IPE 355

Postcolonialism, Revolutions, and Global Capitalism: Feminist Inquiries from Asian Perspectives

This course invites students to take feminist inquiries on politics, culture, and economy in the context of East and South Asia. Both regions have experienced colonial domination, nationalist independence movements, the rise and fall of the Cold War, and the recent triumph of neoliberalism. However, in feminist theories, East and South Asia seem to be placed in two distinct, distant intellectual genealogies. While South Asian societies are the birthplace of postcolonial feminism and subaltern studies, East Asian countries have served as sites of theorizing women and gender relations in revolutions and developmental states. When we engage with these theories or examine phenomena related to gender and sexuality in a particular society of the above regions, how do we understand the relationship between what we find on the ground and the particular theoretical lenses we use, which are not independent from the object of our inquiry? Moreover, despite distinct historical trajectories across regions and diversity within each region, the triumph of neoliberalism seems to have reshaped societies across Asia profoundly. How have the politics of gender and sexuality configured and facilitated these processes and how will they shape the dynamics of global capitalism in the future?