CFP: International Education, Transnational Identities (NWSA Panel)

full name / name of organization: 
Abbie Boggs, Cultural Studies, UC Davis
contact email: 

A Panel Proposed for the Annual National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference; November 11-14, 2010; Denver, CO

This panel will feature papers that investigate contemporary practices of international educational exchange with the aim of interrogating the gender and sexual politics of the modern nation-state. Bringing together the fields of transnational feminist studies, queer cultural studies, and postcolonial studies, we seek to understand the role western educational institutions play in reproducing colonial narratives of rescue and supporting global identity politics (such as "global feminism" or "global gay movements"). We recognize the ways in which education has historically functioned as a key political technology for western liberal regimes, and we wish to understand how these disciplinary practices have continued and are reconfigured with the rise of neoliberalism and transnationalism. In what ways does international education perpetuate uneven exchanges of knowledge and capital and the circulation of western logics of development and democratization? How does the incorporation of "human rights" talk into the mission statements of educational institutions work to construct western-educated scholars and students as conduits for tolerance and progress? Does the humanitarian practice of educational exchange contribute to the depiction of "nonwestern" nation-states as sites of ethnic, religious, and hetero/sexist violence possibly in need of military intervention? In what ways does the production of cosmopolitan citizen-students not only support western projects of national security but also open space for waging critiques against the nation-state? We especially encourage papers that examine international educational exchanges in relation to the intersections of gender and sexual identities, structures of class, racial and religious formations, and hierarchies of dis/ability.

Please send a 250-500 word abstract and a brief CV to Abbie Boggs at by February 21st. Decisions will be made by February 23rd.