We are looking for one or two papers and a chair to join us at the NWSA. Panel proposals due by Feb. 20th, so please contact by Feb. 15 if interested at emma [period] schroeder @ maine.edu.
Gender, Transnational Activism, and Global Citizenship
At a time when the certain material realities, such as climate change, demand a renewed sense of global responsibility, nationalism and protective citizenship are on the rise. With the reality of this disjuncture, we envision a panel that tackles past intersections of transnational feminist activism, feminisms, the production of scientific knowledge, and the formation of citizenship. We seek panelists who pay especial attention to the ways activists have made new demands of citizenship through border-crossings, novel geographic imaginaries, or transnational social networks. Citizenship practices, often framed in ways that delimit borders, also contain within them intrinsic claims about relations to other peoples and places. In what ways have such claims increased peoples’ access to rights? What kinds of obligations have activists insisted the state fulfill because of permeable boundaries? If people envision an interconnected humanity, what responsibilities then adhere to citizenship? How do nationalist movements inspire or create transnational networks of activists?
We are looking for several papers to join us. They can be from any place or time, but we are particularly seeking those whose research involves non-Western citizenship practices; geographic imaginaries; post-colonial feminisms; or transnational political practices.
An Nguyen’s paper will examine the transnational feminist alliance between non-Communist women in the Vietnamese Women’s Movement for the Right to Live (WRL) and American women’s peace groups during the Vietnam War. By 1970, American military policies and pacification programs had subjected Vietnamese women to pervasive physical violence, sexual exploitation, and a defoliation campaign that severely hampered their reproductive health. Within this context, the WRL actively worked with the Women Strike for Peace and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom to create a potent transnational network that could lobby for immediate peace and women’s liberation in the war-torn country. This paper will probe these transnational activists’ accomplishment in generating counterhegemonic discourses, as well as the obstacles they incurred as they challenged American imperialist policies that had deprived women of human rights, freedom, and security.
Emma Schroeder’s paper will attend to the ways transnational technological activists of the 1960s and 1970s utilized the geographic imaginary of the “Whole Earth” to argue for overturning conventional scientific practices. Following science studies scholars who suggest that the practice of science is intrinsically connected to who counts as a citizen, this paper will explore the radical political potential in science activism that sought to undo the “monocultures of the mind” – welcoming women and indigenous knowledges into such practice and, therefore, into what counted as knowledge. The paper will suggest that, paradoxically, Western cultural norms may also have adhered to these socially transformative ideals aimed at leveling global technological inequities.