Transnational Feminisms

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Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

At a time of globalization, heightened immigration from Latin America, ongoing conflicts between the United States and the Arab/Muslim world, and displacements of many kinds in the Global South, gender issues are inseparable from questions of military intervention, global economic inequities, and community-based struggles for self-determination.  Multicultural feminism in the U.S., while offering important critiques of intersecting systems of power (race, class, gender, sexuality), sometimes overlooks transnational and transborder perspectives that offer a more global understanding of feminism as a decolonizing and liberatory project.   This program will explore contemporary fiction and non-fiction by women in the U.S., Latin America, and the Middle East who literally and figuratively cross borders and national divisions in their work.   This program will explore the relationships between literature and political theory, connections between national and global struggles, questions of religion and spirituality, anti-racism and postcolonialism, gender and sexuality.  We will also consider tensions between recognition of difference or specificity and the possibilities for solidarity and unity.  Writers may include Gloria Anzaldúa, June Jordan, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dionne Brand, Leila Ahmed, Nawal el Saadawi, Maya Angelou, Daisy Zamora, and Rachel Corrie, among others. 

Throughout the quarter, we will situate our close analysis of readings within their historical and political contexts.  We will also view films by and about women in transnational and transborder struggles for social change.  Students will write analytical essays about the program materials, at least one creative piece, and a small project on a writer of their choice. We will also participate in community events relevant to the quarter's work, including Day of Absence/Presence.  Through our studies, students will gain skills in literary/cultural, historical, and theoretical analysis, and examine textual and film representations as sites of resistance.  Students will also gain a greater understanding of postcolonial, Third World, transnational, and Islamic feminist movements.

Program Details

Fields of Study

cultural studies gender and women's studies history international studies literature religious studies

Preparatory For

education, international studies, community advocacy, social work, and foreign service.


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Tuesday, April 4 at 9am (Sem II E1105)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$150 for field trips.


2016-05-10New spring opportunity added.