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Introduction

Further information

About the editors

Lyn Parker is Associate Professor in Asian Studies at The University of Western Australia. She teaches courses in Anthropology, Asian Studies, Indonesian and Women’s Studies. She is currently Team Leader of a major ARC Project on Adolescence in Indonesia, and for this she is conducting comparative anthropological fieldwork with teenagers in Minangkabau, Sumatra and Bali. Her books include From Subjects to Citizens: Balinese Villagers in the Indonesian Nation-State (NIAS Press, 2003), The Agency of Women in Asia (ed., Marshall Cavendish Academic, 2005) and Women and Work in Indonesia (co-edited with Michele Ford, Routledge, 2007).
Email: lparker@arts.uwa.edu.au

Laura Dales lectures in Japanese and International Studies at the University of South Australia. Her doctoral research explored feminist agency and praxis in contemporary Japan. Other research interests include studies of Asian feminisms, NGOs and women’s groups, and gender issues in contemporary Japan. Her publications include chapters in the books Women and Agency in Asia (Parker, ed., Marshall Cavendish 2005), and Genders, Transgenders and Sexualities  in Japan (McLelland and Dasgupta eds., RoutledgeCurzon 2005), and the forthcoming monograph,  Feminist Movements in Contemporary Japan  (Routledge, 2009).
Email: Laura.Dales@unisa.edu.au

Special Issue: Feminist Engagements in Other Places

November 2007

Lyn Parker and Laura Dales (Guest Editors)

This issue of Outskirts has its origin in a discussion prompted by Maria Jaschok’s paper at the 2006 Australian Women’s Studies Association Conference in Melbourne. Maria’s paper – a revised version of which introduces this issue – examines some of the theoretical and practical implications of ethnographic collaboration in feminist research in “Other places”. Maria explores the tensions and rewards of collaborative research with women in the Hui Chinese Muslim community, and argues that it is in its “border crossing” that such research is fraught but potentially highly productive.

The editors were encouraged to think about their own experiences as feminists conducting cross-cultural fieldwork. Our aim in this issue has been to explore the implications of feminist analyses for the women who feature in the studies, and for the researchers and feminist theories that drive analyses. The papers in this issue address the challenges and ambiguities of feminist research conducted outside the researcher’s (literal as well as metaphoric) “home” and reveal the opportunities for reflection, reconsideration and innovation that can result from feminist engagement in “Other Places”.

Susanne Gannon uses her own work on three writing projects to demonstrate how fictional, collective and other performative textual practices might be taken up to write the 'others' of our research, including ourselves, other/wise in academia. In her paper on imagining faith-based feminism within Islam, Lyn Parker uses critical autobiography and ethnography to show how she has come to understand and value faith-based feminism in her work on Indonesian women. Laura Dales’s paper discusses the ways in which feminist theory influenced her fieldwork in Japan and examines the impacts of self – particularly age, “race” and language – on the process and outcomes of feminist research. Virginia Mapedzahama’s paper discusses the difficulties of negotiating insider/outsider positions in Australian and African research sites, and reflects on the challenges she experienced in her positioning as a non-western, black woman researching white women in Australia and black women in Zimbabwe. Finally, Victoria Loblay considers the diversity of “internationalisms”, focusing on the campaign against the Anti-Fertility Vaccine, and drawing on her own experiences travelling between feminisms in Australia and India. Her paper examines some of the obstacles to synchronisation of feminisms in the field of women’s health politics.


 

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