Perspectives on Women's Studies from India: Strengths, struggles and implications for programs in the U.S.
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AbstractAn important goal of Women’s Studies (WS) is the advancement of women’ rights not just locally, but on a global scale. How well this goal is accomplished will ultimately depend on the current WS curricula adapting to include international and transnational perspectives. This paper investigates how Indian-WS programs, with some comparisons to WS programs in the U.S., are meeting this challenge. It begins by tracing the development of WS and examines its curricula by conducting a content analysis of ten syllabi from Indian universities and offers reflections from WS practitioners in India. The research yields important insights on institutionalization of WS programs, its interdisciplinarity, pedagogy, theories, methods, and effects of globalization on societies on the curricula. It also reveals strengths and struggles of India-WS programs, which are compared directly to those of U.S.-WS programs. Such a comparison of the programs will prove fruitful in developing effective transnational theories that truly address women’s issues on both a global and local scale and impact the long-term advancement of WS programs.