A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought

Published 2015, University of California Press

​Edited with M. Cristina Alcalde and Ellen Rosenman. The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history.

Provocations includes engaging, historically significant primary sources by writers of many nationalities in numerous genres—from political manifestos to theoretical and cultural analysis to poetry and fiction. These texts range from those of classical antiquity to others composed during the Arab Spring and represent Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, and the United States. Each section begins with an introductory essay that presents central ideas and explores connections among readings, placing them in historical, national, and intellectual contexts and concluding with questions for discussion and reflection.


Feminist thought is a rich terrain and has a rich history. That it also has a transnational reach is evident in this carefully curated and comprehensive collection of writings. Bordo, Alcalde, and Rosenman and their collaborators offer engaging introductions to the selected works. Seasoned feminists will be gratified to see this collection, and younger ones will have the pleasure of discovering brilliant writings that continue to inspire us.
Florence E. Babb, Harrington Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Coupling contextualizing analytical essays with the voices of women from all regions of the world, from antiquity to the present, Provocationsaffords new insights into women’s self-understandings, aspirations, and resistance, as well as the expansive precursors, origins, and scope of feminist activism.
Mary Hawkesworth, author of Political Worlds of Women: Activism, Advocacy and Governance in the 21st Century
A wide-ranging collection of essays by recognized critics in the field, which begins with antiquity and closes with the twenty-first century―a reader that proves yet again, if proof were still needed, that feminism is a transnational (transhistorical and transcultural) movement.
Domna C. Stanton, Distinguished Professor of French, Graduate Center CUNY
Ever-mindful of historical and cultural context, the authors present essays that cross borders of time and space to reveal women’s emerging consciousness of self, sexuality, and intellect through the centuries. The result is a collection of proto-feminist and feminist thought stunning in its breadth and depth.
Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos
Provocations is an ambitious, pioneering, interdisciplinary anthology that promises to disrupt hegemonic narratives of the complex histories of feminisms that permeate women’s studies classrooms in the U.S. academy. From the ancient world to the recent Arab Spring, Provocationsengages some of the most compelling and contentious debates in the centuries old ‘woman question.’
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies and Founding Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College