Transnational feminism in the academy : linking humanities and human rights

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marry Ann Rado Torres (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
Cara Cilano

Abstract: Deepika Bahri, in her essay, “Marginally Off-Center: Postcolonialism in the Teaching Machine,” asserts “[…] postcolonial academics are engaged not merely in the analysis and teaching of difference but in its production as well” (Bahri 279). However, postcolonial discourse’s professed aim of “resistance and erosion of Eurocentric and imperialist modalities” becomes problematic in the classroom because neither educational institutions nor academics themselves are value neutral. (Bahri 279). To borrow from Henry Giroux, educational institutions are “deeply implicated in forms of inclusion and exclusion that yield particular moral truths and values” (qtd. in Bahri 279). Chandra Mohanty offers a solidarity model of transnational feminism as the expression of a pedagogy that insists on the centrality of the experiences and strategies of communities of women around the world. Her model aspires to “[…] allow students to see the complexities, singularities, and interconnections between communities of women such that power, privilege, agency, and dissent can be made visible and engaged with” (Mohanty 523). She argues that differences between people are never just “differences”: “in knowing differences and particulars we can better see connections and commonalities because no border or boundary is ever complete or rigidly determining” (Mohanty 505). The object is to understand how “[…] specifying difference allows us to theorize universal concerns more fully” (Mohanty 505). Far from erasing difference, the feminist solidarity model uses its historical basis to find areas of connection between women in diverse communities that can be translated into political activism. Using the perspective of a “cross cultural lens” enables an antiglobalization position that focuses both on substantive issues of exploitation and sites of resistance and struggle. In light of the fact that questions of race, sex, gender and identity are most intensely debated in institutions of higher education, my thesis will explore the value and limitations of college syllabi in postcolonial and women’s studies as instruments of a transnational feminist pedagogy.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Postcolonialism--Study and teaching (Higher), Women's studies--Curricula--United States, Feminism and education, Postcolonialism--Curricula--United States
Subjects
Women's studies -- Curricula -- United States
Postcolonialism -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Postcolonialism -- Curricula -- United States
Feminism and education