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Transnational Feminism in the United States

Transnational Feminism in the United States: Knowledge, Ethics, Power

Leela Fernandes
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Transnational Feminism in the United States
    Book Description:

    The acceleration of economic globalization and the rapid global flows of people, cultural goods, and information have intensified the importance of developing transnational understandings of contemporary issues. Transnational feminist perspectives have provided a unique outlook on women's lives and have deepened our understanding of the gendered nature of global processes.Transnational Feminism in the United Statesexamines how transnational perspectives shape the ways in which we produce, consume, and disseminate knowledge about the world within the United States, and how the paradigm of transnational feminism is affected in nuanced ways by national narratives and public discourses within the country itself.An innovative theoretical project that is both deconstructive and constructive, this bookinterrogates the limits of feminist thought, primarily through case studies that illustrate its power to create entirely new fields of research out of traditionally interdisciplinary lines of inquiry. Leela Fernandes discusses ways to approach, analyze, and capture processes that exceed and unsettle the nation-state within the transnational feminist paradigm. Examining the links between power and knowledge that bind interdisciplinary theory and research, she shines new light on issues such as human rights and the United States war on terror as well as academic debates about transnational feminist perspectives on global issues. A commanding and thought-provoking analysis,Transnational Feminism in the United Statespowerfully contributes to central debates in the field of Women's Studies and related cross-disciplinary scholarship on feminist theory and gender from a global perspective.Leela Fernandesis Professor of Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of Michigan, and author ofIndia's New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform;Producing Workers: The Politics of Gender, Classand Culture in the Calcutta Jute Mills; andTransforming Feminist Practice.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-6299-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-31)

    WHILE SIFTING THROUGH the mass of e-mails that accumulate at the beginning of a new academic year, I was struck by the subject heading of one message. The message line exclaimed, “Saudi Women Drive! NEW at Ms. in the Classroom.” Upon opening the message, I found a generic informational advertisement recommending the use of a digital version of Ms. magazine for my courses. Buried at the bottom was a note that said, “P.S. The NEW Summer 2011 issue is available at Ms. in the Classroom, which includes Saudi Women Drive! Get the whole story on the fight for gender equality,...

  5. 2 U.S. State Practices and the Rhetoric of Human Rights
    (pp. 32-60)

    ON JANUARY 13, 2009, during the course of Hillary Clinton’s Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of state for the newly inaugurated Obama administration, Senator Barbara Boxer began her questioning by holding up large, blown-up photographs of Pakistani women who were the victims of an acid attack. Boxer’s intention, as revealed in her exchange with Clinton, was to foreground Clinton’s interest and experience in promoting global women’s rights. Clinton responded to this opening with a strong statement. Linking the attacks in Pakistan with attacks on schoolgirls by Taliban supporters in Afghanistan, she asserted:

    They want to maintain an attitude that keeps...

  6. 3 Transnational Economies of Representation and the Labor of the Traveling Subaltern
    (pp. 61-101)

    ONE OF THE central features of contemporary globalization has been the transnational circulation of cultural products. Various forms of cultural representation (film, media images, literature, television programs) now move rapidly across borders. These forms of cultural circulation are no longer reducible to clear-cut geopolitical forms of movement. That is, the production and circulation of films do not move in a uniform fashion from what was once called the “East” or “Third World” to the “West.” While global film and television programming is still dominated by U.S. industries, this dominance has been challenged by the rise of national programming and complex...

  7. 4 Regimes of Visibility and Transnational Feminist Knowledge
    (pp. 102-135)

    THE STUDY OF transnational feminism is a historically specific paradigm that has emerged in response to the intensification of transnational flows associated with the contemporary epoch of globalization. The study of transnational feminism specifically arose in response to a growing emphasis on the limits of territorially bound nation-states in a range of studies and theories that sought to make sense of the impact of globalization. The limits of the nation-state were apparent in a number of realms. In economic terms, the movement of capital across borders (and the growing scale and power of transnational corporations), the dependence of a growing...

  8. 5 Institutional Practice and the Field of Women’s Studies
    (pp. 136-167)

    IN 2001, I was asked to co-convene a session at a national conference that brought together representatives of institutions that had launched autonomous PhD programs in the field of women’s studies. In my remarks at that session, I suggested that if women’s studies departments were planning to train students doing graduate-level work on international questions, these departments needed to think more systematically about the kind of preparation that students would receive. In particular, I suggested that women’s studies departments may want to consider ways to ensure that students received training (in coursework and research) on questions that were not focused...

  9. 6 Race, Transnational Feminism, and Paradigms of Difference
    (pp. 168-189)

    ONE OF THE key features of the paradigm of transnational feminism is that it has emerged within and is shaped in central ways by models of multicultural education that are specific to the context of the United States. A central underlying challenge in the institutionalization of transnational approaches within the field of women’s studies thus lies with the way in which understandings of transnational feminism are disciplined by existing paradigms of difference. Dominant paradigms of multiculturalism often continue to cast transnationalism as another marker of identity so that the inclusion of transnational perspectives simply means the inclusion of one more...

  10. 7 Afterword: The Moment of Transnational Feminism in the United States
    (pp. 190-198)

    THE ESSAYS IN this book have examined the implications that transnational perspectives have for the way in which we make sense of a complex and deeply interconnected world. The paradigm of transnational feminism provides a critical case study for such reflection both because transnational perspectives have sought to capture contemporary global phenomena that have unsettled modern nation-states and because such perspectives have been at the forefront of interdisciplinary knowledge that has grappled with the real material and political effects of our knowledge practices. Indeed, as this book has shown, transnational feminist scholarship has produced rich theoretical and empirical understandings of...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 199-218)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 219-234)
  13. Index
    (pp. 235-245)
  14. About the Author
    (pp. 246-246)