Transnational Feminist Futures: Roundtable Conversation

General Programming

  • Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality
  • Center for the Study of Social Difference
  • The Institute for Research in African American Studies
  • Barnard Center for Research on Women
  • The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law
  • The Department of Sociology
  • The Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • The Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
  • Selina S Makana
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

The Transnational Feminist Futures roundtable brings together scholars and activists to explore the ways that feminist theorizing and practices transform and reimagine contestations over issues such as human rights, constructions of patriarchies, and inclusionary/exclusionary practices of race, sexuality, and class. Participants will engage in a dynamic conversation on a range of issues including labor organizing, social justice in the age of tougher immigration policies, and mass protests in the global North and the global South.


Laura Briggs is a Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump (University of California Press, 2016); Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transnational and Transracial Adoption (Duke, 2012), winner of the James A. Rawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians (History of U.S. Race Relations); Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico (American Crossroads Series, University of California Press, 2002). She has been part of the organizing collectives of the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History and the Thinking Transnational Feminisms Summer Institute. Currently, she is developing earlier work on the foreclosure crisis (as welfare reform redux, targeting above all mothers of color) into a broader project on the uses of debt by the US state as a tool of disenfranchisement, expropriation, and empire in the Caribbean.

Zillah Eisenstein is a ground breaking political thinker, writer and activist who is always looking to find new anti-racist socialist feminist pathways. She is the author of more than twelve books and hundreds of articles detailing the continual struggles for social, racial, economic, environmental, gender, sexual, and bodily justice by women of all colors across the globe. Her newest book, ABOLITONIST SOCIALIST FEMINISM; Radicalizing the Next Revolution, will be published, spring, 2019.

Linda Oalican is the co-founder and overall coordinator of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association. She was a student activist at the University of the Philippines in the 1970s during the martial days and later became a community and labor organizer. Since arriving in the U.S., she worked as a domestic worker and personally experienced the abuses, discrimination, and social isolation that are endemic in the industry. She received the Union Square Award in 2004 on behalf of DAMAYAN and continues to be a strong leader and organizer in the movement for domestic and migrant workers’ rights, dignity, and justice. In 2012, she was honored by the National Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA) as one of two NDWA national worker leaders for her activist work in the areas of domestic workers organizing, trafficking and extreme labor exploitation, and building the domestic workers movement in NYC and nationally.

Premilla Nadasen is a Professor of History at Barnard College. She teaches, researches, and writes about race, gender, social policy, and organizing. She is the author of several books including Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women who Built a Movement (Beacon Press, 2015); Rethinking the Welfare Rights Movement (Routledge 2012); Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents, co-authored with Jennifer Mittelstadt. Professor Nadasen has bridged academic and activist work by making her scholarship accessible to people outside the university. She is currently collaborating with the Institute for Policy Studies and the National Domestic Workers Alliance on the “We Dream in Black Project” to mobilize Black domestic workers in the South.

Paige West is the Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University. Since the mid 1990s she has worked with indigenous people in Papua New Guinea to understand their traditions, especially as they relate to biodiversity, and to help them figure out how to conserve their cultures, languages, and environments. She is the author of 3 books and numerous scholarly papers that detail this work. Dr. West is currently the editor of the journal Environment and Society as well as co-director of the Pacific Climate Circuits project at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University and chair of the Ecology and Culture University Seminar at Columbia. In addition to her academic work, Paige is the co-founder of the PNG Institute of Biological Research, a small NGO dedicated to building academic opportunities for research in PNG among Papua New Guineans.

Moderated by Selina Makana, IRWGS Post Doctoral Fellow