Strata and strategies of teaching about the global “other” using critical feminist pedagogical praxis
In this article, I analyze the way “globalization” is deployed in US universities as a value addition. I explore issues of teaching about the global “Other,” the “third world,” and other unfamiliar, objectified spaces. Through critical discourse analysis of syllabi, I outline some representational and pedagogical trends. I also draw from my experience of teaching undergraduate-level globalization-focused courses, including courses on transnational feminisms, international literature, social movements, migrations, and socioeconomic exchanges. Teaching about “the other” often leads to a multiplier effect of othering within the classroom. Using transnational feminist perspectives, I argue that teaching such classes on “global,” “transnational,” or “international” women, gender, sexuality, and feminisms requires decentering not just of dominant paradigms but also of oneself as purveyor of insider or global knowledge. I also argue, as have many others before me, that a classroom can serve as a site for epistemic injustices and colonizing acts; we must attempt to find ways in which such neocolonial damages can be mitigated. This article is an exercise in finding some ways to decenter and decolonize dominant discourses on the global Other and suggest critical and compassionate pedagogical strategies.
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