Organization: Northeast Modern Langauge Association
Contemporary ethnic American women’s literature became prominent in the literary and cultural studies following the social justice movements of the 1960s and 1970s and their feminist visions have long informed activists and scholarly discourses. Black feminism along with women of color feminisms turned to ethnic women’s literatures as a source of radical feminist epistemology. Transnational feminist theory, which evolved from postcolonial studies and third world feminisms, intersected ethnic women’s literary discourses with the studies on globalization and globalism. Transnational feminist work made it explicit that women’s oppression in national contexts often coexisted with the tools of global capitalism, facilitating and perpetuating each other’s oppressive ideologies and structures. These feminist trajectories may provide diverse theoretical perspectives on social justice, women’s oppression, empowerment, and transnationalism, however, ethnic American women authors have become visionaries for feminists of color, representing individual/collective politics, radical feminist futures, and social justice in narrative form.
Today, feminists of color collectively emphasize that critically-formed alliances are required among diverse trajectories of feminisms instead of “seemingly natural” groups such as women and people of color. Yet solidarity is often represented as fractured in feminist critical practice. To date, there has not been enough examination of solidarity women of color authors establish in literary imaginaries, though. Without an adequate analysis of women of color authors’ vision of feminist solidarity, we downplay their impact in contemporary feminist theory and praxis. This panel intends to address that gap in critical feminist scholarship by promoting discussion on ways the feminist visions of women of color authors converge and diverge.