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GWS Spotlight on Bonnie Washick, Postdoctoral Associate
I completed both a Ph.D. in Political Science and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. My scholarly interests lie at the intersection of contemporary democratic and public sphere theories; feminist political thought and activism; and digital media studies.
I am excited to be teaching a graduate course titled "Theories of Citizenship" in Gender & Women's Studies at UIUC this fall. One could do a lot of things with such a course subject! I will focus on the ways in which gender and, in particular, masculinity has organized citizenship in modern democracies. We will then explore how the category of citizenship might be organized differently, focusing on theories in which the affective attachments, capacities, or practices of the citizen are gendered feminine (e.g. dependent, embodied, caring/engaged in care-work, vulnerable).
My research is arguably also focused on the possibility, radical potential, and means of cultivating a "feminized" democratic subject-citizen, as well as obstacles to such cultivation. My approach centers public speech, especially digitally-mediated public speech. At the moment I'm working on a piece on trigger warnings for an edited volume on the same subject and an article that critically engages the role a new ethics grounded in new approaches to theorizing matter, language, and their entanglement might play in cultivating a more generous, humble, and just democratic subject.