A field report on the status of plurality and feminist community
Partial Truths and the Politics of Community considers what happens after feminists succeed in achieving social change or in founding organizations dedicated to accomplishing their personal and social goals. This collection of eighteen essays by scholars from the fields of international relations and feminist studies explores the theoretical dilemmas and practical politics of living with raised consciousnesses in "worlds of our own making."
The contributors explore feminisms as dreams of human rights, as a cluster of ideologies, and as a bounty of social practices set within frameworks for tackling problems in nation-building and global governance. In essays that illustrate the impact of feminist concerns with the quality of education, the contributors offer studies of homeschooling, of the education of impoverished girls in rural Mexico, of sororities and their relation to female autonomy, and of the teaching of prisoners by volunteers in county jails. Other contributors call for a greater attention to the ecology of social life, viewing society as a complex of individuals bound to one another through webs of transactions and obligations. These contributors recount examples from Northern Ireland, Poland, and the United States in which such webs sometimes support and sometimes strangle efforts to achieve human dignity and autonomy.
Evaluating progress made in the legal realm, other contributors chart the opportunities and limitations of international and domestic law as tools to advance and protect human rights. They consider gender discrimination in universities and colleges, the United Nations and its mixed record on women's issues, and the effects of adding rape to the list of prosecutable war crimes. The volume concludes with works by two scholars who look at how feminism supports democratic constructions of science and religion, with results that destabilize dominant institutions in both realms.
Mary Ann Tétreault is the Una Chapman Cox Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University. Along with her husband and two sons, Tétreault devotes a significant amount of her time to activist causes and projects. She divides her time between San Antonio and Newport, Vermont.
Robin L. Teske is a professor of political science at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she teaches courses in international law and organizations, and peace studies. She holds a B.A. from Wittenberg University and law and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the James Madison faculty, she was an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based International Human Rights Law Group and a Peace Corps volunteer in Korea. Teske lives in Harrisonburg and Washington, D.C.
"This exciting collection takes us forward: from celebrating feminist successes to exploring their complex—even troubling—effects. Diverse voices and an array of issues ensure that this book speaks with insight and expertise to a wide audience on an increasingly salient question: what next after success?"—V. Spike Peterson, Department of Political Science, University of Arizona
"This is a wonderfully rich collection, combining the erudite and the everyday, activist passion and academic critique, global and local politics. Mary Ann Tétreault and Robin L. Teske offer a welcome reminder that feminism is alive and flourishing in communities of all kind. An energizing canvass of the unique knowledge that emerges from engaged scholarship."—Elisabeth Prugl, Department of International Relations and Geography, Florida International University