Please join us as we use the gift of feminism to figure out what’s going on right now.
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- Listen to our trailer for a sample of the Feminist Present.
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Adrian Daub — In fall 2019, Daub became the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute. A Stanford professor of comparative literature and German studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Daub has been Stanford’s director of the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies since 2016.
Laura Goode — A lecturer in Stanford's Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Goode is Associate Director of the Graduate Humanities Public Writing Project. She writes about feminism, intersectionality, female friendship, motherhood, and culture in TV, film, and literature; she is especially interested in the contemporary feminist first-person essay, the female gaze in image-making, critical whiteness studies, and performances of gender in "prestige" television.
Megan Calfas — A journalist, playwright, and podcast producer, Calfas currently is completing her masters in journalism at Stanford University. She’s written about environmental justice in the Bay Area, investigated maternal mortality in Zanzibar, and once convinced Stanford University President Marc-Tessier Lavigne to perform in a musical alongside personified, dancing peanuts.
June 11: Evette Dionne
In our inaugural episode, we are proud to welcome Evette Dionne to discuss her new book about Black women's fight for equality and suffrage, Lifting as We Climb: Black Women's Battle for the Ballot Box. Known across the internet as “free Black girl,” Dionne is a Black feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar: she’s the editor-in-chief of Bitch Media and the author of another 2020 book, Fat Girls Deserve Fairytales Too: Living Hopefully On the Other Side of Skinny. Laura and Adrian speak to Evette about Black women and the battle for the ballot box, about writing and teaching erased chapters of history, and what equitable coalition building could look like now.
June 17: Tressie McMillan Cottom
Tressie McMillan Cottom is an academic and writer whose work has been recognized nationally and internationally for the urgency and depth of her incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race and gender. McMillan Cottom’s columns have appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Dissent Magazine. She is also the author or co-editor of four books. Her most recent book, THICK: and Other Essays, is a critically acclaimed best-seller that situates Black women’s intellectual tradition at its center. Laura and Adrian speak to Tressie about the protests that engulfed the United States following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, about writing and thinking on the fly in unsettled times, and about why it all feels different this time.
June 24: Jia Tolentino
Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker whose recent work includes an exploration of youth vaping and essays on the ongoing cultural reckoning about sexual assault. Previously, she was the deputy editor at Jezebel and a contributing editor at the Hairpin. Her criticism has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Grantland, the Awl, Pitchfork, The Fader, Time, and Slate. Her first book, the essay collection Trick Mirror, was published in 2019. Laura and Adrian talk to Jia about eating and cooking during a pandemic, about food as a means to create and project self-image, and about what it means to be "lucky" in the age of COVID.
July 1: Danny Lavery
In addition to his advice-giving role as Slate’s Dear Prudence, Danny M. Lavery is a co-founder of the Toast and the author of Texts From Jane Eyre, The Merry Spinster, and Something That May Shock and Discredit You. Danny talks to Laura and Adrian about giving advice, about respect and respectability, and above all about biological and chosen families. [NOTE: This episode contains material that may be disturbing to some listeners.]
July 8: Moira Donegan
Moira Donegan is an opinion columnist for Guardian US whose work has also appeared in the New Yorker, n+1, the New Republic, and in the viral The Cut essay, “I Started The Media Men List," in which she describes her creation of (and the fallout from) the "Shitty Media Men" list that outed sexual harassers in media and journalism. Laura and Adrian talk to Moira about Jane Fonda's classic workout tapes, exercising at home, about what our new domesticity does to the male gaze, the institution of the gym and why one should mourn it, and whether there is a way to disentangle self-improvement from capitalism.
July 15: Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall of You're Wrong About
Sarah Marshall is a writer currently at work on a book about the satanic panic of the 1980s. Michael Hobbes is a journalist at the Huffington Post. Since 2018, Sarah and Michael have been hosting "You're Wrong About," a podcast about true crime, moral panics, and the untruths or half-truths around crime, fame, and power that have dominated American culture and national politics over the past half century. Laura and Adrian speak with Sarah and Michael about their podcast, about taxonomies of wrongness, and about the myths by which the true crime genre has governed the way gender is experienced and politicized in the United States.
July 22: Anthony Christian Ocampo
Anthony Christian Ocampo is a scholar and writer who focuses on race, immigration, and LGBTQ issues. He is a sociology professor at Cal Poly Pomona and a Ford Foundation Fellow. His groundbreaking book, The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino-Americans Break the Rules of Race, was called “essential reading not only for the Filipino diaspora but for anyone who cares about the mysteries of racial identity” by José Antonio Vargas. Laura and Adrian talk to Anthony about Filipinx identities, about racialization, about queerness in the academy, and about how one studies the ways in which race and gender are perceived and experienced.
July 29: Grace Parra
Grace Parra is a screenwriter and actress whose performing credits include The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Superstore, Master of None, and White Guy Talk Show. Until very recently, she was writing for a CBS series called Broke, and she also co-hosts the podcast Hysteria. Grace talks to Laura and Adrian about Hollywood, success and its many opposites, being grateful for missed opportunities, and the impact race and gender have on them.
Grace would like to point our listeners to her work with the Workers Defense Project https://www.workersdefense.org/, which aims to protect low-income workers in Texas as they battle COVID spikes and unbearable heat this summer.
August 5: Young Jean Lee
Young Jean Lee is a playwright, director and filmmaker, as well an Associate Professor in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford. Her plays include The Shipment (2009), Untitled Feminist Show (2011), and Straight White Men (2014). In 2012, Charles Isherwood called her "hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation." Laura and Adrian talk to Young Jean Lee about that sense of adventure: what it takes to scare yourself, what feminist theater looks like today, and the role of hope and pleasure in performance even in dark times.
August 11: Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister is an author and columnist, who is currently writer-at-large at New York Magazine. Her books, including All the Single Ladies (2016) and Good and Mad (2018) have become touchstones in contemporary political discourse around gender, sexuality and the long backlash. Laura and Adrian talk to Rebecca Traister about anger and its uses, about family and intergenerational fellowship in plague times, and about what it takes to stay mad, generation to generation.
August 18: Laura and Adrian Unplugged
In this special, guestless Season 1 finale, Laura and Adrian look back on ten feminism-packed episodes of The Feminist Present, reflect on post-#MeToo realizations, teen feminist lightbulb moments, queer respectability politics, and much, much more. Featuring references to WAP, Ben Shapiro's beleaguered wife, and Hegel all in the same five minutes. Listen to the end for tantalizing hints about our upcoming Clayman Conversations and Season 2 guests!
August 25: TFP Special -- Debate Me!
Write anything, post anything as a woman on the internet, and they will gather: the Debate Me Bros. They are owed more arguments, further justification. They are experts, and they aren’t sure you are. In the first of our Clayman Conversations Online, journalist Nhi Le and scholar Moira Weigel will discuss online debate culture from a feminist perspective. Is the demand for free and open debate online really as neutral as it often presents itself? How are dominant power structures replicated or challenged in online debate culture? As with all Clayman Conversations, the panelists will consider dimensions of race, class, gender and sexuality in untangling this timely issue. Webinar presented as bonus podcast episode for The Feminist Present.
Sept. 9: TFP Special -- TERF Industrial Complex
The figure of the “TERF” (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) has emerged as one of the more puzzling flashpoints in recent culture wars on campus and in the media. Why have trans lives and identities become a politically potent rallying cry for people who seem not to care very much for trans people? In this conversation with scholars Marquis Bey, Grace Lavery, and Jules Gill-Peterson, we explore the outsize influence TERFs wield in the media, what their influence means for feminism, and why their position occupies a unique and troubling place in the current discourse around free speech and “cancel culture.” Webinar presented as bonus podcast episode for The Feminist Present.