U of L hosts discussion on transnational feminism

By on March 24, 2016

By Lance Gibson–

Students and staff gathered to hear a faculty panel discuss a newest publication in feminist theory: “Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought.”

Presented March 23 in Chao Auditorium, the new work is an anthology which discusses transnational feminist ideals through the inclusion of texts, bringing in political manifestos and writings composed during the Arab Spring.

Three members of the panel were editors of the anthology: Susan Bordo, M. Cristina Alcalde and Ellen Rosenman. The editors were keen on sharing their experience in revising the compilation of stories.

As the event rolled along, the panelists explained the book’s scope, trying to answer the same question: What makes a woman?

The panelists shared that the anthology began as an inquiry into creating a course that does not submit to a privileged version of history, which attributes many accomplishments only to white males. The project developed into a mission between the three women to discuss the transnational conversation about women in history.

Each member of the panel took time to discuss her experience with the anthology, whether as an editor or contributor. Citing theories and landmark events such as the development of womanist and feminist culture, each panelist brought forth valuable insight. After roughly an hour of discussion, the lecture shifted to a Q&A session between the audience members and the panel.

Questions ranged from the book’s implicit stance on the support of Planned Parenthood, to its analysis of gender roles and identity in the modern age.

The most directly pertinent question answered about the anthology was the origin of its title. According to Alcalde, who created the title, the name “Provocations” came from the goal of provoking a dialogue between people and nationalities on feminism and the further equal treatment of women.

“We hope to provide a useful text and dialogue to teachers that is student friendly, and that provides them with historical context to stimulate their ideas on feminism,” editor Susan Bordo said.

Photo by Mallory Siegenthaler / The Louisville Cardinal

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