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Transnational Feminism: Resources and Issues

The following WMST-L discussion from December 2007 offers resources on
transnational feminism and some questions about the term. For more WMST-L
files now available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 15:17:05 +0000
From: Ayse Dayi <aysedayi AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: readings on transnational feminism
Dear all,

i would like to get suggestions for some good readings on
transnational feminism, and movies if you use any.

hope you all have a merry christmas, happy eid, happy solstice, and a
great year!


Ayse Dayi, Ph.D.Assistant Professor
Women's Studies Department
Towson University
8000 York Rd. Towson, MD
Email: adayi  AT  towson.edu
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 05:23:06 +0000
From: Karen Morgaine <kmorgaine AT COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Transnational Feminism Readings

I would strongly recommend N. Naples & M. Desai (Eds.) Women's
activism and globalization: Linking local struggles and transnational
politics. New York: Routledge. This is a fabulous collection that
examines the diversity and complexity of women's social movements in a
transnational context.


Karen Morgaine
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 06:27:53 -0800
From: luh ayu saraswati <luhayusaraswati AT YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Transnational Feminism Readings
Hi Ayse:
I taught Transnational Feminism course last semester and these are
some of the readings that worked well in the class:
  -Grewal, Inderpal. Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas,
   Neoliberalisms. Durham: Duke, 2005.

  -Freeman, Carla. High Tech and High Heels in the Global Economy:
   Women, Work, and Pink-Collar Identities in the Caribbean. Durham:
   Duke, 2000.
  -Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy. 1990. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002.
  I also used selected chapters from:

  -Elam, Jr., Harry and Kennell Jackson, eds. Black Cultural Traffic:
   Crossroads in Global Performance and Popular Culture. Ann Arbor:
   U. of Michigan, 2005.
  -Ferree, Myra and Aili Tripp, eds. Global Feminism: Transnational
  Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights. New York: NYU,
  -Grewal, Inderpal and Caren Kaplan, eds. Scattered Hegemonies:
   Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices. Minneapolis:
   U. of Minnesota, 1994.

  -Ong, Aihwa. Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of
  Transnationality. Durham: Duke UP, 1999.

  -Sarker, Sonita and Esha Niyogi De, eds. Trans-Status Subjects:
  Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia. Durham:
  Duke UP, 2002.

  -Shohat, Ella, ed. Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in
  Transnational Age.  Cambridge: MIT, 1998.
  You may also want to consider some of these articles:
  - Grewal, I and C. Kaplan.  "Global Identities: Theorizing
    Transnational Studies of Sexuality." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian &
    Gay Studies, 2001, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p663, 17p; (AN#
    9315692). Academic Search Premier online database.
  - Mani, B. "Beauty Queens: Gender, Ethnicity, and Transnational
    Modernities at the Miss India USA Pageant." Positions,
    Winter2006, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p717-747, 31p; (AN#
    23507598). Academic Search Premier online database.
  - Damosh, M and J. Seager. "On the Move." In Putting Women in
    Place: Feminist Geographers Make Sense of the World. New York: The
    Guilford Press, 2001. 110-139.
  -Probyn, E. "Lesbians in Space, Gender, Sex, and the Structure of
   Missing." Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography,
   Mar95, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p77, 8p; (AN# 9504271055). Academic Search
   Premier online database.
  -Mar, P. "Unsettling Potentialities: Topographies of Hope in
   Transnational Migration." Journal of Intercultural Studies,
   Nov2005, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p361-378, 18p; (AN#18449092). Academic
   Search Premier online database.
  The films that students loved:
  -Nalini By Day Nancy By Night
  -Remote Sensing
  Hope this helps.  Please feel free to email me if you have any questions :)
  L. Ayu Saraswati, PhD
  Postdoctoral Fellow
  Emory University
  Department of Women's Studies
  128 Candler Library
  Atlanta, Georgia 30322
  lpraset  AT  emory.edu
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:14:47 -0500
From: Rhea Hirshman <rheahirshman AT MAC.COM>
Subject: Re: transnational feminism readings
I've taught a course for several years called Gender from a Global
Perspective [just finished a round of it this past semester]. It's a
100-level intro course at UConn, so I consider my job to be introducing
students [many of whom are there because the course time fit into their
schedules...] to basic concepts of women's studies [e.g. gender-role
socialization] as well as introducing them to looking at issues from an
international/global perspective.  Therefore, it's not a course in
transnational feminism per se. But if anyone is interested, drop me a note
and I'll be glad to send my syllabus.

Students love Joni Seager's Penguin Atlas of Women in the World.

Film that really got to students: Sex and the Holy City.

~W Rhea
University of Connecticut at Stamford
rheahirshman  AT  mac.com
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 09:49:38 -0800
From: Sarah Rasmusson <sarahrasmusson AT YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Transnational Feminism Readings
HI everyone:

This semester I taught Riverbend's _Baghdad Burning:
Girl Blog from Iraq_ (Feminist Press, 2005) alongside
the Saudi Arabian chick lit novel _Girls of Riyadh_ by
Alasanea (Penguin, 2007).

Discussions of "transnational feminism" and "the
global" centered around the ways these young women
communicate with one another (given global
telecommunications technologies central to both books
-- email, text messaging, blogs, social networking
sites) across nations ABOUT nation and feminism(s).

One student researched the secretive communication
between The Feminist Press and Riverbend, who's
identity is still unknown. Other students researched
and compared the transnational political economy of
chick lit novels, TV and Cable shows, and movies as
the globalization of Carrie Bradshaw-types of young
women from "Sex in the City".

At the end of the semester, we set out to define - in
a paragraph -- "transnational feminism" and see, as
with all definitions, how limiting and impossible a
task it is.

So, one of the things I'm dubious about with
"transnational feminism" is the very production of
"transnational feminism" itself - the origin and use
of the phrase. Seems to be a Western production that
is quite problematic. I worry that the phrase does a
lot of political work itself for US complicity,
neoliberalism, whiteness, US feminism, etc. (Grewal's
_Transnational America_ is too advanced for the intro
level courses I teach...!!!)

Does anyone know any good critiques of "transnational
feminism" -- it's genealogy, how it traffics, etc.????

Thanks, Sarah

Sarah L. Rasmusson
Women's & Gender Studies Program
The College of New Jersey
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 13:13:20 -0500
From: gray <gray AT TCNJ.EDU>
Subject: Re: Transnational Feminism Readings
I like Sarah's questions...I think what has happened (in part) is that the
term "transnational" has become baggy and no longer refers specifically to
the set of concepts that the people who first argued for it as an
alternative to "global" had in mind.

Grewal & Kaplan's intro to _Scattered Hegemonies_ is where I turn to refresh
my sense of why the term "transnational" became important; most often this
is the source I've seen others cite as well.

Maybe the point is: there is no single "innocent" term we can use to
describe our efforts to stretch our knowledge about women, gender, and
feminism beyond ethno/euro/etc.centric bounds.

Janet Gray
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 18:14:35 +0000
From: Dina Dahbany-Miraglia <ddmqcc AT ATT.NET>
Subject: Transnational Feminism Readings

In the 1980s I taught "Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective" twice. An
ethnographer I used ethnographic materials. Except for Shulamith
Firestone's book, there was nothing in Women's Studies that even
touched on women who were not white, young, middle-class,
well-educated well-to-do to wealthy. In other words, privileged women
who are able and can afford to talk about "things." 500 POUNDS AND A

My concern? Women's Studies has ignored ethnographies and is still
paying the price. Now the "global/transnational perspective" has
simply expanded the "white" to include "women of color." I strongly
recommend avoiding creating terminologies without having thought them
through first. That means looking at huge amounts of data in as many
fields as possible. Don't imitate the so-called "theorists" who write
essentially about themselves and their limited experiences.

Yes, I know, it's hard. But feminism and Women's Studies still suffer
from intellectual astigmatism.

I've been a feminist since I was 7 and a "lurker" here for years,
reading the discussions with interest. Nothing has changed. Too many
of the publications are based on too little knowledge of unprivileged
women all over the globe.

Women are still short-changed and the "benefits" of feminism since the
1960s has resulted in even greater exploitation.

Please---read the ethnographies.

Dina Dahbany-Miraglia Ph.D.
Associate Professor-Retired
Queensborough Community College &
MEMEAC (Middle East& Middle East
American Center)
The City University of New York
E-mail: ddmqcc  AT  att.net
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 19:52:28 -0500
From: Judith Ezekiel <ezekiel AT UNIV-TLSE2.FR>
Subject: Transnational readings
May I suggest some or all of the special issue of the Sage journal, the
European Journal of Women's Studies 9:3  (August 2002) on "The Traffic in
Feminism: Contemporaty Women's Movements in Europe"?  Although this is
changing in recent years today, I used to get annoyed by what used to be
called international and "global" feminism cut out and homogenized Europe.
Judith Ezekiel

    European Journal of Women's Studies 2002 9: 219-221.

Kathy Davis
    Feminist Body/Politics as World Traveller: Translating Our

Abigail Saguy
    International Crossways: Traffic in Sexual Harassment Policy

Katalin Fabian
    Cacophony of Voices: Interpretations of Feminism and its Consequences
for Political Action among Hungarian Women's Groups

Rebecca Nash
    Exhaustion from Explanation: Reading Czech Gender Studies in the 1990s

Kate Nash
    A Movement Moves ... Is There a Women's Movement in England Today?

Nira Yuval-Davis and Marcel Stoetzler
    Imagined Boundaries and Borders: A Gendered Gaze

Judith Ezekiel
    Le Women's Lib: Made in France


Professor in Residence
Women's Studies, Wright State University

My address from August 24, 2007
321 N. Walnut St.
Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

ezekiel  AT  univ-tlse2.fr
judith.ezekiel  AT  wright.edu

Equipe Race et Genre, Simone-SAGESSE
UniversitT de Toulouse-Le Mirail
listmistress of etudesfeministes-l
and WISE-L:

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