Check out some of the recent publications from WGS faculty!
Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive, Marisa J. Fuentes, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).
In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women's punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women.
Combining fragmentary sources with interdisciplinary methodologies that include black feminist theory and critical studies of history and slavery, Dispossessed Lives demonstrates how the construction of the archive marked enslaved women's bodies, in life and in death. By vividly recounting enslaved life through the experiences of individual women and illuminating their conditions of confinement through the legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, colonial authorities, and the archive, Fuentes challenges the way we write histories of vulnerable and often invisible subjects.
The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, Edited by Mary Hawkesworth and Lisa Disch
The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory (2016) provides an overview of analytical frameworks and theoretical concepts feminist theorists have developed to explicate the known world. Featuring leading feminist theorists from diverse regions of the globe, the collection provides in-depth explorations of fifty subject areas, demonstrating the complexity of feminist challenges to established knowledge, while also engaging areas of contestation within feminist theory. Capturing a plurality of approaches across a diverse array of topics and disciplines, the Handbook raises new questions, brings new evidence, and poses significant challenges to academic disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Demonstrating the interdisciplinary nature of feminist theory, the chapters offer innovative analyses of topics central to social and political science (e.g., civilization, development, divisions of labor, economies, institutions, markets, migration, militarization, prisons, policy, politics, representation, state/nation, the transnational, violence), cultural studies and humanities (e.g., affect, agency, experience, identities, intersectionality, jurisprudence, narrative, performativity, popular culture, posthumanism, religion, representation, standpoint, temporality, visual culture), discourses associated with medicine and science (e.g., cyborgs, health, intersexuality, nature, pregnancy, reproduction, science studies, sex/gender, sexuality, transsexuality), and issues in contemporary critical theory that have been transformed through feminist theorization (e.g., biopolitics, coloniality, diaspora, microphysics of power, norms/normalization, postcoloniality, race/racialization, subjectivity/subjectivation). The Handbook identifies limitations of key epistemic assumptions that inform traditional scholarship and shows how theorizing from women’s and men’s lives has profound effects on the conceptualization of central categories, whether the field of analysis is aesthetics, biology, cultural studies, development, economics, film studies, health, history, literature, politics, religion, science studies, sexualities, violence, or war.
Gender and Power: Toward Equality and Democratic Governance, Mino Vianello and Mary Hawkesworth (Palgrave Macmillian, 2015)
Offering sophisticated insights into inequalities in opportunities, roles, power, and rights in societies across the globe, this volume investigates factors that enable and constrain women's advancement. From intimate relations, social norms, ideologies, and structures of power to political institutions, electoral systems, and public policies, the chapters analyze possibilities for and obstacles to inclusive democratic practices and identify interventions essential to democratic governance.
Embodied Power: Demystifying Disembodied Politics, Mary Hawkesworth (Routledge, 2016)
Embodied Power (2016) explores dimensions of politics seldom addressed in political science, illuminating state practices that produce hierarchically-organized groups through racialized gendering—despite guarantees of formal equality. Challenging disembodied accounts of citizenship, the book traces how modern science and law produce race, gender, and sexuality as purportedly natural characteristics, masking their political genesis. Taking the United States as a case study, Hawkesworth demonstrates how diverse laws and policies concerning civil and political rights, education, housing, and welfare, immigration and securitization, policing and criminal justice create finely honed hierarchies of difference that structure the life prospects of men and women of particular races and ethnicities within and across borders. In addition to documenting the continuing operation of embodied power across diverse policy terrains, the book investigates complex ways of seeing that render raced-gendered relations of domination and subordination invisible. From common assumptions about individualism and colorblind perception to disciplinary norms such as methodological individualism, methodological nationalism, and abstract universalism, problematic presuppositions sustain mistaken notions concerning formal equality and legal neutrality that allow state practices of racialized gendering to escape detection with profound consequences for the life prospects of privileged and marginalized groups. Through sustained critique of these flawed suppositions, Embodied Power challenges central beliefs about the nature of power, the scope of state action, and the practice of liberal democracy and identifies alternative theoretical frameworks that make racialized-gendering visible and actionable.