CFP: Second Biennial EAAS Women’s Network Symposium
Transnational Feminism and/in American Studies
University of Lausanne
March 31–April 1, 2017
As Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan convey in their seminal text An Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World (2001/2005), “transnational feminist studies is not a luxury that is added to the end of a syllabus or that can be relegated to one week out of the semester or quarter” (xvii). A mode of thinking in American Studies scholarship for over a decade, transnationalism should be integrated into all contemporary feminist discourse—whether through academic writing, in the classroom setting, or within the realm of activism—so that important questions are asked, and answered, about “ethnocentrism, racism, and nationalist viewpoints as foundation[s] to gender identity and issues of sexuality” (xvii). Unlike certain threads of global feminism, which espouse a “world-wide alliance of women,” invariably lapsing into the same tropes of condescension, paternalism, and cultural imperialism found in preceding feminist movements, transnational feminism represents a paradigm shift away from orientalist and colonial discourses that prioritize “the West” and that marginalize the social, cultural and historical contexts with which women struggle elsewhere in the world. Thus, transnational feminism signals a movement towards examining how “western” countries, such as the United States, are, for better or worse, implicated in global issues that impact women’s lives and how these issues can be broached.
“It may now be time,” as Susan Koshy cautions us in her 2008 response to Ali Behdad in American Literary History (vol. 20.1-2), “to think carefully about whether feminism travels well across borders, not because distances are as great as they were in the past, but precisely because they are alleged to have shrunk.” According to Koshy, “Transnational feminism, at the best of times a precarious project that negotiates neoliberal universalism, cultural relativism, asymmetrical knowledge flows, the demand for authenticity, and its own commodification, may be short-circuited by its mediatization. These shifts invite us to reflect on the possibility or impossibility of transnational feminism in our time” (302–303). Such a reconceptualization or rethinking has become all the more urgent as women’s rights, access to health care, and social and political spaces are being placed in jeopardy with rising global conservatism. Examining the women’s movement (past, present, and future) in a transnational way underscores the necessity and continued importance of feminism and feminist concerns.
The European Association for American Studies Women’s Network invites the submission of individual abstracts and panels which incorporate transdisciplinary explorations of transnational feminism(s) and welcomes submissions from any branch of American Studies. Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
● What has transnational feminism accomplished so far? What still needs to be done? What are its lessons and limits?
● Teaching transnational feminism in the US or in an American Studies program beyond US borders
● The politics of transnational feminism in European/American academia
● Transnational feminist narratives, literature and theory
● Is there a transnational feminist “canon” within American Studies?
● How do US-centric viewpoints exclude other types/definitions of feminism?
● How do we define American feminism(s) and understand its impact on other nations?
● The collaboration between American feminists and non-American feminists (i.e., feminists organizing across borders)
● Which functions do designations of "sister," "cyborg" (Donna Haraway), "nomadic subject" (Rosi Braidotti), "new mestiza" (Gloria Anzaldúa), and "drag" (Judith Butler) (still) have within gender discourse and queer-feminist thinking and knowledge production?
● Can/should American feminist organizational techniques—such as consciousness raising, collectives, manifestos, and grassroots activism—be applied transnationally?
● Can the subaltern still speak?
● American women of color (e.g., Chicana, Latina, Asian, African, Native American feminists) and transnational feminism
● Globalization, citizenship, immigration, and mobility
● Hybridity, diaspora, and (forced) displacement
● The role of men and masculinity studies in transnational feminism
● The language of transnational feminism
● Feminism as a transnational “F” word—the myths of feminism
● American feminist activism and transnational issues such as FGM, AIDS, sexual slavery, sex work/tourism, war/peace, violence, domestic abuse, natural disasters, sweatshop labor, economic exploitation, food production/distribution, consumerism, disability, women in art and popular culture, the beauty industry, the media, sports, critiques of capitalism, political oppression, human rights, NGOs, LGBT rights, reproductive rights, fetal sex selection, healthcare provision, education/literacy, and the anti-nuclear movement
● How do the concerns of transnational feminism intersect with environmental activism and environmental justice scholarship in American Studies research?
● American feminist activism in transnational organizations such as the UN and the WHO
● The Internet, social media outlets (Facebook/Twitter), and transnational feminist activism
● The historical and literary roots/routes of American transnational feminism
● Comparative approaches that include the United States
Proposals should be sent to the EAAS Women’s Network (firstname.lastname@example.org) and should consist of a 300-400 word abstract in English, as well as a one-paragraph biography for each participant. The time allowance for all presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
Deadline for proposal submission: December 15, 2016.
Presenters will be invited to submit full-text articles (5,000-8,000 words) for possible inclusion in the inaugural issue of our e-journal, WiN: The EAAS Women’s Network Journal
CFP: First Biennial EAAS Women’s Network Symposium
The State of the Nation: American Women in the Twenty-First Century
Marie Curie-Skłodowska University
Friday, March 27, 2015