UPDATE: Theorizing the 'First Wave' Gobally (3/10/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
kanika batra
contact email: 

Deadline extended:
  Theorizing the 'First Wave' Globally

Theorizing feminisms globally, from late 19th to mid 20th centuries, emphasizing sexuality and class, interrogating Western periodization ('first wave'). Abstracts by March 10, 2006 to Pamela Caughie (pcaughi_at_luc.edu) and Kanika Batra (kanikabat_at_yahoo.com).

Although the Western periodization of the feminist movement into the first, second, and third wave is not directly applicable to postcolonial locations, this can be a convenient (albeit schematic and necessarily provisional) means of analyzing the shift in concerns articulated by women in these nations. Toril Moi provides a useful summation of Euro-American feminist concerns based on Julia Kristeva's essay "Women's Time." Schematizing Kristeva's framework Moi mentions a three- tiered historical and political framework: first, a liberal feminist stage in which women demand equal access to the symbolic order; second, the radical feminist stage when women reject the male symbolic order in the name of difference; and the third stage, which is also Kristeva's own position, marked by women's rejection of the dichotomy between masculine and feminine as metaphysical.

The first phase of the women's movement in non-Western, especially postcolonial contexts, is roughly coterminous with the first wave. It is connected to women's participation in the anti-colonial nationalist movement from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s. During this period women modeled their plans for gender equity on Western feminists' demands for electoral, educational, and employment rights adapted to an indigenous program of social reform in the public sphere as well as a re-assessment of gender and sexual mores in the private sphere.

We invite papers for a special session proposed on this topic for the 2006 MLA conference in Philadelphia. Though this panel will discuss feminisms in a global framework, we are especially interested in papers that interrogate the applicability or otherwise of Western periodization to women's movements in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean by highlighting sexuality and class concerns.

Please send 500 word abstracts by March 10th 2006 to Professor Pamela Caughie (pcaughi_at_luc.edu) or Kanika Batra (kanikabat_at_luc.edu).

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Received on Sat Feb 18 2006 - 10:00:17 EST