WGSS 263
Transnational Activism: Practice, Problems, Ethics Fall 2018
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed SOC 264 / WGSS 263
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

As more and more people, goods, ideas, and health hazards circulate across borders, transnational institutions and organizations proliferate, and problems recognized as regional or global intensify, there is both increasing need and opportunity for transnational activism. In such a context, it is vital to understand how activists have engaged peoples around the world and/or have influenced transnational institutions, as well as to attune oneself to the ethical and practical difficulties associated with this kind of activism. This course examines the different forms that transnational activism takes and how transnational activists have advanced their goals. We also look into why and how transnational activists’ efforts have failed, focusing in particular on the issue of neo-imperialism and the problems created by the “white savior.” Orienting our exploration is the following question: what is the relationship between ethics and efficacy in activism that crosses borders? What does “ethical” transnational activism look like, and can it also be effective? While focusing especially on the role of transnational activism in combating sex and gender-based inequities, we will also engage with activism that targets the other axes of oppression with which sex and gender-based oppressions are inextricably entwined.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: none
Expected: 20
Class#: 1477
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class facilitation, assessment construction, essay proposal (3- to 4-pages), group portfolio (6- to 8-pages), group presentation, final essay (10- to 12-pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
SOC 264 Division II WGSS 263 Division II
DPE Notes: This course centers activism organized around various axes of difference, enabling students to learn about how various groups are defining and pursuing equity. It requires students to explicitly engage the question of ethical intervention in political movements, stressing attentiveness to the dynamics of privilege and marginalization internal to movements. It builds the skill to engage across difference by requiring students to work together to develop a transnational activist action plan.
Attributes: WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses

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