Tracking the Militarized Global Sneaker

Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor in the International Development, Community, and Environment Department, Clark University

Common Hour event series
Sponsored by Alice Drum Women's Center

Thursday, April 10, 2014
11:30 a.m.-12:35 p.m.
Common Hour web page

Today popular brand sneakers are made in Vietnam, China and Indonesia. Tracking your own sneakers means thinking about the women who sew and glue them. It means also asking whether militaries are used to keep those women's labor cheap.

Dr. Cynthia Enloe is currently Research Professor in the International Development, Community, and Environment Department at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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, Iceland, Germany, Korea, Turkey and at universities around the U.S. Her books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, and German. She has in Ms. Magazine, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, C-Span and the BBC.

Among Professor Enloe’s fourteen books are Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2000), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (2004), The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in The New Age of Empire (2004) and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007). In 2010, she published Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War. The Real State of America: Mapping the Myths and Truths about the United States (co-authored with Joni Seager) was published in 2011. Her newest book is: Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered (2013). Her new, totally updated and revised 3rd edition of Bananas, Beaches and Bases will be published in August, 2014.

She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (2009), Connecticut College (2010) and the University of Lund, Sweden (2012). The Peace and Justice Studies Association has awarded Enloe its Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award.

At Clark University, Cynthia Enloe has served as Chair of the Department of Political Science and as Director of Women’s Studies. She has served on the university’s Committee on Personnel and its Planning and Budget Review Committee. Professor Enloe was awarded Clark University’s Outstanding Teacher Award three times.

She currently serves on the editorial boards of five academic journals, including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Security Dialogue and International Political Sociology.

Professor Enloe’s feminist teaching and research have 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 many governments’ war-waging policies—and how diverse women have tried to resist both of those efforts. Racial, class, ethnic and national identities, as well as pressures shaping ideas about femininities and masculinities, are common threads throughout her studies.

Cynthia Enloe was awarded the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award in 2007, in recognition of “a person whose singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and organizational complacency in the international studies community during the previous year.” In 2008, she was awarded the Susan B. Northcutt Award, presented annually by the Women’s Caucus for International Studies, of the International Studies Association, to recognize ”a person who actively works toward recruiting and advancing women and other minorities in the profession, and whose spirit is inclusive, generous and conscientious.” In 2010, Cynthia Enloe was awarded the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Co-sponsored by: Alice Drum Women's Center, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Academic Innovation and Enrichment Fund, the North Foundation, and the International Studies Program

This event is open to the public.

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