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Julie Mostov
Ph.D., Dean for Liberal Studies at New York University Read More ...
 
 
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This presentation explores the ways in which traditional gender roles and patriarchal culture are critical in constructing notions of nation, tools of belonging and exclusion, and the violent map-making of ethno-nationalisms. Symbolically and physically women’s bodies become boundaries of the nation. Not only are women’s bodies symbols of the fecundity of the nation and vessels for its reproduction, but they are also territorial markers. Mothers, wives, and daughters designate the space of the nation and are, at the same time, the property of the nation. As markers and as property, mothers, daughters, and wives require the defense and protection of patriotic sons. While Mostov explores how feminization of territorial and symbolic space serves to make difference appear “natural” and a source of infinite danger, she also notes the subversive role taken by women in redefining boundaries and breaking down borders.

 
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