Monthly Archives: January 2015

Topics for 2015

Happy New Year! We wish all of our readers the very best for the year ahead!

Last year we inaugurated a new feature of the Mujeres Talk site: Contributing Bloggers. We thank Kimberly Blaeser, Elena Herrada, and Linda Garcia Merchant for joining us in this project and for their important, moving, and thought-provoking essays in 2014. We hope that readers will continue to share this work long into the future with others through our online archive.

picture of Tanya Golash-Boza

Professor Tanya Golash-Boza

In 2015 we are happy to announce that we will be collaborating with bloggers Tanya Golash-Boza and Laura J. Briggs. Golash-Boza and Briggs are already established bloggers with their own websites whose commentary and essays are widely read. This year each will be sharing her work with our readers by posting select original new work to our site and her own website simultaneously. Golash-Boza’s academic blog site, Get a Life, PhD, has been online since 2010 and it is one that we’ve recommended to readers for some time since it offers great, practical “how to” advice for college professors including such topics as how to write a book proposal, revise an academic article, or organize work time in a semester. She also offers discussions about topics such as “How Long Can You Rely on Your Dissertation Adviser?” Tanya Golash-Boza also leads two other academic blog sites, Social Scientists for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Are We There Yet? World Travels with Three Kids. An Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of

photo of Laura Briggs

Professor Laura J. Briggs

California Merced, Golash-Boza has published three books and numerous articles on immigration/migration, race/racism, blackness in Peru, and borders/transnationalism. Laura J. Briggs is Professor and Chair of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst. A widely recognized historian of reproductive politics, Briggs has published two books, co-authored a third book, and has written numerous articles on empire/transnational history of the U.S. in Latin America; reproductive politics and race and sexuality; adoption; and immigration/migration. In 2012 she created the academic blog site Somebody’s Children: A Blog about Adoption, ART, and Reproductive Politics, where she offers incisive commentary informed by her extensive research. We look forward to sharing their work with Mujeres Talk readers in 2015.

We would also like to kick off this new year with an invitation to you, dear readers, to contribute short research essays, creative work, and research informed essays commenting on current events. We think it might be interesting this year to explore the uncommon and unlikely in our work and lives. To that end, and given the growth of both Latina/o Studies and Indigenous/Native American Studies in new directions and in new regions, we would like to invite submissions that explore uncommon or unlikely sites and topics in these fields. For instance, this might include discussions about Latinas/os in varied regions, consideration of the category of “Latina/o” in Europe, or work that takes up Latina/o participation in religions, groups, and organizations not typically associated with Latinas/os. It might also include discussion of new sociopolitical and activist movements in diverse parts of the world that relate to ethnic studies scholarship. It might be work about the unlikely places in which we find ourselves, the far-fetched places where ethnic studies work travels, our encounters with the unimaginable in literature and art, or wrestling with questionable policies and legal frameworks. Second, we would like to invite essays, research in brief, and commentary on the new questions and opportunities that these fields face in relation to traditional disciplines and similar inter-disciplinary fields; contemporary diversity programs in higher education; and the emergence of new teaching, research, and publishing technologies.

We will continue to welcome submissions on all topics relevant to our site, and we look forward to reading and publishing your work!

The Editorial Group of Mujeres Talk

Reports from NWSA “Feminist Transgressions” Conference

Photo by Susy Zepeda. CC BY-NC-ND.

Photo by Susy Zepeda. CC BY-NC-ND.

Feminisms in the World

by Susy Zepeda

In November 2014, I attended the National Women’s Studies Association conference, “Feminist Transgressions” in San Juan, Puerto Rico along with scholar-activists in the fields of women and gender studies, feminist studies, queer studies, and critical race studies. Critical discussions of transnational feminist methodology, a stellar plenary panel on “Imperial Politics,” and the reformulated practices of solidarity emerging through out the conference space made this gathering a particularly memorable one in terms of critical feminist history.

Perhaps the most vivid and relevant discussion to the current moment was an inspiring, yet extremely complicated and eye-opening discussion on the possibility of passing a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions resolution by NWSA members. There were several panels that offered space for critical discussion on the politics surrounding the underpinnings of this solidarity work, a key one being, “Solidarity Delegations to Palestine & Indigenous/Women of Color Feminists: Reflections, Impact and Assessment” featuring Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Barbara Ransby as former participants in solidarity delegations to Palestine. Briefly mentioned, yet illuminating, was the need for collaboration among social movements based in different geopolitical locations to be more connected due to implicating imperial logics—particularly highlighted were the cases of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, and the targeted arrest and imprisonment of Rasmea Odeh[1], associate director of Arab American Action Network (AAAN), who has since been released due to mass protest and organizing.[2]

The plenary session titled, “The Imperial Politics of Nation-States: U.S., Israel, and Palestine,” featuring Chandra Talpade Mohanty as moderator, and Islah Jad, Rebecca Vilkomerson, and Angela Davis as panelists continued this critical discussion by involving over 2,000 NWSA members in the rethinking of critical feminist solidarity politics.  It was perhaps Rebecca Vilkomerson, from the organization Jewish Voice for Peace[3], whose disruption of whiteness through her own life testimony and activism that gave new life to a much-needed discussion on revised racial and solidarity politics in this organization. She questioned accusations of anti-Semitism while asking: who can speak for Palestine? Angela Davis echoed these critiques by suggesting we methodologically pay attention to the “intersectionality of resistances” as we contemplate how police in Oakland are trained by Israeli military.

For a conference that has been widely critiqued for upholding white heteronormativity, and western-centered practices, among other injustices[4] it was great to walk into a space with gender neutral restrooms that read: “Baños de Género Neutro.”  This conference experience seems to be a reflection of changing energy and politics due to the leadership of radical women of color in the last decade or so in this feminist organizing space.[5]  The photo booths near the registration table were an ingenious part of this gathering to document the critical feminist gathering moments in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[6]

Theory and Activism

by Theresa Delgadillo

The NWSA Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico drew over 2,000 participants and presented a special opportunity to learn more about feminist movements in Puerto Rico, but it was also a conference schedule filled with panels, workshops, roundtables, and discussions on feminist research around the globe. As outgoing NWSA President Yi-Chun Tricia Lin wrote in her welcome letter to the event: “the conference endeavors to take up the histories, geographies, affective dimensions, and political stakes of various feminist insubordinations in the spaces they occupy: intellectual and institutional, local and global, public and intimate, by choice and under duress.” The focus on “transgressions,” therefore, was an invitation to participate in analyzing actions and interventions of multiple kinds and in varied sites. The number of panels focused on Chicana and Latina Studies research seemed higher this year than in previous years, and so the conference presented an opportunity for networking both within and across fields. I took full advantage and attended, among others, a panel retrospectively examining the significance of the work of Barbara Smith (a co-author of the Combahee River Collective’s statement), a panel of women from the Puerto Rican island of Vieques (for many years, used by the U.S. for bombing practice) who have shifted into activism around economic opportunity in light of development trends on the island, Latina scholars presenting research on queer arts activism in Puerto Rico and Latina media pioneers in the U.S., and Asian American scholars examining affective labor and human rights discourses within Asian diasporas. NWSA was a place to engage with rich and interrelated work. At the 2014 American Studies Association conference it was reported at the evening keynote address that one session on the “keywords” trend in critical studies had proposed the elimination of “intersectionality” from the keywords vocabulary. However, at the NWSA conference the influence of the contributions of women color to critical theory were recognized and rigorously engaged across disciplines, geographies, and fields.


[1] For the words “Rasmea Odeh” please link:
[2] for the words “mass protest and organizing” please link:
[3] for the words, “Jewish Voice for Peace” please link:
[4] Sandoval, Chela. (1990). “Feminism and Racism: A Report on the 1981 National Women’s Studies Association Conference.” Making Face, Making Soul: Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color. G. Anzaldúa. San Francisco, Aunt Lute.
[5] The 30th Annual NWSA Conference, “Difficult Dialogues,” with keynote speaker Angela Davis resonates this shift.
[6] Photos can be found the National Women’s Studies Association Facebook timeline.  Also, available is the bell hooks keynote at: