Feminist Theory Theater—or FTT as we lovingly abbreviate it—is a way to read theory (or anything) with others. Inspired by feminist STS and its commitments to embodied, situated and distributed sense-making, FTT asks readers to stage, discuss, and re-stage the text that they are reading. By centering provisional performances as materials for an ongoing process of collective interpretation, FTT asks readers to “put a text on its feet” not in the service of making a finished show, but rather as a mode of working, thinking, putting an argument into our bodies and classrooms and experiencing what it might feel like to stand with it.
As we worked on the article “Feminist Theory Theater: Acts of Reading as Embodied Pedagogy” <link forthcoming> in ESTS, we (Christina Aushana, Michael Berman, Yelena Gluzman, and Sarah Klein) were invited to think of what kind of data artifacts we could include to give readers a backstage glimpse of the work. Not having permission to post videos of the FTT sessions we describe in the article, we grappled with what sort of artifact could open the FTT process up for new readers. We landed on the idea of making a zine-type guide to doing FTT, which readers could print out, mark up, and keep as a document of the interpretive process that emerged when reading with FTT. While the FTT Workbook is not itself a form of ethnographic data, it offers a score and template for readers to generate their own data.
Included in this collection is a prototype version we created, called the Feminist Theory Theater Workbook. Conceptualizing the Workbook began in early 2021 and culminated with presenting the prototype at the Making & Doing session of the 2021 Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) conference, where it was recognized with a Making & Doing Award.
The prototype we made in 2021 allowed us to experiment with using the Workbook as a printable resource designed for groups of readers trying out FTT as a way to read together. In contrast to models of reading that suppress the spatial, social, and personal conditions within which we read, the FTT Workbook instead asks readers to foreground, notice, and play with the objects, experiences, and situated environments that conditioned their reading, not as distractions but as part and parcel of the text’s emerging meanings. As folks use this prototype version, we invite them to share their experiences with us as we work on the next iteration of the Feminist Theory Theater Workbook. We intend for this next iteration of the Workbook to be freely available on the FTT website <URL tba>, along with a growing archive of shared images, marked up workbooks, and other ephemera from experiments with FTT.
We are eager to incorporate your feedback as we work on the next iteration! We warmly encourage you to share your thoughts, comments, or report difficulties in using this prototype Workbook. Even sending along JPGs of your marked up Workbook will help us understand what the Workbook is doing in practice. To be clear, any material you share with us will be kept private unless you specify otherwise. Any feedback, responses, or scanned pages can be e-mailed to us at email@example.com.
Sarah Klein, Yelena Gluzman, Christina Aushana and Michael Berman, 30 June 2022, "Data Availability Statement for the Feminist Theory Theater Workbook", contributed by Sarah Klein, Yelena Gluzman, Christina Aushana and Michael Berman, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 8 July 2022, accessed 28 May 2023. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/data-availability-statement-feminist-theory-theater-workbook
This data availability statement contextualizes source data published by Engaging Science, Technology, and Society (ESTS) journal. This text is provided by the author and is linked to from the manuscript. Data Availability Statements explain why a contributing team decided to include particular materials as their data and other information relevant to understanding the published data.