Spotlight: An Interview with ShoutOut’s Dr. Hobson

As a new semester of bloggers are about to join the ShoutOut legacy, I wanted to take the time to sit down with one of ShoutOut’s faculty advisors, Dr. Kathryn Hobson, talk about feminism, her personal experiences, and what advice she has for future bloggers! So, dive on in and get to know one of the amazing faculty that help foster us bloggers!

What is your personal definition of feminism?

“I have a complicated relationship with feminism.” Often times, feminists can be exclusive when it comes to certain identities, such as women of color or queer people. As a self-identified queer fem, Dr. Hobson said she struggled in the past finding her place in feminism, as her voice had often been pushed aside or ignored completely. She said, “If feminism isn’t inclusive and intersectional, it’s not something I want to be involved with.”

What brought you to the Communication Studies and to ShoutOut?

“I am lucky and privileged to be here,” Dr. Hobson reflected; she explained that she was excited to come work for the SCOM department here at JMU because we have a Cultural Communication concentration and Dr. Hobson received her degree in cultural communication, completing her dissertation on the construction of queer femininity, “Performing queer-femininities: Passing, playing, and camp.” In regard to how Dr. Hobson got involved with ShoutOut, she said she was simply asked by her co-advisor, Dr. Alison Bodkin. Given her complex relationship with feminism, she was aprehensive at first, but found an immense potential in ShoutOut as a mechanism of feminist discourse. She has come to realize that ShoutOut bloggers have a profound sense of learning, have been doing a great job of conducting complex critiques, and at being self-sufficient and communally efficient.

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of ShoutOut bloggers?

“If you are going to write a blog post, make sure you use intersectional language, to look at the way identities work together. Nothing is ever just about race, or class, or gender.” These identities work together, have impacts on one another, and Dr. Hobson expressed the importance of keeping that in mind as you write your posts. Remember your audience; keep them in mind as you write. Not everyone who is reading ShoutOut identifies the same way as you, the blogger. You have to write for them, not just for you.

What is one thing you wish you saw more of in ShoutOut posts?

Dr. Hobson expressed that she would “love to see more series, multiple posts on the same topic that allows the blogger to go more in depth and look critically at a particular issue.” You can end your post with a ‘to be continued…’ to create a bridge between posts, and to keep the readers interested in checking back in on your writing every week. So, keep that in mind as you brainstorm topics for your posts when we return in 2017!

Thank you Dr. Hobson for sitting down to chat with me and for being a guiding light for intersectional feminist discourse. Here’s to a new semester of bloggers, to new and fresh perspectives. ShoutOut, viewers, you have been so good to us!

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