Abstract

On May 27, 2019, two widely known and recognised feminist theorists, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Nikita Dhawan, came together in Vienna to discuss issues of transnational solidarity among feminist, queer, anti-racist, anti-capitalist and social justice struggles. Chandra Talpade Mohanty presented her latest book and digital archive project, co-edited with Linda E. Carty, called ‘Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope’ as a cross-generational conversation with feminist scholar-activists and sister comrades about their activist works and struggles for social justice. Giving insights into the idea and motivation of the project, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Nikita Dhawan not only addressed the meaning of central concepts such as solidarity, political friendship and wonderful thinking, but also touched upon the question of the state as well as ‘why feminism is important to all of this’. This report outlines central issues discussed during the event and identifies possible points of departure for transnational solidarity amongst feminists.

Key words: transnational feminism, solidarity, intersectionality, activism, feminist struggles

Autorinneninformation:

The discussion was transcribed and summarised by Ines Höckner and Lan Huong Le, both graduate students of Development Studies at the University of Vienna. Ines Höckner’s research interests focus on materialist and critical-realist perspectives on nation, gender and racism in authoritarian neoliberalism, and Lan Huong Le’s research centres around materialist feminism, reproductive labour, global health, and reproductive health.

Abstract

The transdisciplinary approach aims to produce knowledge by including different perspectives and knowledge forms of academic and non-academic actors. This paper analyses how knowledge, knowledge production and transfer were understood and practiced within the context of the Summer School in Chiang Mai 2018. The Summer School was part of the KNOTS project, which is concerned with transdisciplinarity and intends to establish a network of knowledge exchange by linking partner universities from five countries. The research paper demonstrates the attempt to shift knowledge production into a transdisciplinary direction and describes challenges that occurred. Even though the transdisciplinary approach and the KNOTS program aim to significantly reduce knowledge hierarchies by transforming knowledge production, the results show that this still remains a challenging task. Knowledge hierarchies and power relations were still visible and felt by most of the participants. The most strongly perceived asymmetries, which were considered from an intersectional perspective, were in the realms of role (student or lecturer), nationality (European or Southeast Asian), language and gender. While hierarchies cannot be eliminated completely, the paper discusses the attempts by the participants to reduce the still existing asymmetries. The results are a further contribution to transdisciplinary research, which so far has not taken the field of sociology of knowledge into sufficient consideration, particularly in regard to knowledge and knowledge hierarchies.

Keywords: transdisciplinarity, sociology of knowledge, feminist and post-colonial approaches, knowledge hierarchies, KNOTS Summer School

Autorinneninformation:

Barbara Braunhuber a, Theresa Goisauf b, Junita Reinisch c,d

a Barbara Braunhuber’s main research interest is on social movements, social inequalities and climate change. b Theresa Goisauf’s main research interest is on urban transformation, social inequalities in European cities and gentrification. c Junita Reinisch’s main research interests are gender and social inequalities, women* empowerment, postcolonial and feminist approaches d All three authors are currently master students at the Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna

Im Erscheinen:

  • Feminist Activism and Solidarity across Borders. Chandra Talpade Mohanty in Conversation with Nikita Dhawan (2019)