This article explores some aspects of the role of race and gender in shaping women postgraduate students' experience of intercultural study. It focuses on various social and cultural aspects of their sojourn. These were suggested by data from two small pilot research projects investigating the experiences of two cohorts of international women postgraduate students, the one studying in an Australian university and the other, a Canadian. The authors focus particularly on the intersections between the students' representation of themselves as women and the way they see themselves represented by their host cultures. In other words, they are interested in the students' understandings of themselves as 'other', and how this impacts on their representations of 'self'. The authors suggest that these representations reflect a process of negotiation of identity that occurs in what they call the globalising university 'contact zone'. The concept of contact zones derives from post-colonial theory. A further goal of this article, then, is to examine how such data appear when viewed from a post-colonial perspective.
This is an electronic version of an article published in Kenway, Jane and Bullen, Elizabeth 2003-03, Self-representations of international women postgraduate students in the global university 'Contact Zone', Gender and education, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-16. Gender and education is available online at:http://www.informaworld.com
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