• Cult-F. Decolonizing Feminism

    (Xhercis Mendez, Michigan State University)

    This Seminar is open to all students.

    On January 21, 2017, millions of people gathered worldwide in support for the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.  The Women’s March, which quickly gained international attention, renewed interest and tense debates regarding what could or should constitute a “women’s” movement in this contemporary moment. At the heart of these debates are fundamental questions about how we understand and contend with sexed bodies, gender, identity, and sexual/racial/class differences in both local and global contexts. The course will explore the relationship between how we conceive of sex, gender, and bodies and the feminist agendas that get produced as a result. 

    In order to explore this relationship, the class will first, consider scientific conceptions of “sex” and its historical ties to Western conceptions of “gender.” Next, we will explore the historical dynamics and structural forces that reconstitute gender’s meaning in the “New World” and track some of the practices that work to globalize this racialized conception of gender. Finally, the class will consider non-Western worldviews and cosmologies in order to explore alternative ways in which folks have understood themselves, their bodies, and how they organize their social relationships. 

    Tentative list of readings:

    Thomas Laqueur, “Of Language and Flesh”
    Maria Lugones, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System”.
    K. Tsianina Lomawaima, “Domesticity in the Federal Indian Schools”.
    Madina Tlostanova, “Coloniality of Gender in the World of the Secondary.”
    Schnarch, “Neither Man Nor Woman: Berdache – a case for non-dichotomous gender construction”
    Gloria Wekker, “What’s Identity Got to Do With It?”
    Paula Gunn Allen, “Where I Come From is Like This?