Poetry, Academia, and Feminist Knowledge-Making: A Workshop with Celina Su

As part of AGITATE! Journal’s Feminist Knowledge Production Series, we invited Celina Su—scholar, poet, and member of AGITATE! Editorial Board— to conduct a workshop titled Poetry, Academia, and Feminist Knowledge-Making on March 30, 2023. In the workshop, whose recording we present here, Su discusses poetry as mode of social inquiry and as a vehicle for seeking epistemic justice, especially for stories that do not find expression in academic writing. She invites the participants to explore the connections between poetics and feminist knowledge through poems written from diverse temporal and geographical locations that decenter mainstream and canonical understandings. Unlike other forms of academic writing and research, poetry allows us to express what we feel in our gut and to explore subjectivities of self and another, while also expanding the possibilities of articulating situated knowledges. Poetry can enable us to witness, note, and share complexities from our learning, unencumbered by our disciplines. Su reflects on how poetry has been an integral part of her research with refugees in Thailand and of her grassroots activism around education and urban issues in New York City, and pushes participants to incorporate poetics as part of their own anti-disciplinary agitational practice.


The following poems, which the participants read in preparation for the workshop, provided the foundation for this collective engagement:


You can watch the first workshop in the AGITATE! Feminist Knowledge Production event series, Feminisms, Translations, Solidarities: A Conversation with the Translators and Editors of ‘The Purple Color Of Kurdish Politics’, here.


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