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Abstract

This paper hinges on the recognition that when study-abroad opportunities are presented and perceived as a means of access to global perspectives on women and gender, they reduce the problem of US-centrism in Women's Studies to a geographic rather than an epistemic limitation. According to this logic, physical travel away from the United States can serve as an effective method for overcoming US-centrism and attending to the "global," a curricular strategy that Chandra Mohanty and M. Jacqui Alexander call "the cartographic rule of the transnational as always 'elsewhere'" (Mohanty and Alexander 2010, 33). This cartographic rule reinforces hegemonic representations of the United States as a unified "modern" white/Anglo nation against which the culturally Other terrain of the "global" becomes understandable. As such, the study-abroad approach to internationalizing US Women's Studies relies on the re-erasure of US Women of Color genealogies and epistemologies that disrupt the white/Anglo cultural assumptions grounding the field's central category of "woman/women." If challenging US-centrism in US Women's Studies is meant to dismantle the white/Anglo monocultural perspective of US imperialism, I argue that the geographic travel imperative of "study abroad" must be tempered by a re-inhabitation of the field through the radical genealogies and epistemologies of US Women of Color, a strategy I call the anti-imperial feminist praxis of "staying home."

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