3299626045_73754720ee_oImage Credit: Feminist Power Poster (Jonathan McIntosh)

Today, 8th March, marks International Women’s Day: a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women. For the occasion, LSE Review of Books recommends 5 great reads from the past year on women, gender and feminisms.

This reading list is part of a theme week marking International Women’s Day 2016. March is Women’s History Month and LSE is celebrating with LSE Women: Making History, focusing on #LSEwomen past, present and future. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the LSE History blog.

Gender and Sexuality in Muslim CulturesGender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures. Gul Ozyegin (ed.). Ashgate. 2015.

This edited collection presents nineteen contributions from a range of scholars utilising diverse approaches and methodologies to explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and religion are being continually constructed and reconstructed within contemporary and Ottoman societies. In drawing on core theoretical texts in gender and sexuality studies, it serves as a useful introduction to the field and utilises its case studies to challenge received assumptions about dynamics surrounding gender and sexuality in Muslim cultures. Reviewed by Nehaal Bajwa.

Women and Power in Postconflict AfricaWomen and Power in Postconflict Africa. Aili Mari Tripp. Cambridge University Press. 2015.

This book provocatively argues that major conflict can have disruptive, egalitarian effects, catalysing women’s increased legislative representation and pushing women into socially valued domains, where they demonstrate their equal abilities and thereby undermine prevailing gender ideologies. In so doing, it sheds light on much broader processes of egalitarian social change common to the Global North and South alike. Reviewed by Alice Evans.

Who is Worthy of ProtectionWho Is Worthy of Protection? Gender-Based Asylum and US Immigration Politics. Meghana Nayak. Oxford University Press. 2015.

This book examines gender-based asylum in the United States, focusing on the narratives through which certain asylees are framed as being more ‘worthy’ than others. Although it may be difficult for lawyers navigating the challenges and constraints of the legal system to put all the arguments into practice, the book provides valuable recommendations on how feminist scholars can productively intervene in the asylum process. Reviewed by M. Bob Kao.

Politics of Third Wave FeminismThe Politics of Third Wave Feminisms: Neoliberalism, Intersectionality, and the State in Britain and the US. Elizabeth Evans. Palgrave Macmillan. 2015.

This volume discusses the concept and practice of intersectionality and the impact of neoliberal policies on ‘third wave’ feminism in Britain and the United States. This book is recommended to anyone with an interest in feminist thought and practice. Reviewed by Isabel López Ruiz.

Being GorgeousBeing Gorgeous: Feminism, Sexuality, and the Pleasures of the Visible. Jacki Willson. I. B. Tauris. 2015.

This book explores the ways in which ostentation, flamboyance and dressing up can allow women to subvert traditional notions of femininity through ‘pastiche, parody, or pleasure’. By taking examples from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, it examines how modern-day female performers can establish their own versions of femininity through its reappropriation. Reviewed by Katherine Williams.



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