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Abstract

This paper studies the birth and development of women’s and gender studies in Uganda. I conducted this research as part of a doctoral thesis on the history of women’s and gender studies in the Global South. Using feminist and standpoint theories, much of the research includes oral histories gathered over the course of three years of field work in Uganda. From the moment I heard my professor say, “I learned to be a feminist from Ugandan women,” I knew that I wanted to understand the history of women’s and gender studies in the country. In sub-Saharan Africa, the discipline of women’s and gender studies has made dramatic inroads into the academy through the development of degree-granting undergraduate and graduate programs, the creation of research centers and institutes, and the growth of African feminist theory. Using Uganda as a case study, we can look to the oldest program of its kind in Africa to trace the birth of the discipline on the continent. The history of women’s and gender studies in Uganda speaks to ways in which the discipline in the Global South has, since its inception, been entrenched in transnational feminism and an intersectional curriculum rooted in indigenous feminisms.

Note on the Author

Adrianna Ernstberger is an Assistant Professor of History and Director of Gender Studies at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her current research explores the social, political and institutional history of academic feminism, specifically focusing on the emergence of women’s & gender studies in universities throughout the Global South. Dr. Ernstberger also conducts research on Transnational Women’s Movements, Women and Slave Resistance, and the intersections of race, class, and gender in the development of tertiary curriculum globally.

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