Coming from natural science disciplines into a research environment where transgressive encounters between cultural, social and biological understandings of sex and gender are characteristic, we examine how one can use transgressive identities to offer a feminist critique of traditional organizational and knowledge boundaries. We examine the different experiences that have caressed, chafed, pained, influenced and thus contributed to our shaping of our identities. Our focus is the challenges and advantages of engaging with, and participating in, the cultures of different disciplines.
Feminism promotes an awareness of, and a need to challenge, social power structures. Feminists have provided critical stances of scientific knowledge, the production of that knowledge and where the knowledge resides. While science is an obvious ‘target’ of a feminist critique, as researchers who operate in interstitial settings between feminism and science, science and education, our positions provide us the opportunity to examine the role of status and power in elevating one subject over another and to discuss how feminism, science and science education may intersect to produce new knowledge, practices and structures.
In this presentation we use the concepts of interstitial spaces and transgressive identities to examine the boundaries of gender and feminist studies, science, and education and discuss our research practices and positions. In doing so, our point of departure is our own experiences. Interstitial spaces exist between and within boundaries. These spaces are possible sites within a defined context (a discipline, a practice, a culture) that may be occupied by an actor/agent working as a “carrier” of different cultural practices, knowledge and theories. A “carrier” can use the interstitial space to influence and challenge a “new” context and thus loosen up boundaries, but can also by experiencing new cultures and developing new knowledge return to the “old” culture to integrate these new practices. Thus, interstitial spaces establish a context for transgressive identities to emerge so one can act in ways to transform and change the cultures of disciplines.
Hussénius, A., Scantlebury, K., Andersson, K., and Gullberg, A. (2015). Interstitial spaces: A model for transgressive processes. In J. Bull & M. Fahlgren (Eds.) Illdisciplined Gender - Engaging Questions of Nature/Culture and Transgressive Encounters. (pp. 11-30). Crossroads of Knowledge. Rotterdam: Springer Publishing.