Alliance Institute – Transnational Feminism(s)

The American University of Paris

March 12-14, 2020 – Preliminary Program

Transnational feminism is an increasingly important feminist perspective that emphasizes the differences among women and their struggles around the world while simultaneously recognizing the interconnectedness of what may at first glance seem like disparate and independent socio-political phenomena. From the feminization of poverty to the targeted persecution of women in marginalized communities, from the public outcry worldwide against rape culture to the #MeToo movement, the current global climate is one in which women around the world continue to fight inequality, political violence, and social injustice. In some cases, it is laws and institutions themselves that create and perpetuate these injustices. More insidious, but equally far reaching, are the invisible and interconnected social norms that have kept such structures of oppression and exclusion intact even in societies claiming to be egalitarian. While transnational feminism often focuses on women, it recognizes that gender inequities do not occur in a vacuum and are interrelated with social, economic, and political injustice affecting other social identities.

As liberal arts institutions, it is our mission to provide opportunities for faculty and students alike to develop and apply deep critical inquiry that we might productively engage with the urgent and complex social crises of our contemporary world. Addressing and resolving large, complex problems that often cross international borders requires actions of many kinds involving multiple parties in diverse settings, as well as an understanding of the imperative of finding meaningful and efficacious local solutions to local problems. That said, a Global Alliance cross-institutional investigation of transnational feminism(s) will also reveal what might be global in our approaches. The 2020 Alliance Institute on Transnational Feminisms, bringing together faculty and students from a broad swath of Alliance institutions, will invite participants to undertake community-engaged learning to focus on generating empowering solutions to one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Institute Goals

In this highly interactive institute, participants will work together to:

  1. Understand the power and risks of theorizing global and transnational feminism(s);
  2. Articulate the role of liberal education — via curricular development, collaborative faculty / student research, and classroom-fostered activism — in empowering our graduates to action to improve women’s lives around the world;
  3. Identify best practices for curricular and co-curricular programs that develop student’s commitment to transnational feminism(s), social justice, and equity;
  4. Explore and compare local issues and seek to find empowering solutions to them through encouraging creativity, collaboration, fierce dialogue, risk-taking, and a commitment to activism for the public good;
  5. Identify opportunities for sharing and collaboration that will continue the work of the Institute, connecting students and faculty within our transnational network, including course pairings, sharing resources, and encouraging research collaborations.

Previous Institutes

Civic Engagement & the Liberal Arts: Local Practice, Global Impact, Kalamazoo College, Michigan, USA, October 2016

Leadership and Liberal Arts: A Foundation for Social Good, FLAME University, Pune, India, June 2018