Talk by Richa Nagar, November 2

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"Storytelling and Co-authorship in Feminist Alliance Work:
Reflections From a Journey"

Talk by Richa Nagar
Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
University of Minnesota

Date: 11/02/2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:15 PM
Location: 400 Ford Hall

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.

Event URL: https://events.umn.edu/021316

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