Gender Studies | Topics in Gender Studies: Transnational Women/Global Sex
G104 | 5442 | Hu, Y


What is “globalization”?  In what way is globalization a “gendered”
experience?  How do global political and economic structures
influence women’s lives around the world?  What are the forces that
drive women to cross national boundaries and seek transnational
connections?  By what means do cultural ideologies about gender and
sexuality spread globally, and how does it affect and change local
people’s behaviors and identity constructions?  How do we
conceptualize these global-local encounters in a productive rather
than conflicting manner?  What are feminists and queer theorists’
reaction to this newly-emergent global phenomenon?

This course aims to investigate the ways in which gender and
sexuality intersect with political, economic and cultural power
structures in global context.  Specifically, our discussion will be
focused on how transnational politics and economy reshape the
understandings of gender and sexual identities in local societies.
The course will be divided into two parts.  In the first half of the
class, we will focus on women’s gender identity, body, and sexuality
in transnational politics and global economy.  We will start with
theoretical debates in transnational feminism; looking through this
theoretical lens, we will move on to examine various ethnographic
studies that document women’s lives and experiences in the newly-
emergent global order.  Important themes include body politics at
the national borders, transnational marriages, sex tourism and
female labor migration.  In the second half of the class, we will
focus on the globalization of gay and lesbian identities.
Similarly, we will start with theoretical model about queer
globalization and then move on to ethnographic studies.  The goal is
to use these ethnographic studies as empirical foci to examine the
ways in which globalization intervenes in the formulation of local
queer subjectivities and communities.  Important themes include the
ambiguity of convergence and divergence in global queer identity
formation, gendered sexuality and cultural diversities, globalized
media and queer diaspora.  Documentaries and films will be shown in
class to further enhance our discussions.  In this class students
are expected to learn to critically examine and analyze the effects
of global power dynamics on gender and sexuality and to appreciate
cultural diversities from a more comprehensive and unbiased point of
view.