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Talk by Richa Nagar, Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies: "Storytelling and Co-authorship in Feminist Alliance Work: Reflections from a journey."

Date: 11/02/2012

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Location: 400 Ford Hall

Cost: Free


If all writing is fundamentally tied to the production of meanings and texts, then feminist research that blurs the borders of academia and activism is necessarily about the labor and politics of mobilizing experience for particular ends. Co-authoring stories is a chief tool by which feminists working in alliances across borders mobilize experience to write against relations of power that produce social violence, and to imagine and enact their own visions and ethics of social change. Such work demands a serious engagement with the complexities of identity, representation, and political imagination as well as a rethinking of the assumptions and possibilities associated with engagement and expertise. This presentation draws upon 16 years of partnership with activists in India and with academic co-authors in the US to reflect on how story telling across social, geographical, and institutional borders can enhance critical engagement with questions of violence and struggles for social change, while also troubling dominant discourses and methodologies inside and outside of the academy. In offering six “truths” of alliance work, this talk reflects on the labor process, assumptions, possibilities, and risks associated with co-authorship as a tool for mobilizing intellectual spaces in which stories from multiple locations in an alliance can speak with one another and evolve into more nuanced critical interventions.

Richa Nagar is Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota and she has worked closely with Sangtin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan (Sangtin Peasants and Workers Organization) in Sitapur District of India. She has co-authored Sangtin Yatra (Sangtin, 2004), Playing with Fire (University of Minnesota Press and Zubaan, 2006), A World of Difference (Guilford, 2009), and Ek Aur Neemsaar (Rajkamal Prakashan, 2012) and she has co-edited Critical Transnational Feminist Studies (SUNY Press, 2010). She has been a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) in Stanford and at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Studies in New Delhi.


  • Name: Idalia Robles
  • E-mail: gwss@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-6006
  • Sponsored by: Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

Disability Options: To request disability accommodations, please contact [name, department, e-mail address, phone number].

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