About the Global Feminisms Project – Global Feminisms Project

About the Global Feminisms Project

Watch the Zoom recording of the October 9, 2021, Global Feminisms conference, “Teaching Global Feminisms: Using Activist Interviews Across Disciplines,” here!

The Global Feminisms Project (GFP) originated in 2002 to create an archive of oral histories from women scholars and activists from four countries: China, India, Poland, and the USA Since then, we have added interviews from Brazil, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Russia. The term “global” means to us that we focus on women’s movement activism and gender scholarship in several countries around “the globe,” and that we are interested in the flow of ideas, activists and scholarship across national boundaries. However, we are also and equally interested in the uniquely local features of activism and scholarship in different locations; we hope our interviews help document all of these. 

The term “feminisms” is also tricky. By using the plural form of the word, we signal that we do not believe there is any monolithic “feminism” within or across countries. But we also recognize that many women’s movement activists and scholars do not identify with the term “feminist,” and for that reason in our interviews we ask them whether they do, and if they do or not, what their reasons are. 

There are many resources for thinking about women’s movement issues in the comparative way we hope to encourage, beyond some of the publications our own project has produced, including a recently-released UN report on “New Feminist Activism.” We document some of these resources in a resource page focused on “Global Feminisms” on the front page of our Resources section. 

The GFP was designed with curricular and research goals at its core. The materials lend themselves to comparative and interdisciplinary work, addressing issues that reach across disciplines and bring understandings of activism, historical context, identity formation, and social movements into play. For those hoping to incorporate the materials into their classes, we created lesson plans and have gathered syllabi and notes on thematic modules as well as bibliographies and additional materials. We also list publications that have used the GFP archive, including articles in Signs and Feminist Studies and a number of book chapters.

For more information about using the transcripts and videos, see How to Use the Interviews.

In 2021, Global Feminisms Project staff members Abby Stewart and Marisol Fila were interviewed for an episode of the podcast Gender Matters. Their conversation with the host provides an introduction to the project and information about new and upcoming activities.

The GFP is based at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) at the University of Michigan, which is also the home for the USA site research team.

Our international collaborators include:

  • Laboratório de História Oral e Imagem – UFF (the Laboratory of Oral History and Images at the Federal Fluminense University in Rio de Janeiro) and Núcleo de História, Memória e Documento – NUMEM (the Center for History, Memory, and Documentation at the Federal State University in Rio de Janeiro), BRAZIL
  • China Women’s University in Beijing, CHINA
  • SPARROW, Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women in Mumbai, INDIA
  • Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres de Nicaragua (Autonomous Women’s Movement), NICARAGUA
  • Fundacja Kobiet eFKa (Women’s Foundation eFKa) in Krakow, POLAND
  • Professor Natalia Pushkareva at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, the Russian Academy of Science, RUSSIA

Over the years, an impressive team of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in the USA and in each site country have contributed to the project. We appreciate the many ways that each of them has contributed to creating this archive.


Project Director
Abigail Stewart (Jayati Lal, Kristin McGuire, past co-directors)

Site Coordinators
Carlos Arenas, Sueann Caulfield, Elizabeth Cole, Rebecca Friedman, Shelly Grabe, Keila Grinberg, Zhang Jian,  Juanita Jiménez, Wang Jinling, C.S. Lakshmi, Jayati Lal, Ana Maria Maria, Natalia Pushkarova, Renata Saavedra, Slawka Walczewska, Magdalena Zaborowska, Wang Zheng

Research assistants and translators
Karis Blaker, Megan Bloem, Zoe Boudart, Nicola Curtin, Eimeel Castillo Dona, Kim Dorazio, Marisol Fila, Christopher Fort, Emily Gach, Gina Goldfaden, Olga Greco, Lina Grant, Alexandra Gross, Jana Haritatos, Juan Hernandez, Helen Ho, Maddie House, Cheng Jizhong, Kasia Kietlinska, Julianna Lee, Lucas Limoncic, Sumiao Li, Zakiya Luna, Julia MacMillan, Leslie Marsh, Elizabeth Martins, Stefan Mendes, Sridevi Nair, Justyna Pas, Rosa Peralta, Libby Pozolo, Rebecca Rosen, Hanna Smith, Arielle Sturr, Anouk Versavel, Urmitapa Dutta, Thokchom Bibinaz Devi, Elena Fort

Miriam Asnes, Julia Baumgartner, Aruna Bhurte, Urvashi Butalia, Sueann Caulfield, Esther Chinnu, Maria Cotera, Madhushree Datta, Chen Fang, Marisol Fila, Shelly Grabe, Inga Iwasiów, Zhang Jian, Wang Jinling, Anjum Katyal, Anna Kirkland, Beata Kozak, Jayati Lal, Emily Lawsin, Binota Loitongbam, Zakiya Luna, Jennifer Lyle, Nadine Naber, Claudielle Paivão, Ola Piela, Rebecca Rosen, Renata Saavedra, Shi Tong, Sławomira Walczewska, Joanna Wydrych, Gao Xueyu, Alena Zemanek, Ying Zhang, Megan Williamson, Wang Zheng

Tech. Assistance
R. Thomas Bray, Dustin Edwards, Keith Rainwater

Graphic Design
Guilherme Hoffman, Elisabeth Paymal, Marco Seiferle-Valencia

Syllabus Contributors
Janice M. Harbarth, Deborah Keller-Cohen, Dorothy Ko, Jayati Lal, Abigail Stewart, Ying Zhang, Wang Zheng

Assignment Contributors
Elizabeth Cole, Jayati Lal, Ram Mahalingam, Kristin McGuire, Desdamona Rios, Abigail Stewart, Elizabeth Wingrove, Magdalena Zaborowska, Wang Zheng 

Pronunciation Guide Contributors
Wang Zheng, Eimeel Castillo, Sueann Caulfield, Abigail Stewart, Jayati Lal, Magdalena Zaborowska, Christopher Fort, Elena Fort, Jodi Greig, Jasmin Bleimlingas, Pemi Aguda, Verena Klein, Ronke Olawale, Elisha Renne, Elizabeth Martins


We also appreciate generous funds from the University of Michigan that made this project possible. The project got under way in 2002 with a major grant from the Rackham Graduate School for collaborative projects. Subsequently, we received funding from a range of sources at the University of Michigan, including the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Women’s Studies Program, the Center for South Asian Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (the Brazil Initiative), the Third Century Learning Initiative, and the Humanities Collaboratory.

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