WHO? The Next GENDERation network is a European network of students and graduates working in various fields of women's, feminist and gender studies (whether these are institutionalised in centers or departments, or not).
WHAT? The NextGENDERation network wants to stand for a type of feminist knowledge politics, deeply concerned with the democratisation of higher education. This concern relates to different, although interconnected, dimensions. The access to higher education, and the way in which power mechanisms such as gender, ethnicity and class structure this access on different levels (with horizontal segregation according to disciplines, and vertical segregation according to academic hierarchies), are of primary concern to us. The production of knowledge is a second dimension on which our attention is focused: the brands of critical and situated knowledges produced from feminist, anti-racist, post-colonial and anti-heterosexist points of view have already began to transform the old curricula and canons. We are committed to continuing this transformation. Both of these dimensions are related to a vision of what the university, and higher education in general, stands for. From our feminist perspectives, we start from a critical distance towards the classic conception of the university as an ivory tower. At the same time, we don't buy into the current neo-liberal ideals of higher education as a training-place in function of the needs of the labour market. We are invested in a vision of the university as a place for the production of critical and socially relevant knowledge, and want to work towards that ideal in our specific historical time and space. Another university is possible!
HOW? We work in an autonomous and decentralised way. The idea of NG emerged among a number of young scholars in the context of an ATHENA (a thematic network for women's studies in Europe) meeting. Meanwhile it has traveled in several directions and contexts, through a viral type of feminist politics that we cherish. This means local NG groups look quite different, may or may not be primarily academically-based, and are engaged in different issues, although we share strong feminist, anti-racist, anti-heterosexist and post-colonial standpoints. We have the common space of an email-list to keep in contact, exchange information and ideas about current or possible future projects, and build a stronger European network.
Do It Yourself NG: how do you start a NG group?
. get some friends or colleagues, working in the field of women's, feminist or gender studies, together
. discuss the issues that you are confronted with as (young or non-established) feminist scholars in your particular situations
. see if you need or can organise around some of the these issues (whether it's organising a discussion group, a concrete action or intervention in your university/school/women's documentation center, a conference, writing a text, etc.)
. keep in contact with other NG groups, so we can exchange and discuss what is going on in different locations; in order words, subscribe your group/activities on the email list.