CONTESTED PRACTICES, WOMEN'S RIGHTS, AND COLONIAL BODIES IN PAIN: THE U.N.'S GENDER POLITICS IN AFRICA, 1940s-1960s

Date: 
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Location: 
GLADFELTER HALL 914 (WEIGLEY ROOM), Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

This lecture discusses the collaborative work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the Trusteeship Council to define pain, rituals, and rights for African women in the transitional moment from colonialism to self-rule, (1948-1965). Polygamy and rituals that modify the female body, specifically, demonstrated the contradictions of the UN's politics of the body.

The UN, under the form of its multiple actors involved in women’s rights in the colonies, claimed to advance women’s rights while simultaneously undermining them. The components of the UN world not always acted in agreement but they assumed different positions towards contested issues regarding the status of women. This work presents an original use of UN sources and draws on the main debates in the histories of gender and colonialism, and gender and diplomacy keeping in mind the recent paradigms of imperial histories. 

 

 

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Giusi Russo is a historian of gender, empires, and internationalism. She received her PhD in History from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2014. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the UN-led decolonization in Africa and the politics of the body. Her project explores how the UN imagined the post-colonial state from a gender and sexuality's point of view.

 

An essay on her research experience at the UNESCO has been published in the UN History Project. She will present her work on the United Nations at Oxford in March; she presented a version of today's paper at the SHAFR Conference and the Institute of Historical Research in London. She is currently full time History faculty at Montgomery County Community College where she teaches classes on Modern Europe and the History of Gender and Sexuality. 

Categories
Event Type: 
Educational Events
Topic: 
Education
Global Region: 
Africa