University of Oklahoma logo

University of Oklahoma

Spring 2022 Advanced Programs - Advanced Programs Face to Face or Virtual - International and Area Studies

[IAS 5940] Topics - International Studies - 105

Mirelsie Velazquez

Course Description

Topics In International Studies: Global Perspectives on Gender

 Feminism is a theory with and without borders. On the one hand, feminism is framed by culture, race, ethnicity, and nation. On the other hand, the belief in women’s empowerment, voice, agency, freedom from oppression, equality etc. connects the lives of women across the world. Transnational feminism recognizes the difference embedded in the lived experiences of women from around the world while at the same time building cross-border solidarity between various communities. After taking this course students should be able to:

1.      Understand critiques of Western feminism and its sometimes inability to understand the lives of non-western women and women of color.

2.      Analyze the lived experiences of non-western women and communities of color as they define feminism from their own situated position.

3.      Be conversant with critical epistemologies and anti-oppressive research methodologies.

4.      Explore the role that migration, capitalism, patriarchy, and state power play especially as these things interact, intersect, and impact women’s lives agency, agency,

and sense of wellbeing.

5.      Discuss intersectionality and be able to apply intersectionality in a way that this historically and contextually accurate.

Class Dates, Format, Location and Hours

Dates:January 31 – February 14, 2022
Format: Virtual. Course to take place via Zoom and Canvas.
Location for on-site courses: Washington D.C.
Hours:February 5, 2022 – Zoom 10am -2pm ET
February 6, 2022 – Zoom 10am -2pm ET
February 12, 2022 – Zoom 10am -2pm ET
February 13, 2022 – Zoom 10am -2pm ET
Last day to enroll or drop without penalty: January 2, 2022

Site Director

NameFrances Wolf, M.Ed.

Professor Contact Information

Course Professor:Dr. Mirelsie Velázquez
Mailing Address:820 Van Vleet Oval, Rm. 205
Norman, OK 73069
Telephone Number:405 325-5984
Professor availability:The professor will be available via email to students before and after the class sessions. Face to Face office hours are half an hour before and after each class session, by appointment.

Textbook(s) and Instructional Materials

Student materials are available at the OU Bookstore Website at The website has book selling, renting, buying, returning, and order tracking capabilities. If you need help with an order, or if you have any questions contact the toll-free phone at 1-(855)-790-6637, agents are available from 9a – 5p (EST) Monday – Friday. Text prices are available online.

by Steven Vertovec
Published by Routledge
ISBN: 9780415432993
Feminist Postcolonial Theory A Reader
Feminist Postcolonial Theory A Reader
by Sara Mills
Published by Routledge
ISBN: 9780415942751
Feminism Without Borders Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
Feminism Without Borders Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
by Chandra Talpade Mohanty
Published by Duke Univ Pr
ISBN: 9780822330219
by Gyasi, Yaa
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781101971062
Borderlands / La Frontera : The New Mestiza
Borderlands / La Frontera : The New Mestiza
by Anzaldua, Gloria
Published by Aunt Lute Books
ISBN: 9781879960855

Course Objectives

After taking this course students should be able to:

1.      Understand critiques of Western feminism and its sometimes inability to understand the lives of non-western women and women of color.

2.      Analyze the lived experiences of non-western women and communities of color as they define feminism from their own situated position.

3.      Be conversant with critical epistemologies and anti-oppressive research methodologies.

4.      Explore the role that migration, capitalism, patriarchy, and state power play especially as these things interact, intersect, and impact women’s lives agency, agency,

and sense of wellbeing.

5.      Discuss intersectionality and be able to apply intersectionality in a way that this historically and contextually accurate.

Course Outline

Schedule of Readings, Topics, and Assignments 

Module 1: Introduction to Global Feminism: Theorizing Home, Space, and Transnationalism


CLASS 1: February 5, 10:00AM-2:00PM




Gyasi, Y., Homecoming, All.

-         Discussion on terminology

-         Where do our own positionalities place us within the discourse?

-         Questions of self, politics of remembering.

CLASS 2: February 6, 10:00-2:00PM


Anzaldúa, G., Borderlands/La Fronteras, First half.

Vertovec, Transnationalism, 1-26.

Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders, Part 1, “Decolonizing Feminism.”-

Module 2: Gender and human rights in an international context (February 7 and 8 Online Discussion/assignment)


Lewis, R. & Mills, S., Feminist postcolonial theory, Part 1 “Gendering Colonialism and Postcolonialism/Racializing.”

Vertovec, Transnationalism, 27-84.

Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders, Part 1, “Decolonizing Feminism.”

-         How do our own lived experiences speak to global phenomenon?

-         What are the ramifications in our everyday lives?

-         How do we speak to our differences? Reconcile?

-         How do discussions on labor, health, immigration complicate conversations on gender?

CLASS 4: Online discussion February 9, 10, 11.


Lewis, R. & Mills, S., Feminist postcolonial theory, Part 2 “Rethinking Whiteness.”

Vertovec, Transnationalism, 85-127.

Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders, Part 2, “Demystifying Capitalism.” (ALL)

Module 3: Feminism in our everyday lives

CLASS 5: February 12 10am-2pm


Lewis, R. & Mills, S.,Feminist postcolonial theory, Part 4 and 5.

Vertovec, Transnationalism, 128-163.

Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders, Part 3, “Reorienting Feminism.”

-         Students will present an outline of their action plan.

-         How do we move forward on conversations on gender, sexuality, difference in our everyday lives?

-         How do we position marginalized voices?

-         How do we challenge power within our own particular positions? Our communities?

CLASS 6: February 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM


Lewis, R. & Mills, S.,Feminist postcolonial theory, Part 6.

-         In class exam. Please bring laptop. Questions will be shared in class.

-         Discussion on utilizing ideologies, language in everyday life.


Action plan– Due February 22, 5pm Local time

Assignments, Grading and Due Dates

Assignment #1 Reflection Essay

Please read Gyasi’s novel Homegoing and write a reflection essay. 

The reflection essay should be 5-pages in length. Any essay that is not 5-pages in length

Will receive a 20-point deduction. The objective of each reflection essay is to

demonstrate that you can provide a critical analysis of a given situation described in the

reading. Essay Format:

1.      Provide a 1 paragraph summary of the text;

2.      Explore 2-3 conflicts for the main character(s) and discuss the sources of the conflict(s);

3.      Discuss your perspective of the conflict;

4.      Discuss 2 social justice issues that you feel the book highlights;

5.      Explore possible solutions for these social justice issues;

6.      Provide your overall assessment of the text; this is not an opportunity to discuss why you liked/disliked the book but for you to provide a critical analysis which puts the book into a larger social context.

The Reflection Essay is due in Canvas January 31, 2022 (this is the first day of class). Please bring a hard of digital copy of your essay to class to reference during

our discussion.

Essay submission:

All typed assignment will be submitted via Canvas. Your work should be typed using Times New Roman Font with 12-point letter size. Double-space your work, and do not place any extra spaces between your paragraphs. Please use the tab key to indicate a new paragraph. Please do not add titles or a title page to your work. Any paper lacking the correct format will lose 10 points. Please use the following heading for all of your papers:


Your Name

The Date

Transnational Feminism

Assignment Name

Dr. Mirelsie Velázquez

All of this information should be single-spaced and located on the left-hand corner of your document. While still in single-space, hit the return key three times. After that, start your text. Your text should be double-spaced. Note: we will use a different format for the Action Plan.

Assignment #2: In-Class Exam

You will have a comprehensive written examination on the last day of class. The exam will cover all the readings and lecture materials and will have several short-answer questions and one essay questions.

Assignment #3: Transnational Social Justice Action Plan

As a final project, you will develop an action plan for responding to a specific scenario regarding women or from a list of topics or one approved by the professor. The action plan will be developed in response to a set of criteria that you will be asked to address. This will be discussed in great detail in class.

Discussion Boards and Participation points:

Your posts are worth a total of 25 points (Original plus response). Make sure that you are connecting with the readings, and don’t just post “I agree with Mary.” The prompts/questions are already posted. You need to post your original post before you see your classmates posts. Please do this in a timely manner so your classmates can engage with you. This is a major component of your grade, and late posts will not be graded. (So you will not receive a grade for posting during week two on week one readings.)

Participation is expected in class. You will receive 25 points per class, for participation. Again, trust me, you don’t want to listen to me for the entirety of class. 


This is a letter-graded course: A, B, C, D, or F. 

The class is worth a total of 500 points:

A 500-450, B 449-400, C 399-350, D 349-300, and F <300

Assignment Due Date Points
Reflection EssayFirst Day of Class100 Points
In-Class ExamLast Day of Class150 Points
Action PlanFebruary 22, 2022 100 Points
Class Engagement/Discussion BoardAssessed throughout the course 150 Points

Policy on Late Assignments

It is my policy not to accept late work though I will be flexible should the situation warrant it. Please make every effort to submit your work on time.

Incomplete Grade Policy

Notice: Failure to meet assignment due dates could result in a grade of I (Incomplete) and may adversely impact Tuition Assistance and/or Financial Aid.


Attendance/Grade Policy

Attendance and participation in interaction, individual assignments, group exercises, simulations, role playing, etc. are valuable aspects of any course because much of the learning comes from discussions in class with other students. It is expected that you attend all classes and be on time except for excused emergencies.

Excused absences are given for professor mandated activities or legally required activities such as emergencies or military assignments. It is the policy of the University to excuse absences of students that result from religious observances and to provide without penalty for the rescheduling of examinations and additional required class work that may fall on religious holidays. Unavoidable personal emergencies, including (but not limited to) serious illness; delays in getting to class because of accidents, etc.; deaths and funerals, and hazardous road conditions will be excused.

If you are obtaining financial assistance (TA, STAP, FA, VA, Scholarship, etc.) to pay all or part of your tuition cost, you must follow your funding agency/institution’s policy regarding “I” (Incomplete) grades unless the timeline is longer than what the University policy allows then you must adhere to the University policy. Students who receive Financial Aid must resolve/complete any “I” (Incomplete) grades by the end of the term or he/she may be placed on “financial aid probation.” If the “I” grade is not resolved/completed by the end of the following term, the student’s Financial Aid may be suspended make the student ineligible for further Financial Aid.

Students are responsible for meeting the guidelines of Tuition Assistance and Veterans Assistance. See the education counselor at your local education center for a complete description of your TA or VA requirements.

OU faculty will submit grades online through ONE not later than 30 days after the course end date. Course end dates are approximately one calendar month after the final seminar date on this syllabus and are provided on the official scheduling website for reference.

Academic Integrity and Student Conduct 

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Academic assignments exist to help students learn; grades exist to show how fully this goal is attained. Therefore all work and all grades should result from the student's own understanding and effort.

Academic misconduct is any act which improperly affects the evaluation of a student’s academic performance or achievement. Misconduct occurs when the student either knows or reasonably should know that the act constitutes misconduct. Academic misconduct includes: cheating and using unauthorized materials on examinations and other assignments; improper collaboration, submitting the same assignment for different classes (self-plagiarism); fabrication, forgery, alteration of documents, lying, etc…in order to obtain an academic advantage; assisting others in academic misconduct; attempting to commit academic misconduct; destruction of property, hacking, etc…; intimidation and interference with integrity process; and plagiarism. All students should review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity at 

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. All students should review policies regarding student conduct at 

Accommodation Statement

The University of Oklahoma is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact your local OU Site Director.

Adjustment for Pregnancy/Childbirth-Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact the professor as soon as possible to discuss. Generally, modifications will be made where medically necessary and similar in scope to accommodations based on temporary disability. Please see

Title IX Resources

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or intimate partner violence, the University offers a variety of resources, including advocates on-call 24/7, counseling services, mutual no-contact orders, scheduling adjustments, and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrator. Please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office at or (405) 325-2215 (8-5), or the Sexual Assault Response Team at (405) 615 -0013 (24/7) to report an incident. To learn more about Title IX, please visit the Institutional Equity Office’s website at 

Course Policies

Extended Campus (also and formerly known as Advanced Programs) policy is to order books in paperback if available. Courses, dates, and professors are subject to change. Please check with your OU Site Director. Students should retain a copy of any assignments that are e/mailed to the professor for the course. Neither duplicating services nor office supplies are provided.

Any and all course materials, syllabus, lessons, lectures, etc. are the property of professor teaching the course and the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and are protected under applicable copyright.

For more information about OU Extended Campus, visit our website at:

Statement on Respect

The classroom should provide a safe learning environment where students can express their views without fear of reprisal. That freedom of expression must be balanced by demonstrated respect for other’s viewpoints and appropriate and reasonable sensitivity, especially within the context of scholarly disagreement.  Disrespectful or uncivil dialogue (including, but not limited to, personal attacks, insults, or harassment) will not be tolerated.

Recording Devices/Phones/Computers

It is important for students to be fully present during class to fully benefit from lectures, discussions, and experiential assignments. Class sessions may not be tape-recorded. All telephones and pagers should be turned off or placed on silent mode. Computers may not be used during class. Students who require an exception to this policy should discuss exceptional circumstances with the professor.


Mirelsie Velazquez, PhD


·        2010   Ph.D., Educational Policy Studies (History of Education), University of Illinois at


·        2007   M.A., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

·        2004   B.A., Political Science/Latina/o Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Current Positions

·        Associate Professor, Educational Leadership Policy Studies, University of Oklahoma

·        Program Area Coordinator, Educational Studies

·        Core Faculty Affiliate, Women’s and Gender Studies

Major Areas of Teaching and Research Interest

·        Race Theory

·        Gender Theory

·        Women’s History

·        Urban History

·        Oral History

·        Education History

Representative Publications and Presentations


·        Velázquez, M. Puerto Rican Chicago: Schooling the City, 1940-1977. In Press. University of Illinois Press.

Refereed Journal Articles

·        Velázquez, M. (2017). Primero Madres: Affect, love, and mothering in the educational lives of Latina/os. Gender and Education 29 (2), 508-524.

·        Velázquez, M. (2016). Looking forward, working for change: Puerto Rican women and the quest for educational justice in Chicago. Centro Journal, 28(2), 152-179.

·        Velázquez, M. (2015). Beyond Black and White: Latinos and the implications of color blind ideologies in the 21st century. American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience.

·        Velázquez, M. (2014). Solidarity and empowerment in Chicago’s Puerto Rican print culture. Latino Studies, 1, 88-110.

Refereed Book Chapters

·        Velázquez, M. (2019). Listening to Our Stories, Reading Our Lives: The Place of Oral History in Our Lives. Handbook of Historical Studies in Education. Springer Press.

·        Velázquez, M. (2018). Pedagogies of a Puerto Rican academic. In M. G. Davidson and K. T. Edwards (Eds.), College Curriculum at the Crossroads: Women of Color Reflect and Resist. New York: Routledge.

·        Velázquez, M. (2017). Commentary: Family migration and educational trajectories. In. Y. Pak, L. Nesbitt, and S. Riley (Eds.). Ordinary people, extraordinary lives: Oral histories of (mis)educational opportunities in challenging notions of achievement. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing.

Representative Honors and Awards Received

·        Junior Faculty Fellowship, Office of the VP of Research, University of Oklahoma (2018)

·        National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation Fellowship - Semi Finalist (2016)

·        Manuscript Development Grant, Humanities Forum, University of Oklahoma (2016)

·        Summer Research Grant (2015, 2017) University of Oklahoma, College of Education

·        International Travel Grant (2015, 2017, 2018) University of Oklahoma

·        Faculty Member of the Year, Latinx Coalition, University of Oklahoma (2018)

·        Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Oklahoma (2018)

·        Teachers Ranked as Excellent, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Spring 2006, Fall 2007, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014.

Major Professional Affiliations

·        International Standing Conference on History of Education

·        Latina/o Studies Association

·        American Educational Research Association

·        American Studies Association

·        History of Education

·        Puerto Rican Studies Association

·        Social History Society (U.K)