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Department ofHistory


Barbara Molony: Engendering Transnational Transgressions

Reclaims the transgressive side of feminist history, challenging hegemonic norms and the power of patriarchies

“As we all experienced this past year, travel restrictions made many types of research more difficult, if not impossible. For historians, those restrictions mainly curtailed archival work other than with digitized collections. I was lucky that I had several major projects that were in their final stages and could be done remotely. (New research that I am just starting now is hitting some bumps in the road, though.) My publications released in fall 2020 were: a co-edited volume, Engendering Transnational Transgressions: From the Intimate to the Global, ed. Eileen Boris, Sandra Dawson, and Barbara Molony (Routledge); Robert Edgar, Neil Hackett, George Jewsbury, Barbara Molony, and Matthew Gordon, Civilizations Past and Present, 13th Edition (Pearson); Barbara Molony, “Feminism and Gender Construction in Modern Asia,” in Companion to Global Gender History, ed. Teresa A. Meade and Merry F. Wiesner-Hanks. 


Engendering Transnational Transgressions reclaims the transgressive side of feminist history, challenging hegemonic norms and the power of patriarchies. Through the lenses of intersectionality, gender analysis, and transnational feminist theory, it addresses the political in public and intimate spaces. The book begins by highlighting the transgressive nature of feminist historiography. It then divides into two parts—Part I, Intimate Transgressions: Marriage and Sexuality, examines marriage and divorce as viewed through a transnational lens, and Part II, Global Transgressions: Networking for Justice and Peace, considers political and social violence as well as struggles for relief, redemption, and change by transnational networks of women. Chapters are archivally grounded and take a critical approach that underscores the local in the global and the significance of intersectional factors within the intimate. They bring into conversation literatures too often separated: history of feminisms and anti-war, anti-imperial/anti-fascist, and related movements, on the one hand, and studies of gender crossings, marriage reconstitution, and affect and subjectivities, on the other. In so doing, the book encourages the reader to rethink standard interpretations of rights, equality, and recognition. 

This is the ideal volume for students and scholars of Women’s and Gender History and Women’s and Gender Studies, as well as International, Transnational, and Global History, History of Social Movements, and related specialized topics

I also took part in a podcast on “Mentorship: A Conversation,” posted to Journal of Women’s History, 14 August 2020.

Together with Professor Judy Wu (Professor of Asian American Studies and Director of the Humanities Center at UC Irvine), I am serving as co-President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians through 2023. In 2023, SCU will host the fiftieth-anniversary meeting of the Berkshire Conference, the world’s largest international conference of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. We’re in the early stages of planning, and I’ll bring everyone up to date as plans develop.”