This afternoon Prof C and I discussed the historic and cutting edge
Moon: Prof tell me about the importance of the Feminist Press, it seems like a few of our top 25 queer women had their books published by them, plus a few of our (she)roes.
Prof C: I always get nostalgic about the Feminist Press. feminist presses played an important role in the movement, both in terms of dissemination of feminist writing but also in the formation of women’s studies programs. Radical presses, like the Feminist Press are the backbone of the movement.
I remember being a baby women’s studies major and reading old-school Feminist Press books.
I’m just glad it’s still around and I support the new generation of women’s studies babies ripping through the latest FP books as well as the classics.
Moon: Yeah totally! Let me play devils advocate, after 40 yrs of “feminism” why are they still relevant? It was founded in 1970 and the movement has changed so much since then.
Prof C: Right, apart from being a fairly visible “feminist brand”, I have a lot of respect for their catalog and their current aesthetic.
Moon: Oh, totally and I give that credit to Amy Scholder who took the helm of the press in 2008, is really a pioneering publisher, she takes risks no other publisher would take.
Prof C: It’s very contemporary and sort of “queer trendy” while maintaining a decided focus on the LIVES of women and queers (the latter of which harkens back to their early days) in terms of continuing a tradition while remaining not only relevant but on the cutting edge.
Moon: Just look at the home page, there’s a book about the artist Ana Mendieta (who Patricia covered for Vp) she’s super important but the larger art world sort of ignored her…
Prof C: Right and her death was such a tragedy—it’s important that story gets told i’m so excited for the Ana Mendieta biography.
The Karen Finley book, “Reality Shows” is so so good too, I loved “King Kong Theory“, and Babara Hammer’s memoir, and look forward to Justin Vivian Bond’s book.
Moon: My personal favorite is by my art hero, Elizabeth Streb, “How to Become an Extreme Action Hero“.
Prof C: Do you know what kinds of things they do in the community?
Moon: Well this Friday is a big fundraiser, a dance party, which I think is awesome because you know how all us single ladies and gents always complain we can never find hot nerdy feminists… well now’s our chance!
Prof C: They have such good taste, as clearly indicated by the Faster Pussycat/Tura Satana theme for the party.
This event alone could spawn thousands upon thousands of dramatic art relationships!
Moon: Yes! writer and artist parings the kind we LOVE.
Also I want to point out the reason FP is having a fundraiser is that they are a not-for-profit press! No shareholders to please or comercialism involved, which is why its important for people like us to show up and support the events.
Not only is it a chance to meet new people and hang out with friends, but we support our intellectual culture as well.
Prof C: Well it’s true. I wonder how many of us try to support presses in the way that we support local gay bars, bookstores, websites? I’m so nerdy I try to have 1/2 my lit class books be independent presses!
Moon: Final words of feminist wisdom?
Prof C: Support your Feminist Press!
Moon: And see you at the Dance Party!
FASTER, PUSSYCAT! a dance party to benefit FP
May 20, 2011 – 9:00pm – May 21, 2011 – 12:00am
116: 116 MacDougal Street, New York, NY