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Abstract

In his seminal work Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995), post-development scholar Arturo Escobar likens development to a chimera. My work builds on a sophisticated body of post-development and transnational feminist theory drawing on conceptions of the relationship of representations of development in the Third World to the interconnected webs of various transnational patriarchal and economic dominations that affect, and are affected by, the realities of marginalized communities in the Global South. In particular, I am concerned with how development discourses interlock with global systemic hierarchies of race, gender, class as well as structural oppressions, including uneven global systems of economic restructuring, neo-colonial interventions, and donor-structured development operations that hinder global solidarity and cross-border feminist organizing. Enjoining development debates to cultural texts, I explore what disparate fields such as post-colonialism, feminism, post-development have to offer and enrich the ideas about the conflicted terrain of development discourse.

Note on the Author

Elora Halim Chowdhury is Associate Professor and Chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research and teaching interests include critical development studies, transnational feminism, gender violence, human rights narrative and advocacy. She is the author of Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh, which was awarded the Gloria E. Anzaldua Book Prize by the National Women¹s Studies Association in 2012. Her forthcoming book (co-authored with Liz Philipose) is titled, Dissident Friendships: Feminism, Imperialism and Transnational Solidarity (University of Illinois Press forthcoming 2016).

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