Document Type


Publication Title

NWSA Journal


Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date

Summer 2005

First Page


Last Page


Issue Number


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Abstract/ Summary

Feminists' negotiations of academic spaces are often facilitated by allies who act as bridges for us. We interviewed three pairs of women who are friends, colleagues, or partners and analyzed their stories for notions of how they were enacting bridgework for each other within the context of fluid identities, and shifting power relationships. We find that bridgework happens primarily along three axes in these relationships: bridging to community, bridging to power, and bridging to consciousness. This paper unpacks the differentials of bridgework done by differently racialized bodies as a means to understanding the conditions for belonging those bodies evoke. We theorize three components to doing empowering and possibly transgressive bridgework: (1) embody bridges in ways that connect to something else, rather than becoming the site of power differentials; (2) construct bridges as temporary means of crossing; and (3) include a spiritual aspect to the political work.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Sheena Malhotra, & Kimberlee Pérez. (2005). Belonging, Bridges, and Bodies. NWSA Journal, 17(2), 47-68.

Publisher Statement

©2005 NWSA Journal


publisher's version of the published document



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.