Ask a Feminist: Eesha Pandit and Paula Moya Discuss Activism and the Academy with Carla Kaplan and Suzanna Walters
The following conversation took place on November 16, 2019, at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in San Francisco, California. An edited transcript is below.
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Carla Kaplan (CK): Hello, welcome. I'm Carla Kaplan. I'm the Chair of the Editorial Board of Signs. Let me give you some background on what we're doing. When Signs relocated from Rutgers to Northeastern University in 2015, editor Suzanna Walters and I tried to undertake a rethinking of the public role of feminist scholarship, and we tried to use this as an occasion to think about what the role of a journal is at that time. Twenty fifteen was of course before the horrors. So things became even more urgent afterwards. In keeping with a consistent mission of Signs, which has always been to matter in the world, we launched something called the Feminist Public Intellectuals Project to engage feminist theorizing with pressing political and social issues through three open access online initiatives. One is called Ask a Feminist and these are interviews. One is called Short Takes which are pieces that respond to books that are in the public sphere speaking in our name, usually popular books. And one is called Feminist Frictions, which takes up key controversies in feminist theory. And usually that's one scholar taking up the long history of a feminist controversy. The Ask a Feminist feature of the Feminist Public Intellectuals Project has been a feature that creates interviews with leading feminist thinkers on issues raised by the contemporary moment but with a long look back to the history of feminist thinking about those issues. What we wanted to do was bring that feature to the NWSA by creating this conversation featuring Eesha Pandit and Paula Moya in conversation with one another and in conversation with us to model ways in which feminist scholars and activists can talk to each other, in ways that drawn our deep history and that address the urgencies of the moment.
Let me begin with a question for both of you that continues from some of what I was saying in the introduction. The question I would phrase for you both now is to what extent should scholars now be accountable to activists? And what does that look like? To what extent, if any, should activists think of themselves as accountable to scholars? And what would that look like? For Eesha, I’d put it this way: You have a long history as a nonprofit leader and a progressive policy analyst. Are there any ways that you have relied on the work of feminist theorists in doing your own work? When you develop the kind of innovative policy work you do, do you ever think of it as accountable in any sense to that long history of feminist scholarship? And to Paula, I'd put it this way: Your own work on identity obviously has profound implications for political activism. To what extent do you think of those when you start doing scholarly work. How much do you imagine in advance your work being used by activists when you are developing the kind of innovative critical methods you do to think about what you call social-psychological notions of schema or identity in its social context? Do you ever think about how activist might take up that work? So starting with Eesha and then Paula, how might you respond to any piece of that?
Eesha Pandit (EP): This is a great question. I think about accountability a lot. I think about it in many directions. I think about accountability as a practice. My thinking and my work are shaped and indebted deeply to the work of black feminist theorists in particular. I have practices of accountability, many different kinds of practices. So in terms of accountability to scholars and to the work that scholars have done, one of the practices of accountability that I rely heavily on is the practice of naming our feminist genealogies. And every time I talk about that which I have learned, which includes a way of understanding myself in the world, it is indebted to the black feminist theorists that I read when I was an undergrad, who made me legible to myself in many ways. And so I think about my political understanding as really grounded in those moments.
And of course, I think about accountability to the people in my life who are not academics, certainly. But I really think of it as a practice, and I think we talked a lot about solidarity and allyship, and I think those two things require mechanisms of accountability. So they require conversations in my in my work as a writer and sometime-journalist, I have focused really heavily on my doing my work and my writing in conversation with activists and also in conversation with scholars as a mechanism of accountability in my own work. We talk about a shallow allyship all the time. People say, “Oh, we have to be a good ally.” What does that mean? It means building in practices of accountability. So I think about it as this very multifaceted piece, and I think it's important… You know, I am part of a South Asian feminist collective in Houston and a big part of our work is genealogical, and we name the theorists that came before us that made it possible for us to make that space, who talked about identity, who made us legible to ourselves in many ways, and who continue to be in conversation with us. So that's what I would say about that.People say, 'Oh, we have to be a good ally.' What does that mean? It means building in practices of accountability.Click To Tweet
Paula Moya (PM): Well, I think I sort of came into the academy at a time when the work of women of color, including Chicana feminists like Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga, were really being read as well as the work of various black feminists. So I think I sort of entered feminism through women-of-color feminism and then moved out from there to see the other things that had come along. So I do feel that it is very important to name those names in my scholarship, and I will always do that. But with respect to being accountable to activists, I think I've always felt that the work that I do matters in very practical ways—like, it should help us live better in the world. I don't know how to say it other than that. So a good deal of my early theorizing was very much based on my organizing work with other scholars around the theoretical concept of identity. So you asked me about the Future of Minority Studies, which was very much a networking, organizing project that was designed to support and strengthen the scholarship of scholars of color in the academy. And it worked that way. I mean for a good over ten years, it really did work that way and I still have a lot of networks from that. So yes, I do feel accountable. I don't have any difficulty with the idea that work might be used. I hope my work is used. So I guess I was sort of answer in that way.I do feel accountable. I don't have any difficulty with the idea that work might be used. I hope my work is used.Click To Tweet
CK: So, one of the ways you both responded was thinking about how that collaboration/conversation between activists and scholars is part of making the work useful, making it possible to live better lives, making it possible to live. One of the things that a lot of us have been talking about in the current moment is the work of explaining, of trying to explain and to diagnose what the heck happened. For many of us this remains on a daily basis inexplicable, we sort of get up in the morning and we say, how did we get here? How is this possibly happening? There was a lot about what happened in 2016 that remains either inexplicable or difficult to explain or hard to understand, and arguably this is a huge piece of our job right now is to diagnose and to explain that. Are there any particular ways that scholars and activists either have been effectively working together to provide those explanations or that either of you think they could do a better job of working together to make the inexplicable more understandable?
PM: You know, I wonder how inexplicable it really is. I guess my feeling is, after the election, I did understand better that there were a lot of people out there whose ideas about what it is they value, about what they want, what their interests are, are very different from my own. I think part of that is, you know, related to the different values people hold. I'm thinking about somebody who believes in a divine being, who understands something about the sanctity of life, and who might therefore support Trump, right? Because he will put an anti-abortion justice on there, regardless of the rot in his own personal life. So I don't like it, but I do think it is at some level explicable if you grant them the interests that they hold.
Now, I also think that a good part of where we are and why we are is the very the fact that so many people watch very biased news sources. So I think the reach that organizations like Fox News has—you know, if you watch how they cover some events that say maybe the New York Times, they report it but it's a very different cast. So I understand much greater than I did before that we are in different media circumstance. So one thing is I just don't think we're doing a good job of being able to explain our positions in a way that say conservative, right-wing [people] are able to do so.
CK: Why do we have such trouble with this?
PM: I think sometimes it's because the answers are always way more complicated than anyone wants to hear. That, often times, especially if you have a tendency to want simpler explanations, then a good/bad worldview is preferable.
EP: If you couple that media landscape with systemic defunding of the education system, then you have people who also are not interested in a complicated view. It's like it's a symbiosis of this moment that leads us to not being able to hold a complicated world view.
I find it very frustrating, but I don't think I've ever found it inexplicable. I think it's because I remember conversations I had right after Barack Obama won his election, which felt inexplicable at that moment to me, and I remember having a conversation with my parents, and I remember my father saying to me, “Well, we're going to have to pay for this.” And I remember that moment very clearly and it has stayed with me. And so he said to me way before anybody thought that Donald Trump had a chance of winning, he was like, “well, I just want you to be prepared.” And I think it’s the long view that sort of shows that the swings. We talk about the arc of justice always bending towards justice, but we also remember in practice it actually feels a lot like a pendulum. It doesn't always feel like an arc, and that I think is the moment that we're in. But I think this feeling, this sort of panic—because I do think there is a brazenness that’s happening right now, so I feel that and I feel an urgency that comes with “Well, they're just doing whatever they want out here.” It feels like a brazen moment, and it's part of backlash. But I think what it pushes us into is a fear-based analysis and a shorter-sighted analysis around what's happening and how did this happen. And I think what I've learned, particularly from feminist theorists, is that the long view is always the one. And that’s where you really have to anchor yourself in thinking about the pendulum, thinking about the long arc. And that can help. Arundhati Roy was talking yesterday [at the NWSA conference] about the field between hope and hopelessness. And I think that a longer historical view can help us find our way closer to the hope rather than getting mired in this moment of fracture.We talk about the arc ... bending towards justice, but we also remember in practice it actually feels a lot like a pendulum.Click To Tweet
PM: I think one other thing I'd like to say is that I think activism is so important for helping us to understand what might work even in a more complicated value landscape. And I'm thinking about several years ago, and I wish I had this at the top of my mind—it may have actually been in Signs—it was published in Signs actually. It was a study of Latinas in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They worked with women’s rights organizations, and they put together a campaign that took into account these women's values, which may not have always been mine, and they were successful in forestalling legislation that would have taken away the women's right to choose, to control their own reproductive capacities.
EP: This is the work of Young Women United in Albuquerque?
PM: Yes. It was amazing. You realize that part of it is not just writing these people off because they don't share all of your values but figuring out how you can take their complicated worldviews into account and make them work for a larger number of people.
Suzanna Walters (SW): One thing I was just going to add too was that, I think one of the things in this particular moment that may be feminists have been sort of duped into is that feminism is in a public place as never before, whether it's [Chimamanda] Adichie or Beyoncé's use of Adichie or all the celebrity feminism and, you know, feminism being—in all kinds of attenuated ways—but feminism being in the public sphere in a way that it really hasn't ever before. I think for many folks—and this is I think where feminist theory can really help us understand this—for many folks that presence lulled us into believing that in fact that was signifying a real reduction, a significant reduction in misogyny, a reduction in violence, a reduction in the ways in which male prerogative moves throughout the world. And of course it didn't. So, in the midst of this incredible resurgence of a kind of popular—whether it's “girl power” or whatever—popular versions of feminism, and we also have the election of the most openly misogynist (not necessarily the most misogynist, because they all have been), but the most openly violative and misogynist kind of government to exist. And so I do think that's part of what—I mean, when you talk about the long view—and it started with the analysis of backlash. That kind of attention to making sure we know the distinction between a popular or co-opted or light versions that circulate, and the simultaneity of resurgent, even evermore violative forms of patriarchal domination.
For more, read the symposium "Backlash and the Future of Feminism," featuring an interview with Susan Faludi.
CK: In fact, just to feed off of that one of the questions I wanted to ask you both to speak to is this the long history of misogyny and what our colleague Moya Bailey calls misogynoir, which has been one of the things that we get from the long work of feminist scholarship is the incredible worldwide, global, violent history of that misogyny. Is there any way at this moment—and it seems to me critical because we may well have female candidates again—is there any way at this moment to turn that long history into something that isn't a pure hopelessness? Is there anything we can do with the body of knowledge we have created and accumulated and now have on the long history of global misogyny that makes it something other than hopelessness?
EP: I would actually say yes.
CK: Oh, good!
EP: I don’t always feel the “yes,” but I've been thinking a lot about it and I don't always feel the yes. So I would say the place to look for that is at the extremely local. I live in Houston, Texas, and we have a very beautiful, emerging, progressive black-brown political coalition that has been doing really powerful work in accountability at our local level. And it's slow work, but you can feel some gains immediately. You know, you feel like okay, we sort of ousted a racist DA and a racist sheriff, and that happened within the five years that I have been organizing in Houston. And so I think the idea that the place to look for your measurements is at the national level, really pulls us away from—it's a look around you more than a look up and out moment that can actually help us feel the hope. And that also is quite an empowering place to be because you maybe cannot do the influencing work of shaping movements and all that. That's very long, slow work. But the work of building community spaces. I am a big believer in feminist collectivity. I keep founding collectives, and they're very hard work [...] but I feel as though the work of creating and producing in collectivity is actually quite empowering and is a site of hope at least for me.
PM: Well, that makes a lot of sense, I have to say. It's a good thing you’re an activist.
CK: Well that actually leads to the last question I want to ask you both and then I want to invite you to ask questions of each other, which is a question about identity. One of the most difficult debates in the long history of feminist theory has been the long debate over identity politics, and it has really riven the field and riven feminist theory for a long time. You have both been deeply involved with it in different ways. Paula, your work has been very influential as a sort of some of the founding work on the anti-anti-identity politics move. And, Eesha, so much of the activism you've done has been based in identities, has been based in mobilizing political identities in very progressive ways. I wondered if you both have any thoughts about that debate over identity politics at the current moment—whether it's still a relevant debate, whether essentialism really is a problem we need to continue to be worried about or if it's something we need to move off of and move on to other problems.
PM: Well, let me start out by saying that you know, I am very much identified with identity and I think a lot of people don't actually know what I think about it. They have read maybe the title of one of my books and then they decided what they think I know. They think they know what I think. Let me just say, when I'm talking about identity, I am not really talking about sociological categories like women or men or South Asian, even though those affect identities, but I'm really talking about that which emerges in the interaction between how a person perceives herself and how she is perceived by others. And that kind of epistemic, affective, and ideological construct that we carry with us over the course of our lives. And so under that view identities are not essential nor are they stable. They are, however, persistent. And they are persistent because our social worlds tend to persist. So you can think of identities, as my former dissertation advisor Satya Mohanty used to say, as theories about the world; they are theories about the world. They are also, as Linda Alcoff has talked about, interpretive horizons. So there are ways of making sense of the social world. And so we pay attention to them not to hang onto them or something like that but because they actually help us diagnose social relations. And if, as a feminist scholar or just a human being living in the world, I'm interested in social relations and what can make the difference and how we can interact with each other, then I want ways of being able to diagnose that. So essentialism was never really the problem. It is not the problem. People who think talking about identity is essentialist thinking can be a problem. But I mean, I think we can't really go forward without organizing around identities, and those identities can be something like, you know, what you put on your Twitter, “rageful queer”. Now, if you organize with other “rageful queers,” they may or may not be South Asian. They may or may not be living in Houston. But you are organizing around a construct that is something that you can make common cause with. So that's how I feel about identities. And I think they remain incredibly important.Essentialism was never really the problem. It is not the problem. People who think talking about identity is essentialist thinking can be a problem. But ... we can't really go forward without organizing around identities.Click To Tweet
EP: I agree. I think this this resistance to, or thinking about identities reductively is very dangerous, or as static is of course very dangerous. But I also find that, you know, the communities in which I get to do the work of building my own identity, both being able to name it and being able to resist characteristics of identities that are put on me—that is the most empowering space for me, where I get to actually be in active conversation around my identities with other people who are interested in making space for conversations about identity. I'll give an example: So we've been doing a social justice summer institute with young South Asians in Houston, a progressive summer Institute space that happens. And these are younger folks, they're often just into college. So we ask them, “Tell us about your South Asian identity.” That is the structure that makes the space. And this past year's cohort said, “Well, you know, actually I'm not sure if even ‘South Asian’ is the word that I would use or if ‘desi’ is the word that I would use.” A group of them were saying, “Well, actually I identify as a Syrian Christian.” So, people are leveraging the question of identity in ways that allow them to make space, and we sort of are hanging under these umbrellas that at times feel very useful to us and at other times feel very stifling to us. And our work is to use them to the extent that they are useful but then also resist them when they start to become stifling. Unfortunately, we have this sort of legal system that has protected categories, you know, so actually some of our identity politics is in reaction to this structure that was actually never intended to see us, and so we've been clamoring for rights, which I believe in and I think actually is important, but actually the shaping of our identities is in response to exclusion. And so how do we create identities that are generative outside of that exclusionary—that aren't just identities of resistance but that are identities of creating the way that we move in in the world, naming the way that we move in the world ourselves? And that I think is the most interesting conversation about identity. I mean, they're always on the news railing about identity politics, which I just feel like is coded for racism. Like, “Why are all of these people of color talking about…? Why are all these women talking about…?” One point about this the really sinister view on that is the way that certain model minority, certain Latinx communities, identity politics is being used to fracture, politically, demographically in this moment. That demographic anxiety is playing out in this focus on identity politics. And so that is one of the reasons why we have this reductive conversation about identity politics and the media all the time.How do we create identities that are generative, that aren't just identities of resistance but that are identities of creating the way that we move in in the world, naming the way that we move in the world ourselves?Click To Tweet
PM: So one of the things that one of my colleagues, Tobin Siebers—he's a disability activist—would always say is “All politics are identity politics,” and I truly believe that. People don't come together with people that they don't share an identity with. Now it may not be a racial identity. It may not be a gender identity. But they share some value system. So with the Future of Minority Studies project, for instance: The different kinds of people that were involved in that were without a doubt the most diverse group of people I have ever been—I mean from undergrads to provosts, gay, straight, disability, you know, just the whole thing… But what we did share was a conviction about the role and power that identity as a tool for social analysis could give us.
CK: Suzanna, were you going to jump in on that?
SW: I mean, I've weighed in on this subject a little too, but I agree with everything that has been said. What's always interesting to me, particularly in this moment, is that here's where there's this unholy alliance between the white male Left and the generic right wing, right? They both hate identity politics, and part of the reason is that they're both not reckoning with their racism or sexism, either one of them. And in the truth is, particularly in this moment, you know, what's so horrible about the attacks on identity politics is any form of resistance that has happened in this moment has happened in and through identity politics. I mean you think of the Women's March all the way through, and what it is is in fact the robust, complicated, diverse actualization of identity politics. And then you get of course, the male Left in its usual lovely fashion, making this argument, “Oh no, we you know, this is this will not be the resistance to Trump. What you need is us white guys to lead you if we don't have identities.”
EP: Which is it is also an identity politic. As though white nationalism isn’t an identity politic. It’s as though there is a neutral identity and then there are identity politics. That conversation just belies racism at its core.
CK: Eesha and Paula, I wanted to invite you if you had questions that you wanted to ask each other…
PM: I have lots of questions, but one of them it was just in looking at your profile, it struck me how much of an entrepreneur you are. Like, you have to make this happen and so you make it happen. You found collectives. You organize them. There's a lot of energy that goes into that, and so I'm just curious what motivates you? How do you do that? How do you feel about that aspect of your work?
EP: Nobody's ever asked me that question about the making of things, and doing of things, and how much it takes to do that. It’s one of the reasons why I feel so at peace in doing work collectively. I think it makes me feel less like I have to be out on a limb, which I am often. But nonetheless, I feel like there's that. But I think really I get it from my dad. You know, we talk about genealogies, you know? Which comes to me from the way he talks about himself as a migrant, and doing and making and moving and growing. And so I think it's very personal, that thing. And the political analysis of that very personal way of being in the world comes from—it's something I think about after the fact, it doesn't feel like it's an orienting way of being in the world. But I think it's also just a restlessness. So, just full disclosure. How do we make? How do we keep making?
And also in Texas, in Houston, where I live, there is a lot of opportunity to make the thing you want to make. It's not as gate kept a political arena as many are. There's a lot of energy. Even though it's a big city, it doesn't feel like, “Oh, you can't make the thing you want to see.” And so we have been doing that. And it feels very generative. And in fact in a moment where it feels like all of my work, I've been have been doing reproductive justice work since the beginning of the Bush Administration, which it feels like constantly stemming a tide. The work of making things feels like an antidote or like a personal respite from the work of holding back bad things happening, where you get to generate something.
CK: Eesha, did you have a question you wanted to ask Paula?
EP: Yeah, so I'm really interested in the way that—I read some of your work and I listened to some of your talks—and I was feeling very much like sometimes the way that you have approached identity—you started to answer it a little bit—inside the academy feels both overt and covert. And I'm really interested in that. The way that you’re saying, “Okay, identity politics is receiving this backlash so we're going to talk about these other things.” And I'm really interested in the place where you are now in your career, how you think about overt and covert ways of making change. You don't have to give away all of your covert strategies because this is being recorded. I mean one of the questions I had for you was about the Future of Minority Studies, which feels to me like an infiltration project, and I'm really curious about that, about organizing in those ways inside academia.
PM: Well, I mean, it really was, in a sense, an infiltration project, and I can in no way take credit for that, certainly not as an individual. This was a project that I engaged in with my former dissertation advisor Satya Mohanty and his wife Chandra Mohanty, who's an important feminist theorist, Linda Alcoff, Tobin Siebers, Michael Hames-García, Carol [Muller]—you know, it became quite a large group. And we were trying to think about identity of in a sophisticated way, in a way that could be useful for feminist action and feminist organizing, but it was also helping to build these people's careers because if you know them when you get asked to write a letter for them, then you do. And it was in a sense building a network of scholars of color and scholars who maybe not were not of color but who were sympathetic to the many agendas we had. Yes, I mean, these things often tend to dissipate because they do, and so you maybe found something else. But then I think, for me, working on the issue of racial literacy, working on race—I'm still in a sense working on the epistemic ideological affective consequences of identity, I'm just calling it something else. Because you know, otherwise people are just going to say, “It's those identity politics people again….”
CK: Well, thank you all for coming, and I want to thank you Eesha and Paula for joining us in this conversation.
Eesha Pandit is cofounder of the Center for Advancing Innovative Policy, where she brings over a decade of thought leadership and strategic communications around progressive policy. She has led policy, program, and communications work in innovative and groundbreaking ways that have shaped national and international movements for human rights, reproductive justice, and violence against women. Eesha brings expertise and experience in hard policy analysis and the organizing and coalition-building required to effect policy change. She is a founding member of the Crunk Feminist Collective and South Asian Youth in Houston Unite (SAYHU). She is a queer South Asian immigrant based in Houston, Texas. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Chicago, where she studied political philosophy. Eesha loves hosting long, leisurely brunches with friends, listening to political podcasts nonstop, and any afternoon spent walking through a museum. She is on Twitter: @EeshaP.
Paula M. L. Moya is the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of the Humanities, and Professor of English, at Stanford University. She is also the Burton J. and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Moya is the author of two monographs: The Social Imperative: Race, Close Reading, and Contemporary Literary Criticism and Learning from Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles. Moya’s persistent intellectual interests revolve around the dynamics of subordination. At the beginning of her career, she focused on the philosophical and sociological concept of identity, and has published, with a coalition of colleagues, three collections of original essays focused on that concept: Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism, Identity Politics Reconsidered (Palgrave 2006); and Doing Race:21 Essays for the 21st Century. More recently, she has turned her attention to the narratological features of texts that reinforce and reshape the perceptual (and especially racial and gender) schemas through which people “read” both the literature they encounter and the social worlds in which they live.
Currently, Moya is working with a team of scholars and researchers on a “Reading Race” online toolkit to be hosted by SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions) and CCSRE (Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity).
Carla Kaplan, the Chair of the Board of Associate Editors of Signs, is Davis Distinguished Professor of American Literature in English and Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. She is the Founding Director of Northeastern University’s Humanities Center and currently serves as co-chair of the board of directors for the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. Her research interests include literature, African American studies, biography, and women’s and gender studies. She is the author of Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Harlem Renaissance. She is also the author of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters and The Erotics of Talk: Women’s Writing and Feminist Paradigms. She is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Nella Larsen’s Passing; Zora Neale Hurston’s lost book of folklore, Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-Tales From the Gulf States; and Dark Symphony by Elizabeth Laura Adams. A Norton Critical Edition of Nella Larsen’s Quicksand is forthcoming. Professor Kaplan’s next project is a biography of Jessica Mitford, the rebellious daughter of eccentric British peers and one of the most important American muckrakers of the twentieth century. In May 2014, on the basis of Miss Anne in Harlem, Professor Kaplan was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians.
Suzanna Danuta Walters is editor in chief of Signs: Journal of Women of Culture and Society and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and professor of sociology at Northeastern University. Her work centers on questions of gender, sexuality, politics, and popular culture. Her most recent book, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality, explores how notions of tolerance limit the possibilities for real liberation and deep social belonging. She is also the author of All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America, Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory, and Lives Together/Worlds Apart: Mothers and Daughters in Popular Culture. In 2004, while at Indiana University, Walters founded the first PhD program in gender studies in the nation, and she has held positions at Georgetown University and Colorado College.
She is currently working on a book examining the state of both feminist theory and politics in an era of “call-out feminism” and intense social media attention. Walters also contributes regularly to more public venues and has written for The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the LA Times, and the Baltimore Sun, among others.