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2015 - 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 579 words || 
1. Khurshid, Ayesha. "Becoming Educated, Becoming Self-Disciplined: Women’s Education & The Production Of “Virtuous Agents” In Pakistan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 59th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington D.C., Mar 08, 2015 <Not Available>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Becoming Educated, Becoming Self-Disciplined: Women’s Education & The Production Of “Virtuous Agents” In Pakistan

International development agencies view education as the main tool to empower Muslim women and to modernize Muslim countries (Abu-Lughod 2009; Kandiyoti 2005). However, recent feminist and development scholarship demonstrate how education produces not only new opportunities but also new regulations for women (Bartlett 2008; North 2013; Robinson-Pant 2003). Through using ethnographic data collected with women teachers from low-income and rural communities in Pakistan, this paper argues that these opportunities and regulations operate through a cultural narrative that presents educated women as self-disciplined subjects. This analysis complicates the narrative of women’s education as universally empowering, and marks a multidimensional shift in gendered ideology at the nexus of local and global influences.

Theoretical Framework
In order to examine how educated women perform a self-disciplined subjectivity to access new opportunities, I employ feminist poststructuralist frameworks (Butler 1999) that theorize gender as a performance, rather than a fixed identity, that is acted out in everyday relationships. This conceptualization helps to understand how being educated implies being able to self-regulate for women from rural communities in Pakistan, and, it is this gendered performance that makes new roles and opportunities accessible to educated women.

This paper uses ethnographic data collected from 2008 to 2012 with women teachers working for community schools supported by a transnational development organization to provide education to girls from rural and low-income communities in Pakistan. The data includes participant observation conducted in classrooms, parent-teacher meetings, and community meetings and in-depth interviews conducted with thirty-two women teachers. I analyzed this data using deductive codes, such as meaning and purpose of girls’ education, and inductive coding, such as distinction of educated women from uneducated women

The results show that the women participants of this study are validated as “real” educated women through performance of a self-disciplined subjectivity. Educated women, thus, are allowed to do paid work outside of home and gain financial independence but without challenging the role of male figurehead, become assertive but without engaging in verbal or physical fights, become visible in public domain through demonstrating a gendered domesticity, and deal with non-relative men in male-dominated decision making processes through a reserved behavior. Educated women, thus, are allowed to modify certain gender norms while strictly following others. In addition, unlike “uneducated” women, educated women are “trusted” to take up their new roles without an active surveillance from their families and communities.

In the context where women’s education is perceived as a magic pill to resolve issues ranging from poverty to religious extremism in Muslim countries, this paper complicates the global narrative of women’s education as inherently and universally empowering. It also shows why it is important for educational policymakers to examine the meaning of education and gender empowerment in the complex histories of local sociocultural contexts.


Abu-Lughod, L. 2009. Dialects of women’s empowerment. International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 41(1), 83-103.
Barlett, L., 2008. Literacy’s verb. Exploring what literacy is and what literacy does. International Journal of Educational Development, 28 (6), 737-753.
Butler, J., 1999. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Rutledge, London, New York.
Kandiyti, D. 2005. The politics of gender and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Occasional Paper 4. Geneva: USRISD.
North, A. 2013. Reading and writing between different worlds: Learning, literacy, and power in the lives of two migrant domestic workers. International Journal of Educational Development, 33, 595-603
Robinson-Pant, A. 2000. Women and literacy: A Nepal perspective. International Journal of Development Education, 20 (4), 349-364.

2015 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 4396 words || 
2. Coba-Rodriguez, Sarai. and Jarrett, Robin. "You Try to become Totally Opposite of Your Parents or You become Just Like Them" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Chicago and Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois, Aug 20, 2015 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: When we better understand how parents conceptualize their own school experiences, it enriches our understanding about parent’s learning-related engagement as they prepare their children for kindergarten entry. Thus, this study explores how low-income, African-American parents’ own school/family experiences shape how and why they are involved in their own child’s education. Preliminary findings derived from qualitative interviews, revealed three categories, demonstrating the variations in childhood experiences and parents own involvement in their child’ education: 1) Non-Active Parents/Family Members and Active Mothers; 2) Active Parents/Family Members and Non-Active Mothers; and 3) Active Parents/Family Members and Active Mothers. All three categories provide a sharper view of how parents’ early childhood experiences shape their own involvement and the possible implications of each experience.

2013 - ASC Annual Meeting Words: 184 words || 
3. Yang, Fei. "When Home Becomes Prison and Prison Becomes Home" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Nov 14, 2013 <Not Available>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The paper uses an integrated methodology to examine the changes in the criminal justice system in dealing with domestic violence since the passage of VAWA in 1994. This paper uses domestic violence and homicide data from the last three decades to evaluate both the short-term and long-term effects of several laws designed to protect domestic violence victims, namely mandatory arrest policy, warrantless arrest policy and the no-drop prosecution policy. This paper also analyzes court opinions on a number of criminal cases involving battered women who kill their abusers over the last three decades. Taking into account the complexities and distinctiveness of domestic violence when applying the imminence rule, findings from this paper will challenge current self-defense laws and their applicability in the court system. This paper also points out the double standard in the application of “the right not to retreat”. Gender stereotypes are often reflected in possible outcomes of the adoption of the “stand-your-ground” law. In the discussion of the admissibility of evidence, the paper shows why battered women’s prior experiences with the system are not only relevant, but essential to courts’ decisions.

2009 - American Studies Association Annual Meeting Words: 383 words || 
4. Allewaert, Monique. "Becoming Animal, Becoming Citizen" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Renaissance Hotel, Washington D.C., <Not Available>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: In my work, I trace the emergence of ecological politics and personhood in eighteenth-century American plantation spaces. In this paper, I explore how this ecological relation recalibrates the relation between humans and non-humans, particularly animals. Although literary criticism post-Ruskin has assumed that literature should mark the distinction between humans and other life forms, texts produced in and about the eighteenth-century plantation-zone do not categorically distinguish between humans and non-humans. For instance, Anglo-European botanists writing about plantation spaces suggested that humans and plants were parallel systems that existed in sympathetic relation to each other. More pressingly (and this will be the focus of my talk) stories ascribed to diasporic Africans dating to the colonial period push beyond colonial botanists’ belief in an analogical relation between life forms, suggesting that the human body pulled apart under the plantation regime might be reassembled in relation to the animal. This possibility emerges strongly in Matthew Lewis’s (startlingly racist) transcription of “Goosee Shoo Shoo”, a story of a black man born without a head who, under the counsel of an owl, puts on the heads of first an ass and then a donkey, only to finally have a human head violently made manifest through the intervention of a triad of materialities associated with plantation spaces: the lash of the whip, rum, and a gold coin. Although Lewis means this transcription of a West Indian folk tale as a punning account of the African as the inverse of Cartesian cogito only brought into full presence though the machinery of slavery, his attention to the relation between West Indian slaves and animals inadvertently brings to the fore a long genealogy of West Indian stories -- ranging from those transcribed by folklorist Harold Courlander to Alejo Carpentier’s account of Makandal and Derek Walcott’s account of history emerging from bullfrogs and “fireflies with bright ideas” – that suggests resistance and also immanence requires a relation to animals which are not like humans, but whose interests intersect with humans’. Focusing primarily on the stories Courlander transcribes, I explore how the relation of maroons and ex-slaves to animals suggest cross-species modes of history and responsibility. At the close of my paper, I consider how it is that this relation to the animal expands our conception of citizenship.

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