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VOLUME 7, NUMBER 2

“Beyond the Shadow: Re-scripting Race in Women’s Studies”
Laura Gilman

This essay examines racial scripts as indicators of differentiated gender-race formations, expressed through a double-voiced discourse. White feminists deploy scripts to disaffiliate from a universalized gender but at the same time deny racial difference in order to maintain a coherent narrative of oppression based on gender. Feminists of color, on the contrary, adopt a double-voiced discourse in order to dismantle a false unity that depends on discursive processes of exclusion of a racialized ‘other.’ The implementation of a ‘conjunctural approach,’ one that systematically brings together intersectionality and whiteness studies frameworks as well as the scripts they generate, models a critical pedagogy that exposes race-gender constitution as a relational dynamic, characterized by racialized discursive struggle. The intentional juxtaposition of incompatible perspectives and political commitments that emerge in real-lived interactions enhances our understanding of how power accrues, how it is contested, and how it can be dismantled within feminist thought and practices.

“Race, Gender, and Tribal Nation: A Native Feminist Approach to Belonging”
Renya Ramirez

Too often there is the assumption in Native communities that we as indigenous women should defend a tribal nationalism that ignores sexism as part of our very survival as women as well as out liberation from colonization. In contrast, in this essay, I assert that race, tribal nation, and gender should be non-hierarchically linked as categories of analysis in order to understand the breadth of our oppression as well as full potential of our liberation in the hope that one day we can belong as full members of our homes, communities, and tribal nations. Indeed, both indigenous women and men should develop a Native feminist consciousness based on the assumption that struggles for social autonomy will no longer include the denial of Native women’s gendered concerns and rights.

“Going Home: A Feminist Anthropologist’s Reflections on Dilemmas of Power and Positionality in the Field”
M. Cristina Alcalde

In this essay, I draw on my fieldwork in Lima, Peru to critically explore the power relationship within my own feminist research and practice and illustrate what feminist research in one’s own society might include. I pay special attention to my roles as academic and advocate and reflect on how power asymmetries based on race, educational status, and class were both reproduced and reshaped during my fieldwork, and how my feminist research agenda and partial insider status were directly tied to the creation and continuation of these power asymmetries. As I illuminate potential dilemmas, rewards and difficulties that may result from feminist research in one’s own society, I foreground the potential for effecting social change from within, the researcher’s social responsibility and engagement in the field, and the blurring of boundaries between insider and outsider.

“The Erotic and the Pornographic in Chicana Rap”
Pancho McFarland and Beauty Beauty Bragg

The discourse on gender and sexuality in rap music is dominated by the pornographic. Women of color contending with demeaning pornographic images have entered the discourse though many routes. JV and Ms. Sancha exemplify the two predominant approaches to discussing gender, sexuality, and power by female rappers of Mexican descent. The concepts of “the erotic” and “porn” are used to describe and examine the work of these two artists. Like feminists of color before her, JV invokes the power of the erotic to challenge male-centered discussions of sexuality. Comparison of the works of each artist helps clarify the difficulties women encounter when attempting to intervene in male-dominated cultural spaces. Each artist contends with the misogyny of the dominant culture that largely sanctions pornography and denies the erotic.

“Writing Rape, Trauma, and Transnationality onto the Female Body: Matrilineal Em-body-ment in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman”
Silvia Schultermandl

In Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman (1997), The Korean American protagonist reconciles with her Korean heritage through the act of spreading her mother’s ashes. This essay looks at Keller’s use of a “language of the body” that protests against rape and other forms of oppression of the female body. This language of the body does not rely on essentialist parameters of “race” or of women’s “nature.” On the contrary, by depicting rape as universal, non-culture specific issue, Keller’s novel sketches a mother-daughter relationship where the daughter finds a way to identify with the mother despite the fact that the mother remains, at times, the cultural “Other.” It is a shared experience of rape and trauma that facilitates a means of understanding between mother and daughter and serves as a point of contact for the building of transnational feminist solidarity between women of different cultures.

“Reconfigurations of Caribbean History: Michelle Cliff’s Rebel Women”
Jennifer Thorington Springer

“Reconfigurations of Caribbean History: Michelle Cliff’s Rebel Women” examines Cliff’s re-visioning of Caribbean history in an effort to elucidate Caribbean women’s active role in building Caribbean nations. In Abeng, Cliff reinvents what Honor Ford Smith calls a “rebel consciousness” through representations of female rebels who refuse to “know duh place.” Cliff’s rebel women combat and resist traditional representations of womanhood, patriarchy, colonial culture, and homophobia. The genealogy of the “fighting spirit” of Caribbean women is registered in Abeng to ensure the longevity of their acts of resistance but more importantly to serve as an instructional guide for younger generations of Caribbean women.

Revisiting the Second Wave in Conversation with Mary King
Elizabeth Jacobs

This interview between Professor Mary King and Elizabeth Jacobs took place at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University, during the course of 2004 and 2005. Mary King’s work as Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies for the United Nations takes her to all corners of the globe. On this occasion she had returned to the United Kingdom to present a research paper at the international conference “The United States and Global Human Rights” held at Oxford University. The timing of the interview was made pertinent by this context and by the fact that it was almost forty years to the day after the main subject of the interview—the position paper by Mary King and Casey Hayden titled “Sex and Caste: A Kind of Memo”—first appeared at the SNCC retreat in Waveland, Mississippi in the fall of 1964. The paper was later published in the April 1966 issue of the pacifist and transatlantic War Resisters League Liberation magazine, and became a key text of second-wave feminism.