Diversity: Expanding Theory and Practice

Roberta Gold, University of Washington
"Squatters, Sisters and Seniors: Intergenerational Feminism in New York City's Tenant Movement in the 1960s and 1970s"

With the emergence of women's liberation in the late 1960s and early 1970s, young feminists went looking for a "usable past" of women's achievement. In New York City, they did not have to look far. New York's tenant councils had, for decades, operated under predominantly female leadership. And during the Cold War New York's tenant movement had been a venue in which women from Popular Front backgrounds could carry on their political work. In the late sixties, a cohort of young politicized women and men became involved in local housing struggles, where they encountered the senior generation ot tenant leaders. These older women became political mentors to the young activists, providing them with a practical model of feminism as well as expertise in housing issues. This paper argues that tenant groups amplified the women's liberation movement in New York by linking young feminists with the Old Left generation of female organizers and serving as a "parallel space," alongside other political movements, in which women's leadership was accepted without question.

Jo H. Kim, Wellesley College
"Constructing Differences in a Transnational Workplace"

While globalization brings an influx of multicultural groups and ideas into a single context, it also mobilizes different cultural repertoires to interpret and label relations and practices. For instance, while people in Korean transnational corporations interpret different work practices and expectations around cultural categories of “Korean-ness” and “American-ness,” the contents of their boundary work vary by their class, gender, and nationality/citizenship. By constructing “Americans” (code for whites) and the Korean Americans who are “like Americans” (as opposed to “like us”--the Koreans) as being materialistic, not loyal, and having a poor work ethic, the Korean managers claim moral superiority over Americans. In turn, Korean American women associate “Korean-ness” with sexism and conservatism, as they often explain the managers’ gendered work expectations and practices as a part of “being Korean.”

Yong-Hyun Kwon, Policy Coordination Division, Ministry of Gender Equality; Seoul, Korea
"A Comparative Study on Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies of Korea and the United States"

Sexual harassment in the workplace has emerged as a key policy agenda partly because it violates a victim's human rights and partly because it impedes workplace productivity.  In the United States, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Korean government has begun to pay attention to this issue with the enactment of the 1999 Gender Discrimination Prevention and Relief Act (GDPR Act), which also defines sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination.  In the United States, the jurisdiction of Title VII pertains to employment relations in the workplace, while in Korea the GDPR Act covers almost all kinds of human relations--including, for example, relations between teachers and students, citizens and civil servants. The United States has enforced anti-sexual harassment policies for 38 years, which could serve as a valuable reference to Korea in, for example, using a triage strategy to eliminate backlogs and comply with statutory timetables.

Minkah Makalani (Rutgers Faculty Fellow) History, Rutgers
"The New Negro Movement"

Donna Murch (Rutgers Faculty Fellow)History, Rutgers
"The Urban Promise of Black Power: African-American Political Mobilization in Oakland and the East Bay 1961-1977"

Aissata Niandou Fulbright Scholar; Director of Higher Studies, Ministère des Enseignements Secondaire et Supérieur, de la Recherche et de lat Technologie, Niger
"Uncelebrated Feminine Creativity: The Subversive Art of Hausa and Zarma Women"

The aim of this project is to analyze the oral production of African literature and culture from a feminist angle in order to study the ways it can be used to raise students’ awareness of a women’s subculture within the major patriarchal culture. The project will be based on an analysis of the oral art of Hausa and Zarma women as expressed through stories for children; girlhood poetry; “bridehood” poems by newly married women; and proverbs, riddles, and stories expressing the wisdom of older women. This project will provide primary source material—the direct voices of women raising their own concerns—curricular notes, and feminist analysis, all aimed at broadening West African students’ awareness of these cultural expressions and their meanings.

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers (Rutgers Faculty Fellow) Women's and Gender Studies
"Bob the Builder and Sue the Secretary: Gender Differences in Vocational School Choices and Returns in East Asia"

Susan Smith-Peter, College of Staten Island/CUNY
"Educating Peasant Women in Mid-Nineteenth Century Russia"

This project explores the unknown terrain of a social movement in 1840s Russia that brought together the efforts of noblewomen and noblemen to educate peasant girls. Led by the Literacy Committee of the Moscow Agricultural Society, the movement for girls’ education found a ready audience in educated noblewomen. The Literacy Committee was the only committee within the Moscow Agricultural Society that allowed women to join, and, as a result, noblewomen became important figures in the spread of teaching illiteracy. This movement was an attempt to bridge the chasm between Westernized noblewomen and Russian peasant women and girls. The interaction between noblewomen as teachers and their own female serfs as students is a fascinating arena to explore issues such as the possibilities and limits of gender solidarity across social divides as well as the contrasting motives of the nobility for educating peasant girls and the girls (and their families) for accepting that education.

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