Ethics, Politics and Transnational Feminist Knowledge: Regimes of Visibility and Invisible Practices
The paper analyzes the paradigm of transnational feminism within the field of U.S. Women’s/Gender Studies. I argue in this paper that the hegemonic status of transnational feminism has begun to serve as a framing device that orients feminist research within a particular set of methodological,substantive and conceptual narratives. My interest in this paper is in interrogating and reflecting on the implications of this trend toward the knowledge production.of transnational feminism. I then move beyond a deconstruction of the dominant narratives of transnational feminism to consider alternative approaches to feminist knowledge production.
In this endeavor I make three central arguments. First, the production of transnational feminism has become entrenched in a regime of visibility that shapes its terms and conceptions. This regime of visibility rests on a narrow definition of transnationalism that has been skewed by a set of methodological biases oriented towards particular kinds of border crossing issues. I then propose a broader metholodological approach that can address three dimensions of knowledge production: epistemological (how we know), ontological (the materiality of knowledge) and the ethical (knowledge as practice). By focusing on these questions in terms of methodology my intention is to approach knowledge as a set of practices that can be both deconstructive and constructive and move beyond more static discussions of power/knowledge.
Keywords: Transnational Feminism, Knowledge and Power, Interdisciplinary Approaches, Cross-Cultural Approaches to Gender
Prof. Leela Fernandes
Associate Professor of Political Science, Political Science, Rutgers University