Conversation on “Feminist Imperialism and the Politics of Difference”
Shu-mei Shih: Thank you, Sylvia, for being willing to do this interview. You mentioned earlier to me that you can actually pinpoint the moment when the exercise of international colonialism by First World feminists became visible and palpable. Previous to that, there seemed to have been more of a participatory relationship among different feminists across international divisions. However, you pinpointed this moment when “Western” feminists began increasingly taking over the forum of discussion among different feminists across international divisions. You located it around 1993 or 1994. I would be interested in knowing what exactly led you to think this way, what transpired previous to that moment, and how the relationship between First and “Third World” feminists has changed in the past few years. And this all, of course, is partly in reference to Chandra Mohanty’s foundational work in which she talks about how First World feminists have not recognized the concerns of “Third World” feminists and about the kinds of discussions circulating around the issues of cultural difference: how cultural differences actually present women’s issues in very different lights. The “Western” liberal feminist paradigm cannot be used in talking about “Third World” women’s issues, and so forth, and the fact that First World feminists do not recognize the importance of these differences.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bonfil Batalla, Guillermo. 1987. México profundo: una civilizacion negada. México: CIESAS/SEP.Google Scholar
- Butler, Judith. 2004. “Conversation between Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Judith Butler.” Presentation at the Conference “Area Studies/Literary Fields/Multilinguism/Tbeory.” New York: New York University.Google Scholar
- Menchú, Rigoberta. 1994. I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Ed. Elizabeth Burgos-Debray. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
- Said, Edward, W. 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, Random House.Google Scholar
- Scott, Joan W. 1992. “Experience.” In Judith Butler and Joan Scott, eds., Feminists Theorize the Political. New York and London: Routledge. 22–40.Google Scholar
- Stoll, David. 1998. Rigoberta Menchú and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Souza Santos, Bonaventura, de. 1996. “Towards a Multicultural Conception of Human Rights.” Working Paper Series on Political Economy and Legal Change. no. 2 (December). Madison: University of Wisconsin, Global Studies Program.Google Scholar