Catherine Raissiguier and Susan Bordo met when Raissiguier invited Bordo to give a series of lectures at the Center for Women’s Studies at the University of Cincinnati in the late 1990s. While open to the public, the lectures were primarily geared for MA students in women’s studies and were designed to function as an intensive graduate seminar.
Bordo and Raissiguier met again in June 2008 in Lexington in Bordo’s home for this interview. Their conversation explores the tension that often exists between scholarly and pedagogical labor. A careful contemplation of her students’ experiences and the reflexive analysis of her own have continued to fuel Bordo’s theorizing and writing on the body. By linking her students’ work and lives to her own in the space of the classroom, Bordo has produced a broad array of personal and theoretical reflections on the culture she shares with them. Such dynamic engagement has transformed Bordo’s writing over the years. Bordo has been inserting more and more of her personal story into her scholarly work, she tells us, and is currently exploring fiction writing as a way of addressing what she sees as the increasingly contradictory, rich, and complex world in which she and her students live.