May 26, 2023
In this episode we interview Professor Elisabeth B. Armstrong. Armstrong is a professor of the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College. She teaches courses on feminist political praxis, with a focus on transnational feminist movements seeking social, economic and environmental transformation. Her courses include Marxist feminism, Women, Money and Transnationalism, decolonial feminist archives and gendered movements about the land, food and survival. Many of her courses are community-based research courses linked to regional and international community movements for the basic needs of land, food, labor, and embodied self-determination. In addition to the book we discuss in this episode Armstrong is the author of The Retreat From Organization: U.S. Feminism Reconceptualized, and Gender and Neoliberalism: The All-India Democratic Women’s Association and Its Strategies of Resistance.
In this conversation we are here to talk about her latest book Bury The Corpse of Colonialism: The Revolutionary Feminist Conference of 1949. In 1949, revolutionary activists from Asia hosted a conference in Beijing that gathered together their comrades from around the world. The Asian Women’s Conference developed a new political strategy, demanding that women from occupying colonial nations contest imperialism with the same dedication as women whose countries were occupied. This book tells the remarkable story of how these bold activists constructed a blueprint for anti-imperialist feminist internationalism and shows how movements create a revolutionary theory over time and through struggle.
The book is a great discussion of conjunctural analysis, the dedication of these women militants, from communist parties and other antifascist, anticolonial, and anti-imperialist formations in the 1940’s. We talk to Dr. Armstrong about how these women developed their strategy, what they were experiencing in their struggles, and how they sought to put their strategy of an inside/outside approach to anti colonialism and anti-imperialism into practice in the middle of the 20th century as the international anticolonial movement was developing.
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