“Solidarity” takes an intersectional approach to the study of women’s and sexual rights in transnational perspective from the late nineteenth century until today. In this course, we will explore how American feminism, particularly through the fight for women’s suffrage, set the agenda for issues of equality and sexual rights around the world, often in complex and contradictory ways. Through a semester-long engagement with Schlesinger Library collections on transnational feminist and women of color feminisms, we will investigate feminist links to and critiques of the imperial project – from anti-trafficking campaigns in colonial and postcolonial India, to transnational feminist labor movements in the Philippines and Bangladesh, to the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Together, we will think about the complex relationship of feminism and war, the place of feminist thought in debates about incarceration and immigration, and the contradictory role of feminism in global movements for rights.
Gender affects multiple aspects of international development, including the challenges that communities face around the world, and how organizations and governments can most effectively support these communities to achieve their goals. This course covers gender theory and frameworks, drawing from feminist writers and scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We will study gender as it relates to specific topics, including labor market participation and employment, education, violence against women and girls, peace building, civil society, and women’s leadership. We will learn what is known in each arena, and study which approaches work well and which do not. This course is intended to be an introduction to gender in international development; students with extensive experience in this area should consult with the instructor if interested.