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Citing/Siting Transnational Feminisms: Academic and Activist Epistemologies


Citing/Siting Transnational Feminisms: Academic and Activist Epistemologies

Lunny, Debbie (2016) Citing/Siting Transnational Feminisms: Academic and Activist Epistemologies. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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This dissertation addresses the place of transnational feminist activisms (TFA) and especially transnational feminist activist knowledges (TFAK) within the emerging field of transnational feminist studies (TFS). It investigates how TFS developed with so little engagement with TFA/K. The central question used to explore the gap between TFA and TFS is: how is “transnational feminisms” socially and conceptually organized? Using a blended methodology drawn from institutional ethnography and political activist ethnography, I conduct a textual analysis of the academic TF literature as data. More specifically, I explore how conventional scholarly practices socially and conceptually organize the orientations taken by Northern university-based scholars to transnational feminist activisms and their knowledges. I argue that these academic knowledge production practices – citational praxis, citational theorizing, citational disciplining, definitional debates, and frame replacement – have operated and continue to operate as field-building mechanisms during the period when transnational feminisms emerge within the North American academy, constraining lines of inquiry, priorities, and interlocutors. I contend that TFA/K are overwritten in this process, skewing the development of TFS away from movement-engagement and towards a recentering of North American academic positionalities. This interdisciplinary dissertation draws upon Social Movement Learning (SML) and my own experiential learning through TFA in Japan/Asia, in order to suggest ways to make activists’ informal learning (IL) and TF movement knowledges more visible in TFS. I argue for the importance of recognizing the context-specific nature of TF activist and academic epistemologies as well as the importance of consciously shifting scholarly orientations to TFAK and IL. The dissertation makes a number of original contributions. It is the first in-depth study to offer an examination of the potential for a synthesis of TFS and SML. The data analysis offers original insights about: a) the role of citational disciplining and citational theorizing within TFS, b) the social and conceptual organization of scholarly orientations towards TFA/K through conventional and subversive academic knowledge production practices that function as field-building mechanisms during the emergence of the field of TFS, c) the ways in which North American scholarly positionalities are recentered even in much TF scholarship on TFA, and d) strategies to make visible and explicit the informal learning and knowledge production that are central to TFA through an interdisciplinary TFS/SML framework.

Divisions:Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Lunny, Debbie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:19 January 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Namaste, Viviane
Keywords:transnational feminisms, activism, activist knowledges, transnational feminist activisms, social movement learning, informal learning, transnational feminist studies
ID Code:980844
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:51
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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