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Intra-Asian Feminisms: Then and Now

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Organizer: Clara Iwasaki

Co-Organizer: Gal Gvili

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In the late nineteenth century, along with the rise of anti-imperial networks of collaboration in Asia (as studied by Rebecca Karl and Prasenjit Duara, among others), many Asian feminists began to perceive their particular predicaments as mutual and inter-connected. Our panel seeks to explore historical and contemporary case studies of Asian feminist literatures and cultures that situate their politics beyond the immediate national context. 


In the recent decade, in tandem with the emergence and devleopment of Global South Studies, feminist scholars of Asia are increasingly employing a transnational lens in the study of feminist thought, culture and activism. A few recent examples include a special issue on Cold War and Feminism in East Asia in positions: Asia Critique edited by Suzy Kim (2020), as well as articles, monographs and edited volumes by Ali Yasser Naser (2021),  Elizabeth Armstrong (2015), Kristen Ghodsee (2015), Mina Rocess and Louise P. Edwards (2010) Jackeline Castledine (2008), and more. 


This seminar proposes to examine the ways that Intra-Asian feminisms have shaped cultural production throughout Asia. These productions could include but are not limited to literature, cinema, popular culture, and performance. We hope that this panel will address the many ways in which feminism has been articulated in an intra-Asian environment. This may involve discussions of the feminism’s foundations in Asia, feminism’s relationship with Asian nationalism, fascism, or colonialism, or contemporary transnational Asian feminisms with issues such as the #MeToo movement or transnational migrant feminism.


We would welcome paper proposals including but not limited to the following topics as they intersect with intra-Asian literature, cinema, popular culture, and performance: Marxist feminisms, conservative or fascist feminisms, feminism and internationalism, Third World Intra-Asian Feminisms, the feminism of migrant workers, nationalist feminisms, or anticolonial feminisms.

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