Feminism without Borders

Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity

Feminism without Borders

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: Published: February 2003

Activism, Theory and Philosophy > Feminist Theory, Race and Indigeneity

Bringing together classic and new writings of the trailblazing feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues facing contemporary feminism. Forging vital links between daily life and collective action and between theory and pedagogy, Mohanty has been at the vanguard of Third World and international feminist thought and activism for nearly two decades. This collection highlights the concerns running throughout her pioneering work: the politics of difference and solidarity, decolonizing and democratizing feminist practice, the crossing of borders, and the relation of feminist knowledge and scholarship to organizing and social movements. Mohanty offers here a sustained critique of globalization and urges a reorientation of transnational feminist practice toward anticapitalist struggles.

Feminism without Borders opens with Mohanty's influential critique of western feminism ("Under Western Eyes") and closes with a reconsideration of that piece based on her latest thinking regarding the ways that gender matters in the racial, class, and national formations of globalization. In between these essays, Mohanty meditates on the lives of women workers at different ends of the global assembly line (in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States); feminist writing on experience, identity, and community; dominant conceptions of multiculturalism and citizenship; and the corporatization of the North American academy. She considers the evolution of interdisciplinary programs like Women's Studies and Race and Ethnic Studies; pedagogies of accommodation and dissent; and transnational women's movements for grassroots ecological solutions and consumer, health, and reproductive rights. Mohanty's probing and provocative analyses of key concepts in feminist thought—"home," "sisterhood," "experience," "community"—lead the way toward a feminism without borders, a feminism fully engaged with the realities of a transnational world.


“Mohanty’s book is a great contribution to the moment of the internationalization of women’s studies. Her critique of Eurocentrism, racism, and imperialism is especially valuable and relevant in the context of geopolitical inequalities based in the hegemony of the United States and the exportation of U.S.-style women’s studies to other parts of the world and in our particular social context where the discourse of democracy and the liberation of women has become a partner to the imperialist intentions of the current administration in the United States.” — Minoo Moallem , Feminist Studies

“Now more than ever, the work of groundbreaking feminist and postcolonial theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty is indispensable. Her new book, Feminism without Borders, is a collection of essays that interrogate notions of home, sisterhood, work, scholarship, and first-world feminism.” — , Bitch

“The very structure of [Mohanty’s] work—dialoguing with other women’s texts, taking cognizance of material realities of women’s lives, the ardent exposition of activist battles all over the world, and most important, an insistent and overwhelming honesty in declaring her own location and history—make this book a remarkable attempt at creating a common front for feminist struggles…” — Anjali Nerlaker , XCP

"[A] breath of fresh air. . . . This book is a must-read for all feminist theorists wanting to reorient feminism towards the abolition of transnational capitalism, and to dismantle the regime of profit and wage-labour, supplanting it with the material conditions to emancipate all people from exploitation." — Anna M. Agathangelou , International Feminist Journal of Politics

"[A]n enterprising and exhaustive read for those interested in pursuing an understanding of the conditions affecting women in a global context. . . . Overall, this book is an excellent addition to the repository on feminist pedagogy and research on Third World women. I would recommend this book to scholars engaged on feminist epistemologies and especially to those pursuing comparative research on women in the Third World." — Seetha Veeraghanta , Gender & Society

"Compelling. . . . The book offers insights that will appeal to feminist scholars working in a variety of disciplines, and historians may be particularly appreciative of the author's attention to historical context and change-over-time. The collection would also be appropriate for graduate students in women's studies, feminist theory, or postcolonial studies who would benefit from having so many of Mohanty's writings collected in a single volume." — Malia Formes , H-Women, H-Net Reviews

"[Mohanty's] vision of transcultural, transnational feminist solidarity is particularly important these days. . . ." — Silja J. A. Talvi , Women's Review of Books

"[T]his collection would undoubtedly make a valuable starting point for undergraduate students wishing to gain an accessible and engaging overview of transnational feminist thought and how boundaries or borders produce particular politics and identities." — Julie Cupples , Electronic Book Review

"Feminist theory and practice is clearly shaped by one's own experiences and level of political education, e.g. vis-à-vis the enduring reality of colonialism, imperialism, and hetero-patriarchy. . . . Mohanty gives us important tools on how to understand and ultimately dismantle this complex." — Mechthild Nagel , Wagadu

"Persuasive and free of jargon, the book presents a refreshingly honest examination of transnational feminist issues. . . . [H]ere is a work that needs to be read and reflected upon and valued for the many fresh insights it offers and the new challenges it poses for feminist theorists as well as feminists." — Jasbir Jain, South Asian Review

"This book is a generous engagement with many strands of feminist and postcolonial thought. In addition to important analyses of the practices of solidarity and of feminism across borders, it offers pedagogical models for teaching women's studies and feminist theory in a globalized context while avoiding the 'Western feminist as tourist' approach. Mohanty also develops a powerful methodology for analyzing late-modern capitalism, which takes seriously the idea that 'our minds must be ready to move as capital is, to trace its paths and to imagine alternative destinations' (p. 251)." — Kathryn Trevenen , Political Theory

"This is a wonderful collection of chapters. . . . [A] coherent and satisfying read. . . . [A] remarkable consistency and continuity is derived from Mohanty's underlying theoretical and political commitment to an 'anti-racist feminism.' . . . As an example of an edited collection, this book is exemplary. As a testament to a politically committed academic life, it is inspirational. As an effort to push feminist theory and practice in antiracist, anticapitalist directions, it is uncompromising and highly persuasive. . . . Mohanty is such a theoretically rigorous, politically engaged scholar that her continued journey will undoubtedly make for fascinating reading." — Catherine Eschle , American Anthropologist

“Chandra Talpade Mohanty's illuminating analyses take up some of the most urgent questions facing a transnational feminist practice today. She provides resources for feminist engagements with difference, identity politics, the commodification of knowledge, and globalization and its effects. Shifts in the global political and economic landscape as well as Mohanty's own shifting location enable her to identify exhilarating new directions for feminist theory and practice.” — Sandra Harding, coeditor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

“Over the last two decades, Chandra Talpade Mohanty has produced an extraordinary body of writings on transnational feminism, radically changing the way we think about such categories as ‘third world women,’ ‘women of color’ and ‘globalization.’ This volume combines her now classic essays with new writings that accentuate the centrality of anticapitalist feminist theories and practices to the most expansive and forward-looking version of women's studies today.” — Angela Y. Davis

"Chandra Talpade Mohanty is unequivocally one of the most important feminist theorists and scholars writing and publishing today. In this collection, her essays take on new meaning to play important parts in what is both a dynamic full-scale analysis of the complex histories of the exploitation of women within neocolonial capitalism and an elaboration of antiracist pedagogies and anticapitalist solidarity practices."—Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics — N/A

”The juxtaposition of these essays brings into sharp focus the theoretical framework Chandra Talpade Mohanty has developed and makes visible the enormity, the force, and the uniqueness of her contribution.”—Ruth Frankenberg, editor of Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism — N/A


Availability: In stock
Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Chandra Talpade Mohanty is Professor of Women's Studies at Hamilton College and Core Faculty at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati. She is coeditor of Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures and Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Decolonization, Anticapitalist Critique, and Feminist Commitments 1

Part One. Decolonizing Feminism

1. Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses 17

2. Cartographies of Struggle: Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism 43

3. What's Home Got to Do with It? (with Biddy Martin) 85

4. Sisterhood, Coalition, and the Politics of Experience

5. Genealogies of Community, Home, and Nation 124

Part Two. Demystifying Capitalism

6. Women Workers and the Politics of Solidarity 139

7. Privatized Citizenship, Corporate Academies, and Feminist Projects 169

8. Race, Multiculturalism, and Pedagogies of Dissent
Part Three. Reorienting Feminism 190

9. “Under Western Eyes" Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles 221

Notes 253

Bibliography 275

Index 295
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-3021-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3010-3
Publicity material