Julie Shayne, Ph.D.

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba, Rutgers University Press (2004)

I have written extensively about women, revolution, and feminism in Latin America. My first monograph, The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba analyzes the roles of women in revolutionary struggles and the relationship of their experiences to the emergence of feminism. In this book I focus on three Latin American countries that have experienced revolutionary movements of historical and regional significance: El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba. In each case I document the roles of women in armed and unarmed political activities and argue that women contribute to and participate in revolutionary movements in ways quite distinct from men. I argue that, despite the fact that women's political contributions tend to be seen as less important than those of their male comrades, the roles that women play are actually quite significant to the expansion of revolutionary movements.

After discussing the roles of women in each revolutionary movement I address the question of feminism. I explain how, given the convergence of political and ideological factors, feminism is often born in the wake of revolutionary movements. As a result, feminism is a much more expansive project than one focused solely upon the empowerment of women. Rather, it is a struggle that addresses larger structures of political and economic inequalities. The Revolution Question shows that feminist movements emerged in the aftermaths of the revolutionary struggles in El Salvador and Chile but not in Cuba. The book is based on interviews with women revolutionaries and feminists in all three countries.

The Revolution Question has been favorably received. In 2006 it was a finalist for the Latin American Studies Association's prestigious Bryce Wood Book Award. It has been reviewed by: American Journal of Sociology, Politics & Gender, Journal of Latin American Politics and Society, Contemporary Sociology, Journal of Latin American Studies, Journal of Third World Studies, Journal of Women's History, Mobilization, Association for Feminist Anthropology, and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.

I have has also written a variety of articles and book chapters on this topic, including: