TFSI Call for Papers

A Special Issue of Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies

Transnational Feminisms

Due date for Receipt of Papers is May 15, 2014

Note: Information on the Transnational Feminisms Summer Institute. The deadline for submission of papers for the Institute (which have already been accepted) is May 31st.  If Institute participants wish to have their papers considered for publication in this special issue, they should submit them by email to by May 15.

Call for Papers:  Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies invites submissions for a special issue on transnational feminism and its impact on Women’s Studies as a field.  With this special issue, we commemorate the 40th anniversaryof the first United Nations World Conference on Women that took place in Mexico City in 1975. In the forty years since, transnational feminisms, Native and indigenous feminisms, and women of color feminisms have troubled the idea of a global sisterhood while also providing tools to navigate the global realities of our contemporary societies. 

Despite the important theoretical and practical interventions mobilized by transnational feminisms, its sedimentation has also produced new challenges. Rather than producing complex analyses of gendered, racialized geo-political relationships, transnational feminisms are now, at times, used to justify the imposition of U.S. and European political-economic systems. Might feminists reclaim the initial promises of transnational feminism to intervene in the global economic system or is western feminism subject to reproducing western narratives of progress?  Is transnational feminism’s co-optation the result of U.S. Women’s Studies programs seeking to justify their contributions to universities’ globalizing missions?  Can we imagine a global Women’s Studies approach that unsettles not only second wave internationalist narratives but also contemporary western-centered transnational feminist narratives?

This special issue asks feminist scholars to engage these questions and to explore alternatives. What other definitions of transnational feminism are at work, based in struggles for self-definition and decolonization internationally?  How might Native feminisms force a reconsideration of feminist assumptions, and how might transnational feminist theory contribute to this reconceptualization? What would U.S. feminism look like if it began not with the United States’ mythical democratic origins, as Andrea Smith suggests, but with transnational dynamics of empire and sovereign struggle?  How can we use existing interrogations of imperialism and late capitalism to ask new questions and imagine new ways of resisting and confronting contemporary global and local realities? To this end, we also ask contributors to consider: how do feminists theorize men’s and women’s relationships to postcolonial landscapes, as well as neoliberal and newly colonized geographies? What theories contribute to coalition building across real differences and national borders? 

We seek to provoke a productive conversation that draws upon theories of intersectionality, Native feminisms, women of color feminisms, and transnational feminisms in this special issue of Frontiers. We hope to explore how the theoretical contributions in these areas speak to contemporary globalization in a neoliberal era.   Selected contributors may be invited to workshop their articles, contingent upon funding.

Guest Editorial Collective based at Arizona State University:
Karen J. Leong, Associate Professor, Women and Gender Studies

Roberta Chevrette, PhD student, Communication

Ann Hibner Koblitz, Professor, Women and Gender Studies

Karen Kuo, Assistant Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies

Charles T. Lee, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies

Heather Switzer, Assistant Professor, Women and Gender Studies

An inter- and multidisciplinary journal, Frontiers welcomes submissions of scholarly papers, activist essays as well as creative works such as artwork, fiction, and poetry.  Works must be original and not published or under consideration for publication elsewhere.  All special issue submissions and questions should be directed to  For submission guidelines, please consult the Ohio State University Frontiers websites: