Abstract

Abstract:

Recent scholarship on Black American women and feminists in the radical Left documents how these women's travel to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries in the twentieth century influenced their understanding of racism, imperialism, patriarchy, and capitalism in the United States and abroad. This study draws from a related but ignored archive of documents to examine how the travel and knowledges of these Black women have affected women and feminisms in the socialist/postsocialist countries they were visiting. The study explores these affects in the encounter, in 1972, between a young Muslim girl in socialist Bulgaria and African American feminist Angela Davis. This encounter is linked to postsocialist Romani feminisms explicitly rooted in African American women's epistemologies of intersectionality to confront racism and anti-Gypsyism in the European Union and former socialist states in central and southeastern Europe. Women members of dominant majorities in Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania seek links to women of color in the Global North and South but their bridgework rests upon claims to racial innocence and shared victimization. The study relates these modes of socialist/postsocialist transnational feminisms to global and historical racial formations wherein Western racial sciences, colonial technologies, Marxist-Leninist imaginations, and socialist state policies intertwined to produce socialist women belonging to privileged ethnic majorities attached to racial Whiteness and European civilization, as well as Romani and Muslim women whose Otherness marked them for state-led socialist emancipation or eradication. These women engage with women and feminisms of color from the United States and around the world, and the consequences of these engagements illuminate possibilities for new and extended feminist collectives and political alliances that include women in the so-called "Second World."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1547-8424
Print ISSN
1536-6936
Pages
pp. 114-141
Launched on MUSE
2017-12-08
Open Access
No
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