Cynthia Enloe on Militarization, Feminism, and the International Politics of Banana Boats
While gender is not part of the core of International Relations as a discipline, it most certainly both structures and is structured by the practice of international politics. Since the 1970s, feminism in IR has stirred up what is normally silenced, back-grounded and relayed to the margins, by starting from the seemingly simple question: ‘where are the women’? For 40 years, Cynthia Enloe has shown that answering this question is not so easy—it requires localizing, unpacking and unsettling much IR takes for granted. In this magnificent Talk, Enloe discusses, amongst others, the politics of textile factory design, how global relations need to be structured for bananas to become normal consumption items in our households, and the contemporary global militarization of our life-worlds.
What is, according to you, the principal challenge or central debate within IR and what would be your position vis-à-vis that challenge or in that debate?
What I think is the most interesting current debate is probably not what most people think. The reason we have a feminist theory section in the ISA and a women's caucus is because we think that the debate should be different than a lot of other people doing IR think the debate should be. What one chooses to see as the main debate is itself a position.
One of the questions I wish more people would engage with in the whole IR enterprise—anyone who's teaching or writing about IR—is: ‘Does gender matter?’ That is, do the politics of masculinities and the politics of femininities matter for the ways in which people experience international politics and the way that people with power try to shape international politics? That's the debate I wish were going on. What actually happens is that there's a non-debate, which means that all of us who think that it matters, try to persuade people who don't even want to debate whether it does. So it's a funny debate, with the debaters trying to get the non-debaters to at least engage with that question. I obviously think that the politics of masculinities and the politics of femininities have to be paid close attention to in order to understand not just the way states operate, but the way all sorts of groups of people operate internationally. I keep trying to get people to engage in the debate! Also, what I like about thinking about it as a debate is that I remember a time when I didn't take any of that seriously. I have written too many books—I don't know, six books?—without feminist curiosity. What were they like and what was I like, when I thought that it didn't matter? I try to remember that. But that's what teaching is for—helping other people to take that same step.
I'm perhaps more then other people interviewed on Theory Talks engaged with what we should be concerned about in the real world. The academic debates matter, but I never think that they matter the most. That may just be my own limitation, but I never think that academic debates are what really shape the world. Now, some academic debates do, obviously, but for me, now, in 2012, what I think about the most and worry about the most and puzzle out the most, is why militarization has become so rampant, what are its consequences and what are the possibilities for rolling it back.
Militarization is a process that is happening at so many levels. It's happening at the individual level, when a woman who has a son is persuaded that the best way she can be a good mother is to allow the military recruiter to recruit her son so her son will get off the couch. When she is persuaded to let him go, even if reluctantly, she's being militarized. She's not as militarized as somebody who is a Special Forces soldier, but she's being militarized all the same. Somebody who gets excited because a jet bomber flies over the football stadium to open the football season and is glad that he or she is in the stadium to see it, is being militarized. So militarization is not just about the question ‘do you think the military is the most important part of the state?’ (Although obviously that matters). It's not just ‘do you think that the use of collective violence is the most effective way to solve social problems?’—which also a part of militarization. But it's also about ordinary, daily culture, certainly in the United States—not in every country, thank goodness—which is one of the reasons that it's so important that people in the United States think about alternative cultures, because then they can see how absolutely peculiar the United States is for its relationship to combat. It is not as if it's only in the United States, however: I work with Feminist Now in Sweden, who are very concerned about what they see as not just creeping, but galloping militarization in contemporary Sweden.
How did you arrive at where you currently are in your thinking about IR?
Well, it's a long process and, of course, it's continuing. The first thing, for me, a lot has had to do with the kind of students I've taught. I teach a lot of students from different countries and students always have a big impact on me, both graduate students who are doing their own investigations, from which I learn, but also younger students—undergraduates—who bring puzzles and assumptions to my courses that are brand new to me. So, I think being a teacher really has had a profound effect on me. I think that in all this time, if I had been ‘just’ a researcher, my thinking wouldn’t have progressed as far as it has.
The second thing is, I was very affected when I was an undergraduate student by reading Hannah Arendt. Now mind you, when I was studying, she was still writing. I got to hear her twice as an undergraduate. I remember that day: she had just written Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and the faculty members at my college brought her not because we the students had ever heard of her, but because they had. I can still picture her up on stage, speaking a very German-accented English, and to tell you the truth, I took notes like mad, I don't think I knew what she was saying, but I knew that it was intellectually exciting. I just knew that what she was talking about mattered. And I can remember running to the university coffee shop after it was all over and I re-read my notes and I tried to put them in order; it was so exciting!
Now, Arendt was not a feminist theorist by any means—she was simply not interested in gender at all. But, she taught me how to think about historical development and how to think about the relationship between cultures of authoritarianism and authoritarian states. I think Arendt is one of the reasons that I'm very interested in those creeping processes of cultural change—of negative cultural change, unfortunately.
Then, when I went to Berkeley as a graduate student, I worked with a political theorist named Sheldon Wolin, who was also very affected by Hannah Arendt. So I continued to read Arendt and, at the point, she was writing in The New Yorker magazine, with ads down the side, and she was also writing in the New York Review of Books. I subscribed to both of them. It was so important because at that time, around 1964-1968, she was one of the few women writing at either of these very male-dominated magazines. She was writing theory in a weekly news magazine, or a weekly book review magazine, which is where political theory should be happening; it should be happening with ads running down the sides, not because I am for advertisements, but rather to put the debates right in the middle of the public sphere. I kept every Arendt article that appeared in those magazines. Sometimes when I'm teaching Arendt, I come in and I show students and say: ‘Look, that's where political theory goes on.’ It's not just in university press journals, though I'm glad they publish them; it doesn't just happen at exclusive sites of cultural production. It's in the public sphere.
One of the people who affected me deeply later, in my post-Arendt life, was Adrienne Rich. She was an activist, a poet, and a feminist thinker. I can remember the first book of hers I read. People were recommending it, saying ‘Cynthia, you are a little behind, here’, referencing my feminist development; I was never an anti-feminist, but I was a little backward. This was the '70s and I had friends who were much more feminist than I was; if you become a feminist, you should always have friends who are much more feminist than you are to keep pushing you and showing you books to read. So, one of the formative books was Adrienne Rich's book called Of Women Born (1976). It was a deconstruction not just of motherhood, but of women's roles in society and how potent that kind of construction was. I got to meet her and I got to listen to her talk, but also read poetry. I'm not a poet, but through her, I realized that there are so many different ways to express feminist thought.
The other thing that really affected me was that I was doing most of my research outside of the United States. The first time that I spent time abroad was in Germany, not too long after World War II, and I stayed with a family who lived in what they still called ‘the British-Occupied Zone’. They compared the British Occupied Zone with the American Occupied Zone. There they were, comparing post-war experiences within the same country, and that really stuck with me. My closest in age within the family was a fellow named Gerd, who has gone on to become a professor of American Studies in Germany, and he pulled me out of my shell, out of my American parochialism, because Gerd was very sure of himself, and very smart. I got to see what American life looked like from his vantage point.
I did most of my research before I became a feminist in Malaysia, Malaysia was not considered a great power, and it still isn't, but it meant that I had to take seriously a country that almost nobody else took seriously if I was going to write my dissertation. That really stuck with me: what happens when you try to make sense of the world from a position in the world that is considered peripheral? I love that, being on the periphery! I love trying to make sense of things from the wings of the stage.
My dissertation was on the ethnic politics of Malaysian education, although my visa couldn't say ‘ethnic politics of’, so my visa said I was looking into ‘education and development’, which didn't sound as scary. But this and the fact that the country was so ethnically divided meant that I never presumed that ethnicity didn't matter, and the first book I wrote after the Malaysian book (Police, Military, Ethnicity: Foundations of State Power, 1980) was on ethnic conflict and political development. Again, I still had a lot to learn about feminism. But it meant that I was constantly looking at marginal perspectives. For instance, what did the Vietnam War look like from the perspective of what the French called the montagne-yards, the mountain ethnic minorities? How would you look at the same Vietnam War from the most marginal of Vietnamese ethnic groups?
Now the pivotal moment I started looking at feminism doesn't exist—I guess there is about two or three of them, and they happened gradually. I subscribed to the very first issue of Ms. Magazine, an insert that was put into New York Magazine, which people now read to find out where the plays and movies are showing, I was getting New York Magazine because I was teaching in Southern Ohio and I was kind of homesick for the bright lights of New York, and here came this insert called Ms.! And Ms. was just beginning to be used by some people, not by me yet, and this insert had a whole way of looking at politics that was totally new to me.
Then the other thing that happened to me is that I was put on a presidential search committee for my university as one of just two women on the committee, a graduate student and myself. Her name was Gail Hornstein and she was a graduate student in psychology. Well, she took me aside after the first two meetings. Everybody else in the committee was nice, but she said ‘Cynthia, you have to say something or we're going to end up with an all-male shortlist.’ Of course we were! She said ‘It's your responsibility because as a graduate student, no one's really going to pay attention to what I say’. So even though I was a junior researcher, I can't remember if I was tenured, she said ‘it's your job. You have to speak for this.’ And really, it was the first time that I was asked, if you will, to make a feminist point, and to persuade other people of its importance.
Finally, the real big turning point was that we had a very major sexual harassment case at our university at a time when almost nobody had ever heard of the term ‘sexual harassment’. It divided the peace movement in Boston, it divided my university, and it divided students and faculty. Meanwhile, I had to figure out what I thought about it because I was trying to be one of the main supporters of the women who were bringing the charge. And again, they kind of said ‘you have to do this, you have to explain to people what this thing called 'sexual harassment' is and why it matters and why it's a violation of labour rights’. So it was good; I've always been pushed.
To be a feminist, there should definitely be some sense that there are wrongs to be righted, or there are injustices to be understood and to be rolled back. I think sometimes that in the middle of that sexual harassment case, it was anger, but I was angry on behalf of other people. I find that if it's just anger that motivates me, I'm not very effective in persuasion, and I'm constantly in these positions (like so many of us) in groups or in organizations and I have to be able to persuade. If my own internal anger is the main thing they hear—some people can be effective, but for me, it doesn't work.
What would a student need to become a specialist in IR?
As far as thinking about other people who are trying to have careers in academia, I think one thing is to try and pursue things you genuinely find interesting, which means listening to your mentors and advisors, but pursuing investigations on topics you care about. ‘Care about’ doesn't mean necessarily that you immediately see the injustices that you want to address, it can mean that you just find something really exciting and/or really puzzling and you've always wondered about it. We, for instance, are talking just about 100 yards away from a great big container ship stacked high with Dole Corporation fruit containers, going or coming from all parts of Central America and probably the Philippines and Hawaii. Well, I can imagine somebody at this conference looking out there and thinking ‘so, what's going on here?’ and really finding that a wonderful puzzle—about how Dole operates its own ships, and where these fruits and vegetables are coming from and where they're going and who is working on these ships. I can imagine that just being absolutely intriguing. So I guess one of the main things is don't just pursue something that someone else says is worth pursuing, because you won't have your juices running; you won't have your own internal drive. Pick something that you care about—something you just find wonderfully intriguing.
Another thing is, put yourself in uncomfortable positions. It can even be within your own society by exploring the parts of your society you feel uncomfortable in or unsettled by. Make sure that you're in positions where you can't just assume everything. Again, that doesn't necessarily mean going to a place that somebody else says is exotic. It can really mean doing research on a part of town you never go to, or with people who you're not very comfortable talking with. Try to shake up your presumptions, but also develop new skills: skills of empathy, skills of communication, and skills of questioning—including yourself—that you otherwise would not have done. It makes you realize you have assumptions that you never knew you had.
Does gender make the world go round? If so, in which ways? The question stems from the observation that IR is a world that seems inhabited by white men of a certain age group.
I think what I mean by ‘gender makes the world go round’ is that it motivates people's own ideas or anxieties about their own masculinity or people's own aspirations for their own femininity or what they hope will be see as their own feminine respectability. That whole cluster of ideas about gender drives decision-making, drives alliances, and drives hostilities; it allows for certain kinds of structures to seem normal and therefore unchallengeable—until a feminist comes along! It makes certain kinds of hierarchies—racial and class, both race as gender and class as gender—to seem as though they are efficient, either internationally or at other levels. Take Chinese women's factory labour: ‘of course’ it should be cheaper than a Swedish factory woman's labour, or so the common wisdom goes. Those sorts of normalizations of those hierarchies make the world go round. That normalization is a political process that is driven—not entirely, but in large part—by assumptions of politics and decisions around masculinity and femininity, and that's what we mean by ‘makes the world go round.’
Let's go back to this Dole California ship in the background. That’s a gendered ship! Let’s look at some of the gendered aspects involved in this banana boat. Who produces Dole bananas? It’s women that are working on the banana plantations in Central America. And what about the ship’s crew? It's a small crew because it's a container ship—but they aren't simply ‘men’. I would guess they are Filipino men navigating bananas from Central America to California. And they have relationships at home; they're sending money home. Dole, moreover, has a whole executive hierarchy that, in my guess, are male and probably they don't look anything like the crew on that ship, let alone like the plantation workers. And it is here in San Diego feeding the American public—through shopping done by women. So, that ship is definitely making the world go round. It's definitely key not only to what we eat for breakfast, but also to globalized capitalism. You can't explain that ship in its entirety without asking which men, why those men, and what their relationship is to which women.
That's one of the things that I learned—I read a lot of history and, going back to what I was affected by, when I was first becoming a feminist in my academic work, the people I was reading were overwhelmingly historians and that has been so good for me. Amongst the first historians that I read were historians of the globalized textile industry. One of the things that I learned from a historian named Judy Lown, who is British, was that the early textile entrepreneurs requested—informed—their engineers to create textile looms—the technology with levers if you will—so that they could be worked by children and women. This then gets naturalized to ‘Oh, the textile industry is perfect for women, because look at the machinery!’ But in fact, it was the entrepreneur who said, ‘no, make these machines usable for women’, because at that point, if you could get farm girls off British farms, you could pay them less than the skilled male weavers.
So structures matter, but it doesn't mean that gender doesn't matter. There's an assumption, maybe by people who don't do gender research, that actually gender is all in the area of culture. Gender is structured and is made structured, because structures are human-made. Conducting gender research means to always ask ‘What role is masculinity playing, and what role is femininity playing?’ Where are the women, where are the men, why are they each there, who gains from them being in those places?—and you're off and running. Pick the topic and you're ready.
It is true that the legitimation of many structures is the process by which we are persuaded that these structures are natural. That is the idea that the labour market is the invisible hand. But that's why I look for decisions in history because if I can find the decisions, meaning the decisions made one way rather than another way, then there's evidence that that structure actually not only was created in the first place, but has to be maintained every day.
What does the fact that history has been written by men for thousands of years do to political theory and IR?
Well, of course those men see each other as their prime rivals, so it's more to say that it is men who have written the most published theorizing. Still, that doesn't mean that men see the world alike, and I certainly don't want to reduce masculinity to men. But it is true that a certain kind of male theorizing, a certain kind of masculinized theorizing about the world and to what extent it's open to cooperation and to what extent it is infused with threat, really has had an impact, and it has an impact on women as well. It has helped to create this larger presumption that women should feel themselves protected and should act gratefully about being protected whereas men, and even those who don't want to, should be encouraged—pressured—into thinking that their main role in the world, this dangerous world, is as a protector.
But the protector is the one who gets to know the outside world. If you're protected, you are domesticated. And you're in the private sphere, and you're definitely in the local, domestic sphere—and you're grateful. If you are the protector, you're presumed to have to know about the greater world, because how else could you be the protector? So even if you are not worldly, there's pressure on you to act as though you are able to assess the threats. That just sets up the whole political hierarchy. If the protected is feminized and the protector is masculinized and the protector is supposed to be worldly and rational and strategic and the protected is supposed to be nurturing and grateful, you have patriarchy. Patriarchy can take so many different forms. It can fit a lot of different personalities and a lot of different structures, so you can have patriarchies that are quite comfortable. I oftentimes think that patriarchy, as a particular way of ordering human life, wouldn't work if a lot of women weren't persuaded that it was good for them.
Finally, politics is much more complex than most of the conventional theorists can imagine. I remember there was a wonderful documentary that maybe you've seen called ‘The Fog of War’ about Robert McNamara, which is a quintessential object of IR theorizing. There was a moment in the documentary about whether his wife agreed with him—by this time, he was defence secretary—about his approach to the Vietnam War in the late 1960's. She clearly did not, as the film shows, but then the documentary filmmaker just kind of moved away from that. But I thought ‘we want to know more!’ Was she at all persuasive? Was he embarrassed when he couldn't persuade her? I don't actually know anything about her political theory, I don't know anything about her political outlook or her ways of acting, but I just thought ‘Tell me more!’ And it made me think that McNamara was himself in a web of relationships, and they weren't just relationships with the powers that be in Washington at the time.
What kind of methodologies do you use or help you to tease out these sets of questions and issues?
I think that one of the great contributions of feminist researchers is to figure out a way to study silence. To develop a methodology for studying what is not said. I don't mean that all women are silent, but certainly silencing women in the political sphere is one of the ways that the current structures of politics are sustained, which means that you've got to be able to study silence. I think it is one of the great contributions of feminist researchers to say ‘We are going to figure out a way to study silence.’
I tend to use a multiplicity of methodologies. I find that one set of methodologies is just not revealing enough because I think that the world and the social relationships that make up international politics are so complex. So, I use discourse analysis: I read and re-read between the lines, and watch for which kinds of symbolism, analogies and metaphors are used. I also use a lot of interviewing whenever I can. I use quantitative research in the sense that I'm really into distributions. I don't use a very high level of abstract quantitative work, but I do count! We say that, in American Congress, liberals don't know how to count. But feminists count all the time; we count all the time. And then we ask the questions. What does it mean, how did it get that way? I also do a lot of historical research. As I said, I've been so affected by historical analysis because I want to have a longer view of how things got to be the way they were. If you can look historically, you can find where decisions were made. And as soon as you find decisions, like’ let's take those women to Australia,’; ‘let's use those women for this purpose’—then, in fact, you immediately break up the idea that it's natural, that it's normal, and that it's apolitical. People who do institutional sociology also affect me. I'm really interested in organizational cultures, institutional sociology, and the history of institutions. Because, again, historians will tell you about turning points, and that really explodes the idea that this is the only way this could have been.
Finally, it always kept me in good stead, I think, to be a Comparative Politics person: it makes you much more capable of seeing complexities in the conduct of international relations because you are always concerned about the complexities of the local. You never can slip into saying ‘the US talks to Russia.’ A Comparative Politics person says ‘Well, what's going on in Russia? Which Russians?’ In fact, in my own work, I never say ‘Russia’, I never say ‘the United States’, I never say ‘Sweden.’ I either say ‘the Swedish government’ or the ‘Swedish peace movement’. The thing that really distinguishes the Comparative Politics analyst is that we are always trying to break open the state. You always presume, not that the state doesn't exist, but that the state is not monolithic. If you watched its development, you would never take it as a given, because it's not a given. Plus, you always know it's contested and you always know the actors themselves are contested. Even if there's a political class—and the French always talk about ‘the French political class’—it's not an easy, monolithic group. So I think it's an enormous benefit to come to International Relations out of Comparative Politics. Or, if you're in International Relations, to make sure that you put one foot, one curious foot, into Comparative Politics.
Why do you focus on the international? Is there anything specific about the international that you want to disseminate to certain types of audiences?
I speak to lots of different kinds of audiences. Most of the speaking that I do as invited lecturer are usually a combination of Women's Studies, Global Studies, and Political Science, but oftentimes the people who actually bring me in are the Women's Studies people. So the audiences that I'm speaking to are always multidisciplinary. Therefore, I can't assume—and I don't want to assume—that they come in already convinced. Moreover, for some of them, it's the first time that they've come to a lecture by somebody who actually is identified as a feminist—and I like that! I like not being presumptuous and sort of figuring out where their scepticism is.
But for the international, I think again, having been to Malaysia, a country that is so vulnerable to all kinds of regional and international—not to mention colonial (British colonial)—decisions has really set me up right from the beginning to think on an international scale. If you're a rubber plantation owner on a Dunlop plantation, you may think your world is very small. You live on the plantation, you're trying to raise your kids, you're trying to have a good marriage, and you're trying to have a little bit of a community. But in fact, you know you are part of Dunlop and Dunlop is part of the British capitalist economy. You are very aware!
People living in the US are much more tempted to imagine that they live in their own world. Unfortunately, since 9/11 but even since the beginning of the Cold War, Americans have been encouraged to think first of all that they live in their own world. If they expand beyond that to see the larger world, they see it mainly as a world of threat. There is an ethos here that has been infused in American foreign policy, but also in American individual thinking, that we just don't have to deal with the world. Now but then we wouldn't have any bananas! There are no bananas growing on American territories, but according to most Americans, it would be worth it because the world out there is one of threat. I don't think that's how people in most other countries think. So, I think that spending that time in Malaysia and always keeping Malaysia as one of my references, even though I'm not a Malaysia specialist anymore, has had a big effect on me. I can't imagine the private, the local, or the national not being infused with the international.
That said, I never envisioned ending up in IR. What I did know is I wanted to stir things up. Now, that's not necessarily something to be proud of, but that just means that when I wrote Bananas, Beaches and Bases (2000), I was just trying to shake things up. I first wrote it as a non-academic book; it was published in London at a trade press called Pandora, and only then got picked up by the University of California Press. What happened is that the women inside of the IR camp, picked it up and they did the hard work of using it to break open some discussions. Spike Peterson and Ann Tickner, people who were already ‘inside of’ IR, said ‘We will take this and use it.’ Then, they kind of adopted me and brought me into IR.
Finally, moving to your current work, what, in militarization, captures your fascination so much?
Well, I don't think militarization is new. I think we're more aware of it, partly because it's being challenged. Sometimes we're not even aware of a process that's going on until someone says ‘that's damaging and not natural and not automatic.’ I think that there are several things fuelling militarization now. One is the model of a certain type of masculinity and holding up that kind of masculinity as the most modern, the most protective, the most technologically sophisticated, and/or even the most threatening. If certain kinds of manhood are thought to be the most threatening, then you have to pay the most attention to it.
I think the second thing that is going on is that there is an increasing diffusion of military ideas into popular culture and into social workings. So, for instance, it's not uncommon to imagine nowadays in the U.S. that one of the best people to be a school principal is an ex-army person. That is certainly not accepted by all local communities, but it's an increasingly favoured idea. Or: the proliferation of video games, which are highly militarized and attract both boys and girls, but especially a certain kind of boy who likes to play war games. Now, there have always been war games, and there have always been tin soldiers, so it's not as if the militarization of child's play is brand new, but now it's so powerful and it's so profitable, and that, certainly, is new. Then, I think, there is the proliferation of weaponry: certainly the British and the Americans, the Dutch, the Spanish, and the Germans, all distributed arms when they were colonizing and trying to build local armed forces. But now, it is such big business, both regarding state-to-state arms transfers and private arms dealers. It's big corporate business, and that makes a huge difference. So much of foreign aid now is in the form of military transfers, especially American foreign aid.
I think this is happening more often now because a lot of state elites feel insecure. They feel insecure for the wrong reasons: they don't want to give up power, they don't want to share power, they don't want to live in a more multipolar world. There are all kinds of incentives for feeling insecure that most of us would say are actually healthy, including having a more porous idea of yourself and a less elitist, predictable elite. Then, these civilian, innate, notions of their insecurities are played out as if they are not their insecurities, but as if all of us should feel insecure. That then becomes a great justification for this kind of militarization. The other thing is that this kind of militarization is supposedly more ‘modern’ because it's more technologically sophisticated, i.e., it has more advanced weaponry.
One could instead imagine security services through the more realistic notion of ‘providing security’. What would it comprise? You would have all kinds of health professionals, all kinds of educators and environmentalists, climate change, sea level rise experts and so on—and they are providing security. But it's this narrow definition of what security is—military security—combined with a capitalist profit mode, combined with states not wanting to be directly responsible for, but wanting to have some kind of direction over, armed security forces, and they're all masculinized. If you take the Swedish armed forces, the American armed forces, the Canadian, the Australian, the New Zealand, South African—and they have now anywhere from 6% in Britain up to 17% in New Zealand of women in the armed forces. Even the Russian military, because so many guys go AWOL, is up to 10-12% now, whereas the private security forces—they have secretaries, so it's not as if they don't have feminized jobs—are overwhelmingly male, at least as far as the people out there performing the security functions are concerned. So, the privatization of security entrenches militarization even further, not a blanket masculinity, but a certain kind of masculinity in the name of making the world more secure.
Cynthia Enloe’s career has included Fulbrights in Malaysia and Guyana, and guest professorships in Japan, Britain and Canada, as well as lecturing in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Korea, Turkey and at universities around the U.S. Her books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, and German. She has written for Ms. Magazine and has appeared on National Public Radio and the BBC. Enloe’s twelve books include Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2000), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (2004), and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007). Her newest book is Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War (forthcoming from University of California Press, spring, 2010). In years past, Enloe’s feminist teaching and research has focused on the interplay of women’s politics in the national and international arenas, with special attention to how women’s labor is made cheap in globalized factories (especially sneaker factories) and how women’s emotional and physical labor has been used to support governments’ war-waging policies—and how many women have tried to resist both of those efforts.
- Faculty Profile at Clark University
- Read Enloe’s The Globetrotting Sneaker here (pdf)
- Read Enloe’s Sneak Attack: the Militarization of U.S. Culture (chapter in Reconstructing Gender, 2005) here (pdf)
Print version of this Talk (pdf)