“Feminist Publics” surveys contemporary public-facing work in feminist studies, broadly conceived, highlighting writing in multiple forms and modes including blogs, op-eds, monographs (including “auto-theory”), and essays. We attend especially to scholarship in the field that is explicitly interested in engaging beyond the academy walls, both in bringing scholarly work to non-academic publics and also in joining and building communities of thinkers that are not based in the academy. We look at public-facing platforms and public-facing initiatives and we consider what it means to produce literary and cultural criticism in “community.” The course has students practice public-facing communication. Our goal here is not only to write about feminism but to write feminist texts (broadly conceived).
While public-facing work is the focus of the course assignments, our readings and discussions circle around a central theme: care. I am interested in thinking about the complexities of care within the contexts of Covid-19, environmental devastation, and ongoing racialized dispossession. Who is deemed worthy of care? Who is required to provide it? How can academic and creative work be understood as practices of care?
“Care” has a long history in feminist thought: starting in the 1980s, white, mostly American-based feminist philosophers and psychologists brought attention to the forms of ethical reasoning embedded in the practice of care. This reasoning challenges masculinist concepts of justice, reason, and subjectivity. At the same time, other feminists, especially socialist feminists, made visible the centrality of undervalued and sometimes unpaid reproductive labor. But embedded in much of this theorization was an implicit, unspoken imaginary of the private sphere, motherhood, and the family and even the category “labor” itself, as white and heteronormative. In turn, BIPOC feminists have brought attention to the undervalued care work both at home and in the labor force, and scholars working at the intersections of disability, feminist, queer, critical race, and trans studies have argued that care can be (or is) a practice of anticolonial, antiracist, and trans radical politics. That said, “care” can also be mobilized for projects of protection, violence and control. It can become complicit with “desires for wholeness, conformity, and civility” and can “morph into forms of containment and exclusion.” 
Three central learning objectives frame the course: (1) to have students understand and practice public-facing academic communication, experimenting with different voices; (2) to have students become familiar with central platforms and initiatives that support this work and to be able to think critically about these; (3) to have students think through the (feminist) politics of care.
 Vincent Duclos and Tomás Sánchez Criado, “Care in Trouble: Ecologies of Support from Below and Beyond,” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 34.2 (2019), 155.