Modes Of BeingVol. 2 No. 2 (2020)
Welcome to the second edition of That’s What [We] Said. We are so glad that you’re here! The editorial board has worked very hard over the last few months to get this issue ready for you, and we cannot wait to show you the hard work and talent of students across our campus.
That’s What [We] Said arose out of the minds of seven students in the Gender and Women’s Studies program here at UBC Okanagan. The journal began as a space for collaboration and open conversation between faculties and students. Our mission statement has carried us through the last two years, reminding us of our intention to include a diverse range of voices, and our want to challenge hegemonic ideas that tend to govern our everyday lives.
Last year’s theme, “Body Politics,” centred around political themes pertaining to the physical body. Submissions brought forth topics like race, citizenship, statehood, family, relationships, disability, gender, and more. The first edition was a wonderful discussion that delved deep into the politics of the body.
This year, the editorial board chose the theme “Modes of Being.” The theme is intentionally open, with the hope that students would interpret it according to their particular scholarly and personal background. Indeed, the submissions we have received have varied greatly, from discussions of body hair to Christianity. This year’s journal contains poetry, artwork, research studies, essays, and collaborative works, all from UBCO students. Our second edition is somewhat of an homage to the theme of intersectionality, an open space of conversation and discourse surrounding how we, as students and as people, are shaped by compounding dynamics of power. The energy coursing through this edition is electric, and we cannot wait to share it with our readers.
Our second edition also marked the exit of three of the original editorial board members, those who came up with the idea for a gender studies publication. While we are sad to go, we are excited to leave it in the capable hands of the colleagues that collaborated with us on this issue. We hope to sustain the energy and interest of our readers, our writers and our editors, alike, well into the future.
We hope you will have an incredible experience reading the issue. We hope the articles, poems, and artworks included here will stay with you well beyond the limits of these pages. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey.
Enjoy, experience, and learn!
Body/PoliticsVol. 1 (2019)
I am so excited to have you join us.
That’s What [We] Said was conceptualized in September 2018. After months of meeting, careful decision making, and lots of resourcing, we have finally made this journal a reality! Our title, “That’s What [We] Said,” plays on the phrase “That’s What She Said,” a common expression used to denigrate female speech. “We” is the provisional replacement of the commonly used “she” in the phrase, illustrating our desire to challenge stereotypes and assumptions that surround gender studies. Our name is an act of reclamation.
We are a collective that seeks to deconstruct stereotypes, assumptions, and boundaries about gender, women, biology, bodies, race, sexuality, geography, religion, nationality, identity, and everything in between. We acknowledge and draw attention to the unceded Syilx Okanagan territories that we write and publish from.
The mission of That’s What [We] Said is to challenge social norms, facilitate a creative platform for an intersectional feminist discourse, and offer an approachable commentary. We believe that one of the strong suits of the Gender and Women's Studies program is that it is accessible across disciplines. We seek to amplify the voices of people from various backgrounds and to provide them with a space to be critical and creative. In so doing, we hope to deepen our connections with one another, acknowledging that community counters isolation.
This first edition is titled Body/Politics. Each written submission is from an editor and reflects a different commentary on the body and or/politic(s). “Body politics” refers to both the systemic regulation of bodies, the uneven decision making by those with power sustained through culture (Griffin); as well as “politic,” a political collective (OED, “body politic”).
This edition kicks off with Stephanie Awotwi-Pratt’s collection of poetry, followed by our featured artists: Moozhan Ahmadzadegan and Ari Sparks. The article section starts off with a critique of dress codes by Claire Feasby. Kenya Gutteridge then undertakes a close reading of Mad Max: Fury Road. Allison Brown analyzes constructions of the body politic and suggests how it can be rethought. Radia Mbengue follows with an article on reproductive exploitation and the black woman’s body. Wrapping up this edition is Tayana Simpson’s article on the body as a site of struggle in politics.
I hope you can learn and ask questions with us. As part of an open source platform, we seek accessibility and hope that our journal is applicable to daily lives and academic scholarship. We know that feminism is not limited to one realm of society but rather takes place in all areas.
This journal would not be made possible without the help and guidance from the faculty at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus, including Lori Walter, the Scholarly Communication Librarian at The University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus; and Alison Conway, Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies. Acknowledgements are also due to Matthew Brown, who designed the That’s What [We] Said Logo. Thank you. And thank you, reader, for journeying with us. I hope you enjoy the journal as much as we do.
Christine is a second-year student pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She previously worked as a birth and postpartum doula in Vancouver. Christine is passionate about reproductive healthcare and loves to knit.
Griffin, Gabriele. "body politics." A Dictionary of Gender Studies. Oxford University Press, January 01, 2017. Oxford Reference. Date Accessed 17 Feb. 2019
"body politic, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, December 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/273303. Accessed 17 February 2019.
World-BuildingVol. 3 No. 1 (2021)
If one thing can be said about 2020, it was a time of incredible upheaval. In the face of a worldwide pandemic, we saw ourselves viscerally confronted with the failures of how we have been imagining our relations to capital, to nature, and to one another. As the precarity of our global civilization, of our very lives, came to the fore, so, too, did the need to build communities that recognize our vital dependence on one another—and strengthen those that already do. The question of how to imagine the world otherwise, beyond the false confines of borders, money, and the nature-culture divide, press on us more heavily than ever, now, as we are forced to reckon with our system’s inability to take care of our most urgent and fundamental needs. World-building means many things: the bringing together of a people, the recovery of a history, the generation of a new knowledge, or way to relate to one another. In the political uprising that has sprung up against anti-Black racism and police brutality this past year, we have been witness to the hopeful promise of what community-building and dreaming—of a world beyond anti-Black violence—can do.
With the work social movements and activist groups have done, like the Black Lives Matter movements have done and continue to do; the need for community-building and imagining a future that addresses and works to challenge oppressive structures has proven itself imperative to fashioning a better world. This visible social unrest is evocative of the need to collectively and cohesively promote justice, equity, and inclusion on issues affecting marginalized groups. Kimberlee Crenshaw's term intersectionality comes to mind as a theoretical approach that acknowledges how complex and imperative positionality is in reimagining inequitable structures, intersecting issues of race, sexuality, gender, and class. This issue of That’s What [We] Said highlights, in part, the importance of anti-racism reform practices and pedagogy that influence how we think about and structure our social world. How can we all challenge these dominant, unquestioned ideologies embedded within society? How can we evoke change, resistance, and reform? What kind of world do you dream of? How might you work toward it?
World-building, as a concept, guides and inspires the pieces you will encounter within this issue. The collective voices of the authors, poets, and artists evoke the communal and pedagogical work needed to produce knowledge that resists, reforms, and challenges social norms and institutions.
Herein, you will encounter pieces that pay homage to activist movements that made our world possible, record correspondences on unlearning gendered oppression in the family, and honour the ways we have coped with these impossible times, among so much else.
We sincerely hope you enjoy this issue and that it will inspire you toward your own dreams of building another world.
& The Editorial Team
We want to acknowledge that UBC Okanagan is situated on the unceded, ancestral territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation. Indeed, there is a lot of work left to be done towards solidifying Indigenous rights, sovereignty and decolonization, especially on the part of non-indigenous people who are on this land.
As a feminist journal operating out of an academic institution, we recognize our part in involuntarily reinforcing systems of power that are currently in place. We also acknowledge that much of feminist thought has been, and continues to be, rooted in colonial ethos. Going forward, we aim to do our part in decolonizing these discourses by centering the works and voices of our BIPOC students, authors, and artists.
We are grateful to the Syilx Peoples for their stewardship, teachings and decolonial efforts which make conversations and work around anti-racism and feminism possible.