Gendered Borders, Nationalism, and Transnational Flows

Gender, patriarchy, modernity, global capitalism -these are all transnational in scope (that is, they cross national borders). However, our faculty see the importance of understanding how these transnational processes are always adapted in specific and unique ways to local conditions. We explore research and theoretical frameworks to understand the ways in which certain ideas or identities “travel,” and how they are embedded in local political, cultural and social negotiations of power. Through this lens, we try to create theoretical frameworks that are non-totalizing or universalist. Various faculty members’ research and numerous courses examine how feminism has functioned as a transnational discourse in different historical eras and intersected with other social phenomena like the labor movement, Cold War politics and organizing, or colonialism. Additionally, nationalism and citizenship have become important in political and academic circles, especially in post-state socialist countries. However, most work in these areas overlooks the fact that nationalisms and concepts of citizenship are always gendered and raced, and they are typically articulated in relation to heterosexuality and family. Thus, courses and individual faculty research examine nationalism and citizenship through an intersectional lens that attends to the way other identities are entangled with other social movements. Finally, the issue of globalization and borders is also explored in relation to theories and scholarship on how the social construction of space and place also shape other social categories like gender, race and sexuality.