Between Woman and Nation

Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State

Between Woman and Nation

Book Pages: 416 Illustrations: 4 b&w photographs, 2 figures, Published: July 1999

Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Geography

InBetween Woman and Nation constructions such as nationalism, homeland, country, region, and locality are for the first time examined in the context of gender. The contributors—leading scholars of ethnicity, transnationalism, globalization, and feminist theory—are united in their determination to locate and describe the performative space of interactions between woman and nation. These are interactions, claim the contributors, that cannot be essentialized.
This interdisciplinarily collection investigates women in diverse locales—ranging from Quebec to Beirut. The contributors consider such subjects as Yucatan feminism, Islamic fundamentalisms, Canadian gender formations, historic Chicana/o struggles, and Israeli/Palestinian conflicts. Divided into three parts, the collection first examines constructions of nationalism and communities whose practices complicate these constructions. The second section discusses regulations of particular nation-states and how they affect the lives of women, while the third presents studies of transnational identity formation, in which contributors critique ideas such as “multicultural nationalism” and “global feminism.” Arguing provocatively that such movements and concepts inadequately represent women’s interests, contributors examine how such beliefs and their attendant organizations may actually bolster the very formations they ought to subvert.
In its demonstration of the critical possibilities of feminist alliances across discrepant and distinct material conditions, Between Woman and Nation will make a unique contribution to women’s studies, feminist theory, studies of globalization and transnationalism, ethnic studies, and cultural studies.


“A signal contribution to our current understanding of the gendered politics of national and global economies of desire, labour, capital, and representation. Though the question of woman and/in the nation is not new, it has never before been engaged on such a scale or with such an attentiveness to diverse disciplines, media, and theoretical positions.” — Parama Roy, author of Indian Traffic: Identities in Question in Colonial and Postcolonial India

“This is a superb collection, deftly edited and wonderfully argued. Individually, the contributors expand the scope of transnationality studies to include the Middle East and Latin America. The volume as a whole focuses on important analytics: gendered imaginaries in nationalism, regulatory practices, and globablized feminism. The editors’ argument for immanent critique is a useful contribution to thinking and teaching feminism in an international frame.” — Tani E. Barlow, University of Washington


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Caren Kaplan is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement, also published by Duke University Press.

Norma Alarcón is Professor of Women’s Studies, Ethinic Studies, Spanish, and Portuguese at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of Ninfomanía.

Minoo Moallem is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at San Francisco State University.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Introduction: Between Woman and Nation / Norma Alarcon, Caren Kaplan, and Minoo Moallem

I. Whose Imagined Community?

El desorden, Nationalism, and Chicana/o Aesthetics / Laura Elisa Perez

Bloody Metaphors and Other Allegories of the Ordinary / Elspeth Probyn

Chicana Feminism: In the Tracks of "The" Native Woman / Norma Alarcon

Re-Imagining Chicana Urban Identities in the Public Sphere, Cool Chuca Style / Rosa Linda Fregoso

A Guest at the Wedding: Honor, Memory, and (National) Desire in Michel Khleife's Wedding in Galilee / Mary N. Layoun

II. The Production of Nationness: Reading Regulatory Practices

Seduction and the Ruses of Power / Saidiya Hartman

From Nation-Church to Nation-State: Evolving Sex-Gender Relations in Quebec Society / Danielle Juteau

Women Between Nation and State in Lebanon / Suad Joseph

Relational Positionalities of Nationalisms, Racisms, and Feminisms / Daiva K. Stasiulis

Feminism-in-Nationalism: The Gendered Subaltern at the Yucatan Feminist Congresses of 1916 / Emma Perez

III. Transnational Subjects of Feminism: Critical Interventions in an Era of Globalization

Multicultural Nationalism and the Poetics of Inauguration / Minoo Moallem and Iain A. Boal

"Chicana! Rican? No, Chicana Riquena!" Refashioning the Transnational Connection / Angie Chabram-Dernersesian

Fabricating Masculinity: Gender, Race, and Nation in a Transnational Frame / Dorinne Kondo

Transnationalism, Feminism, and Fundamentalism / Minoo Moallem

Transnational Feminist Cultural Studies: Beyond the Marxism/Poststructuralism/Feminism Divides / Caren Kaplan and Inderpal Grewal

Works Cited


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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2322-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2302-0
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