Building Global Feminist Networks (or, why Tracy is in India)

As I’ve said, I’m in India for a couple of weeks and it’s a dream come true for me to be here. But besides that I have always wanted to come to India, I’m actually here for a specific reason. That is to participate in an amazing conference hosted by the Sahitya at the Namaste Educational Academy.

The conference is on feminist and gender studies in a global context. The brains behind the event belong to our illustrious colleague, Kalpana Rao, a professor of English literature and feminist studies at Pondicherry University in Puducherry, India. She has done an incredible job of pulling this together.

Image description: Blue banner sign that says “Namaste Educational Academy, Puducherry” in red lettering, followed by “The Sahitya’s Interdisciplinary and International Conference” in purple lettering, followed by “on FEMINIST AND GENDER STUDIES IN A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, 8-11 February 2018” in black lettering. “Venue: Hotel Bon Sejour, Puducherry 605 008” in black lettering.

Last night she organized a wonderful dinner party to welcome us to the event. And the conference starts today for the next three days. The program kicks of with a keynote address by Indian literary sensation, Bama, on “Women Writing Women.” Next up is a session with C. S. Lakshmi, who writes as Ambai, on “Feminism as Experience: Some Thoughts on Writing Women’s History.”

I’m here with colleagues from Western, Nandi Bhatia, Julia Emberley, Teresa Hubel, and Amy Bell. We are all thrilled to be part of this wonderful program of diverse topics, mostly presented by Indian feminist scholars. Presentation topics range from Julia Indigenous knowledges and gendered violence (Julia Emberley) to Rembering Partition in Canada (Nandi Bhatia), Indian surrogacy (Remya Krishnan), masculinities in a global feminist context (Rimika Singvi), dance and gender (Srividya Natarajan, also a colleague from Western), and analyzing violence against Dalit Women (Santvana Kumar), to name just a few of the over 40 papers to be presented over the next three days.

On the last day I’ll be presenting my thoughts on diversifying borders in feminism across borders.

So that’s the real reason I’m here in India, which means the fun is really about to begin!


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