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Transnational Feminism in the United StatesKnowledge, Ethics, Power$
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Leela Fernandes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760963

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760963.001.0001

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Institutional Practice and the Field of Women’s Studies

Institutional Practice and the Field of Women’s Studies

(p.136) 5 Institutional Practice and the Field of Women’s Studies
Transnational Feminism in the United States

Leela Fernandes

NYU Press

This chapter explores the institutionalization of the study of comparative, international, and transnational perspectives within the parameters of women's studies programs. The challenge for fields such as women's studies has long been how to institutionalize the study of difference in ways that do not reproduce formulaic or static understandings of complex identities, places, and contexts. One risk in the rise of the paradigm of transnationalism is that the transnational is often simply another racialized marker of difference and otherness. This raises a number of risks and issues for curricular practices and the definition of the field of women's studies. At one level, the racialization of the “transnational” reflects the domestication of the world within national models of U.S. multiculturalism. At another level, the substitution of transnationalism for race also raises dangers that global or transnational perspectives may sideline the systematic study of race within U.S. women's studies programs.

Keywords:   women's studies, difference, transnationalism, domestication, U.S. multiculturalism, race

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