Transitioning from the ‘Friendly Neighbourhood Feminist’ to Shawna Marks

The Friendly Neighbourhood Feminist blog was initially something I thought of as an outlet for my many, many thoughts on feminism and my researcher, but also on academia and the minefields I was navigating there. It was initially anonymous, in part because of my own fear about sharing my thoughts, how unrefined (read: raw) I thought my writing style was, and because I had hidden so much of myself. We also lived in a time where manicured online presences were expected. We did not yet know how unrealistic these expectations were and we were yet to realise how deeply we all crave authenticity. I think that we have undergone a recent cultural shift towards authencity that will come to define our generation, and how hopeful is that.

This transition in ‘branding’ is part response to this cultural shift, and part reflection on how far I have come while doing a PhD and how much more willing I am to claim my own thoughts, experiences, and expertise as my own (rather than through an anonimised moniker).

I still want this space to something of a publicly accessible portfolio of my academic work, for my friends and family, and anyone else who is interested. I want to try and stick to the commitment I had to write a post about every piece of academic work that I release. I also want to continue writing about thoughts that I have that deserve swifter exploration than is possible in an academic model. These ‘think pieces’ might also be questions from my communities, other feminist and working-class emerging academics, and more broadly, people who care about the world and want to improve it. I’m open to possibilities.

Another very important reason for the change in ‘branding’ on this site is that I am due to finish my PhD soon. This fledgling baby feminist academic will be leaving the nest in (hopefully) a few months (!!!) and I will be exploring possibilities for future endeavours. Because of this, I want this site to act as a home for the kinds of services I can offer (speaking, writing, educating, and research). You can help me by sharing this site with your friends and colleagues, and thinking of me when you have an opportunity for someone with my kinds of expertise (feminism, gender, sex, and sexual violence).

I am currently (February 2020) going through a process of transitioning the site to act as a landing page for my services, space/resource for community education, and hub for writing on my academic work and other think pieces.





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