Feeling Medusa: Tentacular Troubling of Academic Positionality, Recognition and Respectability - PhEm Special Issue

Shiva Zarabadi, Carol Taylor, Nikki Fairchild, Anna Rigmor Moxnes

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Taking up on Donna Haraway’s concept of String Figuring, or SF (2016), this article explores what it means—and, most importantly, what it does—to be a feminist academic in higher education. This eight-handed piece of research cuts deep into the tentacular recesses of gender, respectability, recognition, and more generally the entanglements bringing trouble into higher-ed spaces. Facing such a space is definitely unique to each and every feminist academic; yet, collaborative writing and other string connections can be put into place. As neo-liberal academia ossifies feminist flows, we can reply by feeling alongside the figure of Medusa: turning men to stone, shaking up traditional modes of knowledge making from her proto-feminism to their current feminist praxis. Shiva, Carol, Nikki, and Anna offer two contributions: deploying string figuring as “a proposition for feminist thinking” challenging higher education’s fixity, and enacting string figuring as “a mode of écriture feminine” developed by Hélène Cixous (1976).
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationFeminist Educational Engagement Lab
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020

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