I prefer to be called by my middle name, Adelaida. It's pronounced ă-duh-līd-ᵊ Or ad-el-ide-ah.
I advocate for Feminism and Free Software. I believe responsible and effective social change can happen through deep intellectual engagement with issues of oppression.
Visit my website.
Hampshire College is an alternative liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusettes that allows students to personally design their own curriculum. Students recieve evaluations instead of grades. Hampshire students work with a self-assembled committee of faculty who specialize in their field(s) of interest. Students must complete three phases of their education before graduating, those phases are called Division I, II & III.
Division I is focused on providing students with background skills in a wide range of knowledge. Students must complete a class in each school of study at Hampshire, Humanity Arts and Culture, Critical Social Inquiry, Cognitive Science, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Natural Science. They also must fill out several requirements like presentation skills, quantitative reasoning, etc... in order to pass.
In Division II students declare a general area of interest and take courses that are relevant to this field of study. Students also form a committee of professors who will help guide them through the two years it takes to complete this portion of their Hampshire career. My Division II focused on developing a background in Western Philosophy and a critical feminist lens with which to view this tradition through. I also became interested in the ethics of technology production, specifically in relation to the free software movement and how gendered interactions influence this movement. I also studied a bit of programming, including web design, 3d modeling, and python.
Division III is the final year for Hampshire students. Student form a committee of faculty to who work with them on a year long project of their choosing. Students spend the entire school year focused on this one project, but are also required to take two advanced learning activities. My Div III involved writing a thesis in the area of feminist theory, as well as video, and web design. You can find a more detailed description of my Div III below.
Hampshire students undertake a major independent study in their final year at school. The project is advised by an assembled committee of professors. Typically, Division III projects explore in depth a specific aspect of the student's Division II work. Division III students devote the major part of their time to the independent study project. Description of Division III Project:
Feminist Theory and the Concept of "Analogy""
My Division III project focuses on issues relevant to feminist thought. My project can be thought of in two parts, the first part comprises of a philosophical paper about Silverman's concept of "analogy" that she developed in a text called "Flesh of My Flesh." My paper specifically takes issue with the Western formations of dual subjectivity that are centered on categorizing bodies through notions like sex and race as a fantasy of control. I focus on the power of "analogy" to disrupt current notions of subjectivity and to oppose violence. The second part of my Div III involves the creation of a website that hosts a series of short videos, some of my own making and some done by others. The videos of my own creation are intended to be introductory explanations of what I think are important concepts of Feminist Theory explained in a language that does not require any previous knowledge of feminism. While my project is in two parts, they both involve the feminist project of examining forms of oppression and power in order to change some of the abusive realities of violence.
In my paper, I explore Silverman's overarching claim in Flesh of My Flesh, the claim that there is an underlying ontological connectedness of all things that structures Being through analogy. I used her concept to investigate analogy’s power to disrupt manifestations of violence in normative formations of Western subjectivity. These notions of subjectivity are based on dualistic notions of inclusion or expulsion that allows the violent creation of fantasies of overcoming limits and anxieties by displacing them onto Others as an illusion of autonomy. Operations of representation through dualistic expulsion and displacement can be seen in thought construction of race, sex, gender, etc...By breaking down notions of dualistic thinking, of dualistic subjectivity, the fantasies that result from displacing anxieties/limits onto Others can no longer be sustained. This will mean a powerful new redefinition of Self must emerge, and therefore a powerful rearrangement of the entire structures of Western thought. Analogy is particularly important to guide this redefinition of subjectivity because it articulates the fluidity that structures everything in a way that opposes violence. It opposes the “numbing” affects like indifference that help deter the ability to enact violence.
I also am creating a website about concepts of feminist theory because it seems to me that my generation is used to experiencing and receiving information through the platform of video, that is, short-quick, to-the-point videos. I want to provide a few videos that lay down some important concepts of feminist theory in a language that does not require a background in feminist texts. As Bell Hooks says, “feminism is for everyone,” and by providing this platform, I hope to get more people interested and working towards feminist goals. The videos are to be short, 3-5 minutes of just aspects of feminism explained. I have interviewed a few people, and provide my own opinions, hopefully to make it more reflective of the multitude of understandings and different forms of feminism. The hope is the get a few videos up that are about feminism that can be accessed by more people of my generation.
The webiste's beta version is here: www.feministstheory.com
- Women Filmmakers: film, theory, practice
A course in reading films and videos as well as considering how they are produced historically, we will take gender as our point of departure. Engaging actively with making visual images will be part of our work. We explore the reasons for the historical absence of women filmmakers and study the works they produced when they won the right to do so. International cinemas, both dominant medias and films and videos made to oppose that system will be examined. We will analyze diverse works: from avant-garde director, Germaine Dulac, in Paris in the twenties of the last century to Ida Lupino, in Hollywood in the 50's to the 70's explosion of feminist films and videos and the historical and theoretical work that accompanied them. We will also consider several contemporary directors, though the largest bodies of work so far have been made by that group of women who were stirred into action by the Second Wave of the Women's Movement - who are still working today, such as: Sally Potter, Yvonne Rainer, Margarethe Von Trotta et al. Students are expected to attend all class meetings and learn to take detailed formal notes on all films and tapes screened. In addition to weekly assignments, an ambitious final project should be written, performed, photographed, filmed or installed.
- Teaching Assistant: Feminist Philosophy and the Technologies of Race/Gender/Coloniality
An exploration of basic concepts and ideas that help one think critically and analytically about race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nation, and the local-transnational divide. Questions we will ask include: How do language, performativity, and political economy function as tools of cultural construction that produce us as we produce them? How do these factors regulate desire and serve to legitimize oppression and violence? In what ways are symbolic systems able to exceed social formations in which they are implicated? The course explores philosophical questions concerning intersectionality; embodiment;
coalition and collectivity; postcolonial and global feminisms; neoliberalism and the commodification of difference; queer textuality and politics; theories of
- Writing about the Social: Theory in Practice
This seminar is designed for Division III students who are writing their independent study projects on some field within the Social Sciences. The course will center around discourses within the Social Sciences. This broad framework will facilitate exchanges between students working on various paradigms within the social and/or cultural realm. The seminar will focus upon this exchange. After we read key texts to help us develop a common vocabulary, the projects themselves, along with what students suggest in the way of additional reading, will constitute the syllabus.
My Division II: I designed my division II with the intent of learning a background in (Western) feminism. I wanted to learn how to apply a critical feminist lens to all of my future inquiries. I specially was interested in exploring the free software movement from a feminist lens. On broader level, I was interested in understanding how technology is produced in relation to a globalized-capitalist system that is influenced by ongoing histories of racism and sexism. I wanted to examine free software's potential to subvert certain oppressive norms, and to understand how free software communities operated in relation to gender. I also, as a form of personal empowerment, decided to begin to learn to program during Division II.
- Web Page Design
- Philosophhy of Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein is arguably the most influential philosopher of the twentieth century. It is impossible to understand many of the philosophical movements of either the last century or this one without an appreciation of his ideas. In this course we will closely read his most important philosophical texts (Tractatus Logico-Philosphicus and Philosophical Investigations), as well as his last work, On Certainty. In addition, students will be asked to research a topic of their own choosing (e.g. philosophy of mind, skepticism, aesthetics, feminism, etc.) by exploring the literature on Wittgenstein and that topic
- Reimagine American Literature & Ident.
This class is an introduction to and expands conventional understandings of twentieth-century American literature. It focuses on representations of diverse American experiences. How would typical approaches to American literature change when we incorporate literature written by women, immigrants, and persons of color? How would we consider racial, national, gendered, and classed identities as part of American literature? We will begin with short stories by Flannery O?Connor, Toni Morrison, Julia Alvarez, and Philip Roth that address these questions. Then we will read novels written by American immigrant and exile writers, such as Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, Manuel Puig, and Edwidge Danticat as well as mainstream Anglo- and African-American writers, such as John Updike and Colson Whitehead, to interrogate how these voices engage questions of nation, exile, home & belonging. This course investigates and recasts what is American Literature. It is also writing intensive and includes writing workshops.
- Strength Training
This course will give you first-hand experience in weight lifting, stretching, and aerobic actvity. Students will learn how to use the machines, barbells, and dumbells in the Multisport Weight-Room. The course will also include conditioning using various workouts on the track. Students, staff and faculty who have never been involved in a fitness program are especially welcome.
- The Cross-Cultural Construction of Gender (Amhest)
This course introduces students to the issues involved in the social and historical construction of gender and gender roles from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Topics change from year-to-year and have included women and social change; male and female sexualities including homosexualities; the uses and limits of biology in explaining human gender differences; women’s participation in production and reproduction; the relationship among gender, race and class as intertwining oppressions; women, men and globalization; and gender and warfare.
Jan Term 2010
- Advanced Web Design and Intro to Unix Administration
- Sex, Gender, and Evolutionary Biology
Evolutionary biology is said to explain human gender roles, sexual preferences, and sex differences in behavior and cognition, including rape, monogamy, pornography, homosexuality, physical attraction, and maternal instinct. This course examines these and other controversial claims. We will read the scientific literature and its critiques and consider the social, historical, and ideological dimensions of evolutionary concepts of human sex and gender difference.
- Feminist Readings(independent study with Mary Russo)
This reading intensive course is focused on providing a contemporary feminist perspective. We will Begin by reading some important historical texts such as The Second Sex andThe Feminine Mystique. After developing a foundation in some of the important historical texts of feminism, we will move onto exploring more modern views. I will meet with the professor approximately once a week to discuss the readings. There will be short essays and a final paper
- Applied Python with a Focus in 3D Graphics(independent study with Chris Perry and Bassam Kurdali)
This course will be a general introduction to concepts of programming in Python such as variables, operators, expressions, functions, flow control and documentation. After understanding the basic syntax of Python we will then begin to learn Blender for Python programmers. We'll learn how to import the modules we need, cover a useful subset of the Blender API, and learn where to find the API documentation for specific tasks. Possible examples would be creating simple procedural objects, automating placement of objects (for instance, sticking objects to the ground plane) or automation of repetitive tasks. If there is time, we will cover creating UIs in blender,and explore additional programming concepts such as recursion object oriented programming. We will meet twice a week for an hour. The proposed text is: Think Python/ Python for software design " How to think like a computer scientist". The focus of the course will be on learning by doing, we will do numerous simple programs, both in Blender, and outside of it.
- Temporary TA (2 weeks) for Monique Roelof's Contemporary Feminsit Philosophy course.Contemporary feminist philosophers, postcolonial theorists, and critical race theorists have formulated influential views of subjectivity and sociality. This course explores fundamental concepts and ideas that help you think critically and analytically about race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nation, and the transnational. We will investigate philosophical questions surrounding the following themes: race, gender, and sexuality as social constructions; intersectionality; embodiment; relationality and coalition; neoliberalism, multiculturalism and the commodification of difference; global feminisms; theories of transformation and critique.
Study Abroad at Goldsmiths College of London:
- Body Gender Culture Concerned with theorising the body and gender in an interdisciplinary way. Models discussed include: scientific understandings of the body; cultural understandings of the body; the social construction of gender and sexuality. Specific areas may include: body beauty; cosmetic and other surgeries; age and ageing; illness, disability and eating disorders.
- Race & Representation in 'Popular' Culture Explores the notions of race and representation by evaluating their key roles in the construction of identity in ‘popular’ culture. These roles are examined via an interdisciplinary approach, which focuses on music, fashion, advertising and various types of mass media as sites for the production of particular forms of gendered and racialised difference. The course takes a critical approach to the cultural politics of images of culture and identity, with regard to the manner in which they influence our contemporary social identities, which means we explore musical and other forms of expressive ‘popular’ culture as sites of resistance in alternative ‘public’ arenas.
- Sexuality How do we make ourselves into sexual citizens? Who needs marriage to become a citizen? In this lecture we will consider the way in which citizenry legitimates and de-legitimates some sexualities. While there are many ways in which normative notions of sexuality serve the constructions of the nation and nationality, one of the most explicit and well researched has been Nazi Germany. However, we do not have to look to the past to find examples of how the state is inherently involved in our most intimate relations. The main focus of this lecture and seminar will be contemporary debates on marriage, especially gay marriage. Why is gay marriage such a troublesome proposition for government? Why is marriage regarded as a necessary formalising and legitimising of our sexual relations and, in some instances, parenting? Is gay marriage a question of human rights?
- London History
This course will provide an introduction to the cultural and social history of London. Through the exploration of primary and secondary source material, along with offsite visits, you will gain an understanding of the development of the historiography of the city. By focusing upon contemporary understandings of London through the interrogation of contemporary writings and documents, you will be able to assess the relationship between these and current perceptions of the urban environment. A key aspect of the course is the idea of simultaneity; that past and present London and Londoners develop, grow and are built on top and alongside each other. You will gain an understanding of this idea through the exploration of the city with site-specific visits. [Taught to Study Abroad students only]
Jan Term 2011
- Law and Society
This course is an introductory exploration of the ways law shapes our lives and how society and culture affect how we interpret and experience law. Using case studies and a range of theoretical and methodological tools, we will examine key cultural and technological challenges to contemporary political and legal structures, asking how law functions in a broader social context. In other words, this is not a traditional class in law, but rather an introduction to critical ideas and concepts in anthropology and other forms of social scientific investigation.
- Paradoxes, Aesthetic, Schiller
- Topics in the History of Philosophy: Human Action and the Will in Aristotle and Medieval Philosophy
The notion of the will has been a crucial one in ethics and the philosophy of human action from Aristotle to the present day. Yet treatments of it have varied greatly over the centuries. A case in point is the development of the notion, as inherited from classical pagan thought, by the Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages: Augustine, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Meister Eckhart. We will examine the development of the concept of will (and 'weakness of will') in Aristotle and these medieval thinkers. It is recommended that students have read Aristotle's Ethics before taking this course.
- The Bioapparatus
The bioapparatus is a term coined by two Canadian media artists, Nell Tenhaaf and Catherine Richards, to cover a wide range of issues concerning the technologized body. This course will explore the relationship of the mind and body to technology in contemporary art. We will consider the resonance and currency of the bioapparatus in relation to the cyborg, the posthuman, and bionics. We will discuss issues such as re-embodiment, designing the social, natural artifice, cyborg fictions, subjectivities, perfect bodies, contemporary virtual environments, the real interface, art machines and aural/visual space. Division II and III students have the opportunity to develop an independent paper or portion of their thesis in this course. Students in this course are expected to work with one another to create a lively, serious, ongoing conversation about how art and culture explore and represent the relationship between mind, body and technology. Working conscientiously together in various ways is a key to developing (your) critical, research, verbal and collegial skills. There are two papers and each student will serve as respondent for another student's mid-term and final paper. In teams you will present and lead discussions about assigned readings and individually you will present the work of an artist relevant to the readings. Summaries of these presentations, along with relevant websites and images are to be uploaded to the course website as a bank of shared information and ideas. You are expected to engage issues of form and subject matter, political and historical contexts, social relevance and critical reception of art works, issues, and theories of the contemporary moment . . . relevant to the discourse of the bioapparatus.
- Learning Activity Projects: Beginning French
Students in Learning Activity Projects compile lists of learning activities based on their independent work during the semester. Each student will write a title, description and self-evaluation for every learning activity to be officially recognized for Learning Activity Projects credit. The student must also secure a signed evaluation of the work, written by someone familiar with both the subject matter and her/his course of study. The subjects of the learning activities need not be restricted to a particular discipline, school of thought, or arena of creative work. Students are encouraged to collaborate with others in their courses of study, for example, by joining student-led Experimental Program in Education and Community (EPEC) courses or informal learning groups.
This course features the acquisition of basic active language skills including speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar. We will use the multimedia program French in Action which consists of a text book, a workbook and CDs. The goal of this course is a confident grasp on basic conversational French by the end of the semester. One-on-one sessions will occur once a week, with the addition of two or more group sessions weekly, for at least one hour per session. There will be assigned homework after each session in addition to expected interaction with online resources (livemocha.com) which will also provide a cultural context. An occasional French movie will be assigned.
- Postcolonial Feminist Philosophy
Contemporary feminist philosophers, postcolonial theorists, and critical race theorists have formulated novel theories of subjectivity and sense making. This course introduces you to fundamental concepts that help you to think critically about race, gender, sexuality, and the transnational. Course themes include: language as racialized and sexed; commodification and the market; postcoloniality and the aesthetics of embodiment; global feminisms; narrativity and experience; theories of transformation and critique.
- Human Biology
Students in this course learn about the biological functions of selected human organs and systems through the study of actual medical cases and examining primary research articles on selected topics. Not all human systems were covered, but students gained a good understanding of how diseases affect the body and how they are diagnosed. Working in small teams, students developed diagnoses for medical cases through reviewing descriptions of patient histories, physical exams, and laboratory findings. They used a human biology text, medical texts on reserve, and Internet resources help to track down information needed to solve these medical mysteries. Students also learned to find and read scientific research articles on topics of their choosing and learn to write analytical reviews of these articles. These reviews formed the basis of final papers in which students choose particular diseases or treatments to investigate in detail and present their findings to the class.
- American Capitalism
Across the world, capitalism has become the dominant economic system for organizing human productive activity. Within each country capitalism has also developed a particular political framework in which power, income, and social priorities are determined. Within the United States to what extent do major corporate interests control or constrain these priorities? Globally, does the expansion of world trade and direct foreign investment lessen the gap between rich and poor or does it produce a "race to the bottom"
- Life Stories from Latin America
This course explored life stories and what have been called "testimonials" that have emerged from Latin American contexts. The testimonial often surfaces through a politically urgent partnership of the person who tells her story and another person who records and edits the story. In relation to specific Latin American contexts, this course examined the social implications of these textual productions, drew parallels with the production of ethnographic and anthropological texts, and examined issues of power within these endeavours. We focused on cases from Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Students took up other cases in their final papers. Students were expected to complete a map assignment, answer reading questions, write two film reviews, write four position papers, participate in peer reviews, participate in a final review activity, and write in stages (proposal, half draft, full rough draft, and final draft) a 10-15 page research paper on a topic of their choosing; within the final paper they were expected to engage with at least three readings from the course and at least three outside book or peer-reviewed journal sources.
Jan Term 2009
- Reading Plato's "Republic"
This course will involve a close reading of Plato's Republic, one of the major texts in the Western philosophical tradition. The central concerns in the text are matters of moral and political philosophy regarding the nature of just individuals and communities, but it also examines core questions in metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, psychology, and education. In addition to exploring Plato's ideas, we will look at commentary and criticism of the Republic by various philosophers. The course assumes a commitment to engage challenging philosophical material, to active in-class participation in philosophical discussion and debate, and to carefully crafted philosophical writing.
- Introduction to Philosophy
Philosophy is sometimes thought to be the contemplation of 'deep' matters such as the nature of knowledge, mind, freedom and morality, and it is that, in part. But it is principally a mode and method of inquiry, analysis and criticism that allows us to examine the structure and soundness of our ideas. Concepts such as 'knowledge' and 'freedom' play central roles in our everyday thinking and living. Philosophy, therefore, is a method of inquiry that helps us to reflect on our own condition, our relationships with each other and the world around us. This class will introduce you to some of the classic questions in philosophy, as well as the methods of inquiry philosophers use to examine them. Topics may include free will, personal identity, the nature of knowledge, ethics and philosophy of mind. A
series of shorter and longer papers will be required.
- Theatre of the Eye
In this course we will consider design for theatrical productions of "The Chairs" by Eugene Ionesco. This seminal work of the absurdist theatre will be approached in a variety of ways. While the major emphasis will be on sets and costumes, we will begin our process by looking at the cultural context of the script, the dramaturgical work that must inform design choices and the collaborative process that mediates the design responses. How does a designer begin the process with a script? How can playwright intentionality be discerned? How can design elements be manipulated to support the text? Students will be responsible for two designs during the course of the semester. The final design presentation may be a collaborative effort. Together, the two design responses will constitute the project aspect of the course. Additionally, students will do presentations in dramaturgical research.
- U.S. Foreign Policy
This course will provide a context for analyzing "The War on Terrorism." It will focus upon post-World War II US foreign policy and the cultural context in which it has been conceptualized and formulated. We will begin with a brief examination of the roots of this conceptualization, using as our text William Appleman Williams classic study, Empire as a Way of Life. Here, we will explore the idea that has always been categorically rejected by mainstream US histiography: that empire lies at the very foundation of the U.S. and remains at the core of how it positions itself. We will then proceed to look at a series of U.S. interventions in the Third World during the period that Henly Luce defined as "The American Century," concentrating on the decades long U.S. intervention in Vietnam, examining the Gulf War of 1991 and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will conclude by considering the implications of what we have been studying for understanding the current U.S. war on terrorism.
The function of the brain can hardly be examined without considering the influence of the endocrine system. The social, nutritional and sensory environment of an organism can dramatically affect the expression of specific hormones. Those hormones, in turn, can determine the development, degree of plasticity and output of the nervous system. Thus, the behavior an organism can have is sometimes determined by the endocrine constraints on the nervous system. This course examines the endocrine system and how it interacts with the nervous system to influence behavior in a range of organisms, including humans. We'll start with the foundations of nervous and endocrine system physiology and anatomy with consideration of common methods and techniques in neuroendocrine and behavioral research. Then we will focus on some specific behaviors such as parental behavior, reproductive behavior, feeding, affiliation, aggression, learning, and memory. In addition, we'll consider the range of normal to "abnormal" behaviors and the neuroendocrine factors that could influence these behaviors.
Free Software Foundation: Summer 2009 Internship
Summer 2009 I was the first campaigns intern at the Free Software Foundation in Boston. While there my main responsibilities were blogging for DefectiveByDesign.org, publishing the monthly Free Software Supporter e-mail newsletter, re-organizing the GNU project website, working on community outreach via LibrePlanet.org, and odd bits around the office. If you'd like to know more about how I got interested in free software, read my Letter of Introduction. Also, check me out on the staff page (I'm at the bottom).
I rented room from Hampshire alum Benjamin Mako Hill while interning at the FSF.
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Summer 2010 Internship
I am fascinated with the ways that gender and sexuality inform a social human existence. I want to end hierarchies and structural oppression that are partly a result of restrictive gender roles. In particular, I am interested in the role that technology and sexuality play in creating gendered identities and the way that it harms and/or helps create more fluid expressions. As new technology becomes more and more intertwined in peoples lives, the more it becomes apparent that privacy, free speech and equal access to this technology needs to be fought for. -My Eff Intern Statement