Journal Issue:
Open Call Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis: Volume 5, Issue 1

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Survival. Activism. Feminism?: Exploring the Lives of Trans* Individuals in Chicago
( 2016-01-01) Stewart, Amanda ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Radical lesbian feminist Sheila Jeffreys (1997, 2003, 2014) argues that trans individuals are destroying feminism by succumbing to the greater forces of the patriarchy and by opting for surgery and thus conforming to normative ideas of sex and gender. Jeffreys is not alone in her views. Janice Raymond (1994, 2015) also maintains that trans individuals work either as male-to-females (MTFs) to uphold stereotypes of femininity and womanhood, or as female-to-males (FTMs) to join the ranks of the oppressors, support the patriarchy, and embrace hegemonic masculinity. Both Jeffreys and Raymond conclude that sex/gender is fixed by genitals at birth and thus deny trans individuals their right to move beyond the identities which they were assigned at birth. Ironically, a paradox is created by these feminist theorists, who deny trans individuals the right to define their own lives and control their own bodies. Such essentialist discourse, however, fails to recognize the oppression, persecution, and violence to which trans individuals are subjected because they do not conform to the sex that they were assigned at birth.

Jeffreys (1997) also claims there is an emergency and that the human rights of those who are now identifying as trans are being violated. Their critiques are not only troubling to me, as a self-identified lesbian feminist, but are also illogical and transphobic. My research, with trans identified individuals in Chicago, presents a different story and will begin to show another side of the complex relationship between trans and lesbian feminist communities. When considering the lives of my research participants, another agenda, counter to that of what is assumed by Jeffreys and Raymond, emerges and shows how trans individuals are moving forward to embrace themselves and their communities, while also establishing, or in some cases maintaining, a relationship with feminist values and politics.

Book Review: Radicals in America, by Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps
( 2016-02-05) Burger, Evan ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

This is a book review of Radicals in America: The U.S. Left since the Second World War by Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps.

Letter From the Editor
( 2016-01-01) Schieber, Danica ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Each letter that I write as editor of this journal inspires me to reflect upon the amazing research that I have had the opportunity to learn about from our authors. Not only do our authors offer important ideas and glimpses into others’ experiences, they also offer a thoughtful space for reflection and an opportunity for change.

Luck Isn't Why I Made It: Exploring A Latina Educational Journey Within A Latina/o Critical Race Theory Lens
( 2016-01-01) Garcia Martinez, Mariana ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

In the last decade there has been an increase of research of the Latina educational experience from K – 12 to college. This work has also tapped into the experiences of Latinas in the academy in their roles as faculty and administrators. However, there is still limited work on the process of getting into graduate school (the admission (access) process) and on what the day-to-day graduate school journey for Latinas from across disciplines/colleges looks like. In this paper using Latina/o Critical Race Theory (LatCrit), a branch of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as the theoretical framework is an essential tool that analyzes and teases out the relationship between the author and the institution(s), that is both the public school system and the ivory tower. By using CRT/LatCrit as an analytical lens to reflect on her own educational journey, the author was able to highlight and theorize elements enhancing her cultural identity, sense of belonging, and further understand the role of family in her aspirations and pursuit of a doctoral degree. Thus, this paper explores 1) access and retention in the early schooling years and 2) the challenges faced and successes experienced by Latinas in the undergraduate journey. This paper ends with a discussion of how the lessons learned early on assist in overcoming challenges in order to gain access and navigate graduate school.

Whiteness FAQ: Responses and Tools for Confronting College Classroom Questions
( 2016-01-01) Nishi, Naomi ; Matias, Cheryl ; Montoya, Roberto ; Sarcedo, Geneva ; Iowa State University Digital Repository

Instructors and students with a critical race perspective are frequently confronted and often marginalized by questions of whiteness in the college classroom. These questions work to reinforce and promote white norms and ultimately white supremacy. This theoretical article and pedagogical tool responds to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that exude whiteness in the classroom directly, offering critical responses backed by literature, research, and theory. We also respond to the questions subcontextually, naming the assumptions that are embedded in these whiteness questions and deconstructing them. We offer pedagogical strategies for responding to and resisting whiteness in the classroom when whiteness FAQs arise.