I’m happy to announce that after years of inching towards the IRWGS Certificate, I finally completed the certificate exam on September 29. The certification confirms that the candidate is fully qualified to teach interdisciplinary courses in feminist theory and women’s studies.
A successful candidate first completes two graduate seminars: a required IRWGS seminar and a freely selected topical seminar at any department. The next step is the oral exam, which is based on a bibliography that places literature in the candidate’s field in dialogue with theoretical literature in feminist scholarship.
Towards my certificate, I took a class with Marianne Hirsch called Theories of Intimacy. The round-table seminar introduced me to a body of literature on intimacy that I keep returning to, and even more importantly it introduced me to a community of graduate students who, like me, are academically and personally attached to IRWGS. I also took several fantastic seminars on music and gender with Ellie Hisama, who somehow knows the detailed disciplinary, institutional, and personal background of the majority of American feminist musicological papers and conference presentations. The broad themes of my exam bibliography were sound technologies and music, racialized and gendered labour, and postcolonialism. In putting the reading list together, I drew on the expertise of Professor Hisama who represented my home department of Music and Dean Alondra Nelson, who knows a tremendous amount about music and who represented the Social Sciences. My actual exam was an hour-long conversation with my advisors and there is no doubt in my mind that the reading list and conversation will grow and bear on my future work!