Communities: Research and Action

Imelda Martin Junquera, Universidad de Léon, Spain
"Activism and Environmental Ethics in Chicana & Native American Writers"

This project considers short stories, novels and "ecocriticism" by Latina/Chicana and Native American women writers such as Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzald­úa, Sandra Cisneros, Louise Erdrich, Paula Gunn Allen, Linda Hogan and Ana Castillo while heeding Anzaldúa's precept that we must "[uproot] dualistic thinking."  Putting these communities into conversation with one another yields both similarities and productive dissimilarities in their deployments of ecofeminist insights. The project tries to apply the gender perspective of ecofeminism when analysing literary texts by Chicana & Native Am. writers from the point of view of the parallel domination of women and nature. Key texts are Desert Blood by Alicia Gaspar de Alba, So far from God by Ana Castillo, The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich and The Moths by Helena Maria Viramontes.

Wanda Nowicka, Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
"Examining Reproductive Rights Activism with Special Focus on Central and Eastern Europe"

The project will address the issue of reproductive rights (RR) in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) from diverse dimensions, from national and international perspectives. It will explore strategies of the women's movement at international and national forums in the context of political transformation in Europe. The project will also address backlash regarding reproductive rights in international agenda resulting from Bush conservative policies and its impact on the situation of women in CEE region.

The project will include the following subjects:

  • Concepts of reproductive rights and health in international political discourse
  • Struggles around reproductive rights in CEE
  • Women's movement towards reproductive rights
  • Reproductive Rights in the context of European Union Enlargement
  • Women's strategies of promoting reproductive rights at the international level including global conferences and human rights mechanisms
  • Perspectives regarding the status of reproductive rights in Europe in near future. Will the EU further promote reproductive rights or rather lower their standards in their international agenda?

Paula Pinto, Sociology, York University, Canada
"Why Should We Care?: Bridging the Feminist and Disability Community Perspectives on Care"

This research attempts to problematize both the feminist and disability community discourses on care in order to move beyond the limitations each contains. By exploring the tensions and complementarities in these two theoretical approaches through the lens of human rights, the hope is to suggest a more inclusive model in which to frame continuing debates on care.

Carolina Núñez Puente, Universidad de La Coruña, Spain
"Gender, Ethnicity and Difference in (US) American Literature: A Dialogical Feminist Approach"

A comparative analysis of (US) American literature by women, whose cultural backgrounds are in constant dialogue with what gets constructed as a particular conceptualization of ‘American-ness.’ The writers, usually labeled as ‘ethnic’, are Sandra Cisnero, Zora Neale Hurston, Bharati Mukherjee and Leslie Marmon Silko. By means of a dual feminist-dialogical perspective, focused on Bakhtin’s thought on ethics, the intention is to contribute to the lines of research on Bakhtins’s developed nowadays. Further, through a comparativist revision of nominally ethnic literature, the expectation is to participate in contemporary critical discussions on globalization and immigration, as well as in how to reconfigure ‘(US) American literature.’ In doing so, other categories such as ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘women’s writing’ will also be questioned. The project pursues the search of a new paradigm to understand the ‘community’ which does not repeat the mistakes of ‘assimilation’ and ‘separatism.’ It also entails a redefinition of the concept of ‘difference,’ which also comprises similarities according to gender, class, race and sexual orientation, among others.