Teaching Ourselves to Read: Theory and Practice of Women's Interpretation of Texts
Schick, Carol A.
In this thesis, I discuss the difficulty of representing women as women in the university context, given the organization of knowledge and structure found there. The type of public knowledge found at the university is largely a male construct; equally male determined is the methodology by which that knowledge is created as well as its medium of representation. Women's participation as students, staff, and professors in the everyday life of the university is mainly predicated on male terms. When the male experience is taken to be the human experience, the resulting theories, methodologies, knowledge claims and practices exclude the views of women. In light of this domination, the thesis interprets and represents a view of knowledge from a feminist perspective. In a departure from the organization of traditional theses, I do not undertake an analysis of domination, but an interpretation of its effects. Conducting feminist scholarship and pedagogical practice is made difficult given the institutional, disciplinary and practical constraints of the university. These constraints are also what make feminist scholarship and practice a necessity. Using a process that is congruent with feminist practices, I illustrate that knowledge and its representation are not definitive categories, but social constructions, open to interpretation.