work on several tasks that are essential for writing for the popular media, including the following:
– Pitching your topic to an editor
How to make feminist topics “print-worthy” and shareable without compromising your feminism.
– Reframing your writing
How to abandon footnotes and complex theory, but seize the opportunity to convey unfamiliar ideas to a wide audience.
– Crafting your bio note and media persona
What does an academic feminist look like? How to frame your academic identity and prepare for media interviews.

Dr Michelle Smith is an academic at Deakin University, feminist columnist for The Conversation and contributor on feminism, literature and popular culture for a variety of media outlets including The Age, Washington Post, New Statesman, The Drum, and Some of her 2016 Conversation articles include: ‘‘Not fit to be president’: Hillary Clinton and our problem with older women’; ‘From scolds to “talking underwater”: Policing women’s voices’; ‘Meg Ryan’s face and the historical battleground of ageing’; ‘Friday essay: the ugly history of cosmetic surgery’; ‘No, you’re not ‘hardwired’ to stare at women’s breasts’; and, ‘Witches both mad and bad: a loaded word with an ugly history’. See​


Workshops on ‘Listening as a feminist intervention’

When: Tuesday 19 April, 2016; from 9.30 am to 3pm.

Hosted by the Feminist Research Network at the University of Wollongong; and convened by Dr. Tanja Dreher.

Works in progress roundtable: Listening as feminist politics

The morning roundtable traces the diverse feminist antecedents and influences for an emerging interest in political ‘listening’ in media studies and political theory. The transformative potential of voice as a strategy to challenge marginalisation has been a mainstay of feminist politics and research. Yet feminist critical engagements address voice as a site of struggle (rather than unqualified celebration), which entails concern with the problems of listening and response as much as expression and representation. We will explore the ways in which attention to ‘listening’ has developed as a feminist-inspired intervention in political theory, as a contribution to longstanding debates on speaking positions, and as a reframing of debates on the public/private and media histories. In the context of recent arguments that the turn to listening need not necessarily entail a feminist politics, we foreground the asides and traces of earlier calls for attention to listen, and recupe the legacy of listening interventions in diverse feminisms, broadly defined.

Speakers: Cate Thill (Notre Dame), Justine Lloyd (Macquarie), Tanja Dreher (UoW), Nicole Matthews (Macquarie)

Discussant: A/Prof Joan Kirkby (Macquarie)

Listening as feminist pedagogy

The afternoon workshop aims to generate discussion and practical strategies for working with ‘listening’ as a feminist-inspired practice in our teaching. Speakers will introduce their experiences with various ‘listening’ exercises in university teaching, in order to stimulate discussion of these and other possibilities for listening interventions.

Speakers: Elaine Laforteza (UTS), Nisha Thapliyal (Newcastle), Denise Buiten (Notre Dame), Colleen McGloin (UoW), Andrew Whelan (UoW)


RSVP by commenting below or via our Facebook page – Feminist Research Network -UoW. You can also write to us at:

Time Management Workshop (20 October)

FRN’s ‘Three Things I Learned the Hard Way’ workshop on Time Management will be held on Tuesday 20 October at 12:30-1:30 in the Research Hub. Our speakers will be (in alphabetical order):

Professor Louise D’Arcens
Associate Professor Anne Collett
Dr Michael Flood
Professor Sue Turnbull
Dr Ika Willis

For more information, please contact Dr Ika Willis: