30 January 2019
Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization?
Events Detail : -

Graduate Seminar: Militarized Nationalism as a Platform for Feminist Mobilization?

Wednesday 30 January 2019, 10 am to noon

Subaltern Room, RCSD, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University

presented by Dr. Elisabeth Olivius and Dr. Jenny Hedström, Umea University, Sweden
Feminist scholars have convincingly demonstrated how militarism and nationalism rely on the (re)production of gendered hierarchies. As a result, feminism is often assumed to be at odds with these political projects. In this article, we demonstrate that this is not always and not necessarily the case: in contrast, militarized nationalism may even constitute fertile ground for the mobilization of feminist organization and activism. We make this argument by drawing on an in-depth case study of the emergence and evolution of the Burmese women’s movement. The context of armed ethno-nationalist resistance movements in the borderland of Myanmar was instrumental for the emergence of this movement, which has also remained embedded in ethno-nationalist struggles over time. Drawing on primary interviews with women activists, we examine the relationship between feminist activism and militarized nationalism. While the alliance between the women’s movement and armed resistance groups have been complex and at times fraught with tension, it nevertheless challenges predominant theoretical assumptions about the inherent incompatibility of feminism with militarism and nationalism. The case of the Burmese women’s movement and the experiences of Burmese women activists therefore enable us to re-examine and nuance feminist debates about the relationship of feminism to militarism and nationalism more broadly.