chapter  18
19 Pages

Configuring feminisms, transforming paradigms: Reflections from Kum-Kum Bhavnani—scholar, activist, filmmaker


Kum-Kum Bhavnani is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Women, Culture, and Development program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Highly respected as a researcher and teacher, her work has addressed a wide range of critical issues involving questions on gender and women, the Third World and development, cultural studies, and film. She is widely known for her contributions to the analysis of racism in feminist theory and to developing a new paradigm for development studies. She has been a member of the Feminist Review editorial collective, was a founding and then associate editor of Feminism and Psychology, has been a guest editor for special issues of Signs, and was the inaugural editor of the acclaimed journal Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. In addition to her numerous books and articles, she has published important collections on race and gender in their complex dimensions and intersections with politics, youth culture, and feminism, and, in 2006, released her award-winning feature documentary, The Shape of Water. Recognizing her critical achievements, commitment, and work confronting questions of global gender justice, we take this opportunity to probe her ideas for transforming feminist paradigms as she reflects on her life as a renowned scholar, activist, and filmmaker.