I enjoyed reading Conquest, though very difficult at times to grapple with the violence she depicts in the text. What did people think of her incorporation of these stories/testimonies of violence?
As an American Studies student, I am really interested in empire and colonization which contrast from these related processes that occur in the Asia-Pacific and shape Asian American and Peminist feminisms. I thought her last chapter was really insight(incite)ful, as she writes, "consolidating U.S. empire abroad is predicated on consolidating U.S. empire within U.S. borders," and links this with violence that happens "out there" and at "home" (177-78). As Smith convincingly, in my opinion, delegitimizes the U.S. and writes, "our overall strategy should not be premised on the notion that the u.s. should or will always continue to exist" (50-51), how does her position complicate our use of the category "U.S. Third World women of color?" How might American Indian feminism and their ongoing histories with colonialism fit within the various categories we have been using (e.g. Third World women of color, women of color)?
I'm also interested in Smith's discussion of "nation" vs. "nation-state" and Native spiritual conceptions of sovereignty, and how these might inform women of color feminism's engagements with (cultural) nationalism and organizing within and beyond the boundaries of the U.S. empire/nation/state. Similarly, I think comparing and contrasting the role of spirituality, in which for American Indians spirituality is tied to the land, across women of color's different experiences with colonialism and decolonization might be interesting (e.g. Peminism, Gloria Anzaldua, Joy James).
I think this is a great book that truly is written for a wide audience of activists and scholars. It not only offers critique, but tangible political praxis and vision and is engaged with grassroots women of color organizing.
see you all tomorrow!