Imperial Pedagogies: Imagining Internationalist/Feminist/Antiracist Literacies

Prof. Piya Chatterjee, UC Riverside

What does it mean to teach about women, gender and US imperialism in the “Inland Empire” of southern California, in a public university? How does a teacher “make meaningful”  women’s worlds  that are disconnected from the immediacy of US-based categories and politics?  In this paper, I explore how the classroom arena can become a pedagogical minefield especially if  a teacher is invested in calling out a collective and individual politics of location within the center of empire. I examine these geo-political, national and ethno-racial  tensions “of location”  by thinking about literacy in a broad sense. I parse this question by sharing stories of classrooms here (in the university) and there (in rural India.) I ask whether through our critiques, and our dialectical imagination and practice, we can imagine anti-imperialist pedagogies of connection and possibility.