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Postcolonial feminist philosophy foregrounds and analyzes the impact of colonial histories and Western imperialism on racialized gender constructions within and across geopolitical locales.  A central intervention is the exposure and critique of white/Anglo Western cultural and racial assumptions grounding universal applications of the term “woman” to identify, assess, and (mis)diagnose agential (inter)subjectivity, patriarchal victimization, and feminist struggles for autonomy in non-Western contexts.  In addition to critiques of Western feminist reductions of third world women to passive victims in need of Anglo saviors, postcolonial feminist philosophy takes as a central concern the consequences of indigenous adaptations of heteropatriarchy on nationalist, anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and anti-racist struggles in the global South.

Key works Chandra Talpade Mohanty's groundbreaking 1984 essay, "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses" (Mohanty 1984), elaborates a trenchant critique against the totalizing tendencies of Western feminism and its discursive colonization of third world women.  Of similar impact in defining the central problematic in postcolonial feminism is Gayatri Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak" (Spivak 2003), wherein she analyzes the Western imperialist over-determination of the subaltern woman such that the very capacity for her to speak and be heard beyond Eurocentric epistemic limitations comes into question.  Trinh T. Minha's Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (Minha 1989) theorizes "difference" both as it is used to objectify and dehumanize third world women and women of color as well as the need to re-conceive it as a source of insight for liberatory multicultural feminist avenues.  Uma Narayan (Narayan 1997) departs from this central Women of Color and postcolonial feminist theorizing of cultural difference as a source of liberatory meaning-making, identifying contradictions generated in both Western and Indian contexts about the "traditional" violences against women and the need to mine these contradictions for non-reductive feminist meaning-making.
Introductions Spivak 2003; Narayan 1997; Minha 1989; Mohanty 1991.
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  1. Brooke A. Ackerly (1997). Listening to the Silent Voices: A Feminist Political Philosophy of Social Criticism. Dissertation, Stanford University
    In the real world, many people suffer as a function of their subordinate position in social hierarchy. Deliberative, relativist, and essentialist political theorists have sketched philosophies of social criticism that alone are inadequate for criticizing some harmful social values, practices, and norms. Certainly, theirs are critical theories in the sense that they are actionable, coherent, and self-reflective. But they are not adequate theories of social criticism. They do not specify satisfactorily the roles, qualifications, and methodology of social critics worried about (...)
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  2. Walter Adamson (1986). Interview with Gayatri Spivak. Thesis Eleven 15 (1):91-97.
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  3. Jacqui Alexander (1996). Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures. Routledge.
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  4. Alison Bailey & Jacquelyn N. Zita (2007). The Reproduction of Whiteness: Race and the Regulation of the Gendered Body. Hypatia 22 (2):vii-xv.
    Historically critical reflection on whiteness in the United States has been a long-standing practice in slave folklore and in Mexican resistance to colonialism, Asian American struggles against exploitation and containment, and Native American stories of contact with European colonizers. Drawing from this legacy and from the disturbing silence on "whiteness" in postsecondary institutions, critical whiteness scholarship has emerged in the past two decades in U.S. academies in a variety of disciplines. A small number of philosophers, critical race theorists, postcolonial theorists, (...)
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  5. Elizabeth Ann Bartlett (1989). Sarah Grimké: Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and Other Essays. Hypatia 4 (1):175-180.
  6. Karina Bidaseca (2013). Mondi (post)coloniali. Considerazioni su razza, genere e sesso, soggettività e temporalità. Scienza and Politica. Per Una Storia Delle Dottrine 25 (49).
    Starting from a comparison with post-colonial studies, the essay focuses on the importance of activating a South/South dialogue in order to analyze both the genealogies and legacies of colonialism and the violent tensions that cross the contemporary colonies. Inside this perspective, a fundamental place is dedicated to feminist reflection, from the critique of a western «salvationist» feminism to the idea of a «third feminism» or border feminism: new conceptual instruments and new theoretical practices through which we can re-write the relations (...)
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  7. Eileen Hunt Botting & Sean Kronewitter (2012). Westernization and Women's Rights: Non-Western European Responses to Mill's Subjection of Women, 1869-1908. Political Theory 40 (4):466 - 496.
    The publication in 1869 of Mill's Subjection ofWomen gave rise to philosophical and political responses beyond Western Europe on the relationship between Westernization and women's rights in developing, colonial, and post-colonial countries. Through the first comparative study of the Subjection of Women alongside the forewords to six of its earliest non-Western European editions, we explore how this book provoked local intellectuals in Russia, Chile, and India to engage its liberal utilitarian, imperial, Orientalist, and feminist ideas. By showing how Mill's Western (...)
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  8. Ann Brooks (1997). Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory, and Cultural Forms. Routledge.
  9. Jan Campbell (2000). Arguing with the Phallus: Feminist, Queer, and Postcolonial Theory: A Psychoanalytic Contribution. Distributed in the Usa Exclusively by St. Martin's Press.
    What can psychoanalysis offer contemporary arguments in the fields of Feminism, Queer Theory and Post-Colonialism? Jan Campbell introduces and analyses the way that psychoanalysis has developed and made problematic models of subjectivity linked to issues of sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and history. Via discussions of such influential and diverse figures as Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Dollimore, Bhabha, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker, Campbell uses psychoanalysis as a mediatory tool in a range of debates across the human sciences, while also arguing for a (...)
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  10. Samuel Allen Chambers (2008). Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics. Routledge.
  11. Myriam J. A. Chancy (2015). Subjectivity in Motion: Caribbean Women's Articulations of Being From Fanon/Capécia to the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands. Hypatia 30 (2):434-449.
    In this essay I show that texts by early Caribbean women writers, such as the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, reveal and resist the effects of colonial paradigms by leaving textual traces of how such paradigms can effectively be countered and overturned. I arrive at such a reading of Seacole via an analysis of Frantz Fanon's reading of Mayotte Capécia's turn-of-the-century novel, Je suis martiniquaise, in light of advances in postcolonial and feminist theory. I argue that doing (...)
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  12. Sushmita Chatterjee (2016). What Does It Mean to Be a Postcolonial Feminist? The Artwork of Mithu Sen. Hypatia 31 (1):22-40.
    This article examines what the work of New Delhi-based artist Mithu Sen brings to thinking about being a postcolonial feminist. Using images from Sen's solo exhibit in New Delhi and New York titled Half Full, I theorize on the complexities that proliferate when thinking about postcolonial feminism. Sen's images play with “an” identity to showcase the hybrid and mobile configuration of postcolonial subjectivity. Sen's provocative aesthetic urges us to rethink defining a set of conditions or tenets for postcolonial feminism. Rather, (...)
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  13. Suchorita Chattopadhyay (2012). Ashapurna Devi’s “Women” – Emerging Identities in Colonial and Postcolonial Bengal. Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 2 (1):75-95.
    Ashapurna Devi, a prominent Bengali woman novelist (1909–1995) focused on women’s creativity and enlightenment during the colonial and postcolonial period in Bengal, India. She herself displayed immense will power, tenacity and an indomitable spirit which enabled her to eke out a prominent place for herself in the world of creative writing. Her life spanned both colonial India and independent India and these diverse experiences shaped her mind and persona and helped her to portray the emerging face of the enlightened Bengali (...)
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  14. Maitrayee Chaudhuri (2004). Feminism in India.
  15. Pheng Cheah (1998). Spectral Nationality: The Idea of Freedom in Modern Philosophy and the Experience of Freedom in Postcoloniality. Dissertation, Cornell University
    This dissertation examines the tribulations and the futures of radical national literary culture as a vehicle of freedom in the postcolonial South within the general context of the vicissitudes of the postcolonial nation-state in contemporary neocolonial globalisation. In philosophical modernity, culture is regarded as the means to overcome finitude and the realm where the ideal of human freedom can be incarnated. Consequently, the modern idea of freedom culminates in a politics of culture. Culture supplies the ontological paradigm for different models (...)
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  16. Martha Alter Chen (2008). Famine, Widowhood, and Paid Work: Seeking Gender Justice in South Asia. In Kaushik Basu & Ravi Kanbur (eds.), Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen: Volume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement and Volume Ii: Society, Institutions, and Development. OUP Oxford
  17. Urszula Chowaniec & Marzenna Jakubczak (2012). Conceptualizing Generation and Transformation in Women’s Writing. Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 2 (1):5-15.
    The main objective of this collection of papers is to explore ideas of generation and transformation in the context of postdependency discourse as it may be traced in women’s writing published in Bengali, Polish, Czech, Russian and English. As we believe, literature does not have merely a descriptive function or a purely visionary quality but serves also as a discursive medium, which is rhetorically sophisticated, imaginatively influential and stimulates cultural dynamics. It is an essential carrier of collective memory and a (...)
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  18. Elora Halim Chowdhury (2015). When Love and Violence Meet: Women's Agency and Transformative Politics in Rubaiyat Hossain's Meherjaan. Hypatia 30 (4):760-777.
    In official and unofficial histories, and in cultural memorializations of the 1971 war for Bangladeshi independence, the treatment of women's experiences—more specifically the unresolved question of acknowledgment of and accountability to birangonas, “war heroines” —has met with stunning silence or erasure, on the one hand, or with narratives of abject victimhood, on the other. By contrast, the film Meherjaan revolves around the stories of four women during and after the war, and most centrally the relationship between a Bengali woman and (...)
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  19. Sharyn Clough (2008). Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues (Review). Hypatia 23 (2):pp. 197-202.
  20. Ann E. Cudd (2005). Missionary Positions. Hypatia 20 (4):164-182.
    : Postcolonial feminist scholars have described some Western feminist activism as imperialistic, drawing a comparison to the work of Christian missionaries from the West, who aided in the project of colonization and assimilation of non-Western cultures to Western ideas and practices. This comparison challenges feminists who advocate global human rights ideals or objective appraisals of social practices, in effect charging them with neocolonialism. This essay defends work on behalf of universal human rights, while granting that activists should recognize their limitations (...)
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  21. Chris Cunneen & Julie Stubbs, Cultural Criminology and the Engagement with Race, Gender and Post-Colonial Identities.
    This chapter explores the potential of cultural criminology as a theoretical and methodological paradigm with reference to some earlier research in which we examined the high victimisation rates of Filipino women in cases of spousal homicides compared to other Australian women. Our research considers the interplay of gender, ethnicity and first world/third world relations, both materially and symbolically, in seeking to understand the women's experiences as immigrants, their postcolonial identities and their victimisation. The gendered and racialised nature of the movement (...)
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  22. Marcelo Dascal, Colonizing and Decolonizing Minds.
    Whereas the most visible forms of political colonialism have for the most part disappeared from the planet by the end of the millennium, several of its consequences remain with us. Criticism of colonialism, accordingly, has shifted its focus to its more subtle and lasting manifestations. Prominent among these are the varieties of what came to be known as the ‘colonization of the mind’. This is one of the forms of ‘epistemic violence’ that it is certainly the task of philosophers to (...)
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  23. Dawn Rae Davis (2002). (Love is) the Ability of Not Knowing: Feminist Experience of the Impossible in Ethical Singularity. Hypatia 17 (2):145-161.
    : In neocolonial contexts of globalization, the epistemological terrain of radical diversity poses significant ethical challenges to transnational feminisms. In view of historical associations between knowledge and discourses of love which were conditioned by imperialist brands of humanism and benevolence under colonialism, this paper argues for a deconstructionist approach to conceptualizing love in relation to knowledge and for an ethics that severs the association with benevolence, instead making alterity the basis for its account.
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  24. Maneesha Deckha (2012). Toward a Postcolonial, Posthumanist Feminist Theory: Centralizing Race and Culture in Feminist Work on Nonhuman Animals. Hypatia 27 (3):527-545.
    Posthumanist feminist theory has been instrumental in demonstrating the salience of gender and sexism in structuring human–animal relationships and in revealing the connections between the oppression of women and of nonhuman animals. Despite the richness of feminist posthumanist theorizations it has been suggested that their influence in contemporary animal ethics has been muted. This marginalization of feminist work—here, in its posthumanist version—is a systemic issue within theory and needs to be remedied. At the same time, the limits of posthumanist feminist (...)
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  25. Marilyn Friedman (1999). Uma Narayan, Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism:Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism. Ethics 109 (3):668-671.
  26. Irene Gedalof, Against Purity : Identity, Western Feminisms and Indian Complications.
    This thesis argues that Western feminist theoretical models of identity can be productively complicated by the insights of postcolonial feminisms. In particular, it explores ways that Western feminist theory might more adequately sustain a focus on 'women' while keeping open a space for differences such as race and nation. Part One identifies a number of themes that emerge from recent Indian feminist scholarship on the intersections of sex, gender, race, nation and community identities. Part Two uses these insights to look (...)
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  27. Maya J. Goldenberg (2007). The Problem of Exclusion in Feminist Theory and Politics: A Metaphysical Investigation Into Constructing a Category of 'Woman'. Journal of Gender Studies 16 (2):139-153.
    The precondition of any feminist politics – a usable category of ‘woman’ – has proved to be difficult to construct, even proposed to be impossible, given the ‘problem of exclusion’. This is the inevitable exclusion of at least some women, as their lives or experiences do not fit into the necessary and sufficient condition(s) that denotes group membership. In this paper, I propose that the problem of exclusion arises not because of inappropriate category membership criteria, but because of the presumption (...)
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  28. Namita Goswami (2008). Philosophy, Postcolonialism, African-American Feminism, and the Race for Theory. Angelaki 13 (2):73 – 91.
  29. Sandy Grande (2003). Whitestream Feminism and the Colonialist Project: A Review of Contemporary Feminist Pedagogy and Praxis. [REVIEW] Educational Theory 53 (3):329-346.
  30. Judith M. Green (2010). Social Democracy, Cosmopolitan Hospitality, and Intercivilizational Peace : Lessons From Jane Addams. In Maurice Hamington (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams. Pennsylvania State University Press
  31. Gurleen Grewal (2001). Book Review: Uma Narayan. Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third-World Feminism. New York: Routledge, 1997. [REVIEW] Hypatia 16 (1):102-106.
  32. Inderpal Grewal (1994). Scattered Hegemonies and Transnational Feminist Practices. University of Minnesota.
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  33. M. A. Jaimes* Guerrero (2003). ?Patriarchal Colonialism? And Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism. Hypatia 18 (2):58-69.
    This essay begins with a Native American women's perspective on Early Feminism which came about as a result of Euroamerican patriarchy in U. S. society. It is followed by the myth of "tribalism," regarding the language and laws of U. S. colonialism imposed upon Native American peoples and their respective cultures. This colonialism is well documented in Federal Indian law and public policy by the U. S. government, which includes the state as well as federal level. The paper proceeds to (...)
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  34. Sandra Harding & Uma Narayan (1998). Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy (Part II). Hypatia 13 (3):1-5.
  35. Maria Helen Appleton, Catherine E. Fernandez & Consuelo Quiroz L. M. Hill (2011). Gender and Indigenous Knowledge. In Sandra G. Harding (ed.), The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader. Duke University Press
  36. Kristen Intemann, Emily S. Lee, Kristin Mccartney, Shireen Roshanravan & Alexa Schriempf (2010). What Lies Ahead: Envisioning New Futures for Feminist Philosophy. Hypatia 25 (4):927-934.
    Thanks in large part to the record of scholarship fostered by Hypatia, feminist philosophers are now positioned not just as critics of the canon, but as innovators advancing uniquely feminist perspectives for theorizing about the world. As relatively junior feminist scholars, the five of us were called upon to provide some reflections on emerging trends in feminist philosophy and to comment on its future. Despite the fact that we come from diverse subfields and philosophical traditions, four common aims emerged in (...)
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  37. Rada Iveković (2000). Coincidence of Comparison. Hypatia 15 (4):224 - 235.
    Rada Iveković reflects on the significance of modernity in contemporary Indian philosophy. Where the orient has been figured as the other for western philosophers, she asks how Indian philosophy depicts the west, how philosophers such as Kant have been interpreted, and how thematics such as pluralism, tolerance, relativity, innovation, and curiosity about the foreign have been figured in both ancient and contemporary Indian philosophy. While working on the western side with such authors as Lyotard, Deleuze, Serres, or Irigaray, Iveković doesn't (...)
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  38. Rada Ivekovic & Penelopetr Deutscher (2000). Coincidences of Comparison. Hypatia 15 (4):224-235.
    : Rada Ivekovic reflects on the significance of modernity in contemporary Indian philosophy. Where the orient has been figured as the other for western philosophers, she asks how Indian philosophy depicts the west, how philosophers such as Kant have been interpreted, and how thematics such as pluralism, tolerance, relativity, innovation, and curiosity about the foreign have been figured in both ancient and contemporary Indian philosophy. While working on the western side with such authors as Lyotard, Deleuze, Serres, or Irigaray, Ivekovic (...)
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  39. M. A. Jaimes*Guerrero (2003). "Patriarchal Colonialism" and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism. Hypatia 18 (2):58 - 69.
    This essay begins with a Native American women's perspective on Early Feminism which came about as a result of Euroamerican patriarchy in U. S. society. It is followed by the myth of "tribalism," regarding the language and laws of U. S. colonialism imposed upon Native American peoples and their respective cultures. This colonialism is well documented in Federal Indian law and public policy by the U. S. government, which includes the state as well as federal level. The paper proceeds to (...)
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  40. M. Annette Jaimes (2003). "Patriarchal Colonialism" and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism. Hypatia 18 (2):58-69.
    : This essay begins with a Native American women's perspective on Early Feminism which came about as a result of Euroamerican patriarchy in U. S. society. It is followed by the myth of "tribalism," regarding the language and laws of U. S. colonialism imposed upon Native American peoples and their respective cultures. This colonialism is well documented in Federal Indian law and public policy by the U.S. government, which includes the state as well as federal level. The paper proceeds to (...)
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  41. Ratna Kapur (2010). Emancipatory Feminist Theory in Postcolonial India: Unmasking the Ruse of Liberal Internationalism. In Aakash Singh & Silika Mohapatra (eds.), Indian Political Thought: A Reader. Routledge
  42. Christine Keating (2007). Framing the Postcolonial Sexual Contract: Democracy, Fraternalism, and State Authority in India. Hypatia 22 (4):130-145.
    : This essay examines the reconfiguration of the racial and sexual contracts underpinning democratic theory and practice in the transition to independence in India. Drawing upon the work of Carole Pateman and Charles Mills, Keating argues that the racialized fraternal democratic order that they describe was importantly challenged by nationalist and feminist struggles against colonialism in India, but was reshaped into what she calls a postcolonial sexual contract by the framers of the Indian Constitution.
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  43. Reina Lewis & Sara Mills (eds.) (2003). Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. Routledge.
    Feminism and postcolonialism are allies, and the impressive selection of writings brought together in this volume demonstrate how fruitful that alliance can be. Reina Lewis and Sara Mills have assembled a brilliant selection of thinkers, organizing them into six categories: "Gendering Colonialism and Postcolonialism/Radicalizing Feminism," "Rethinking Whiteness," "Redefining the 'Third World' Subject," "Sexuality and Sexual Rights," "Harem and the Veil," and "Gender and Post/colonial Relations." A bibliography complements the wide-ranging essays. This is the ideal volume for any reader interested in (...)
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  44. Ruth Lipschitz (2012). Skin/Ned Politics: Species Discourse and the Limits of “The Human” in Nandipha Mntambo's Art. Hypatia 27 (3):546-566.
    In this paper I focus on recent artworks by South African artist Nandipha Mntambo. I read these for the ways in which the discourse of species works within and against the humanist sacrificial economy of the subject that Jacques Derrida calls “carno-phallogocentric”. Drawing on Derrida's “metonymy of ‘eating well,'” Achille Mbembe's analysis of colonial violence, and Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection, I argue that these works inscribe and disturb a speciesist, sexual, and racial politics of animalization, and do so by (...)
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  45. Mirta Zaida Lobato (2008). Trabajo, cultura y poder: dilemas historiográficos y estudios de género en Argentina: Work, Culture and Power: Historiographical Dilemma and Gender Studies in Argentina. Estudios de Filosofía Práctica E Historia de Las Ideas 10 (2):29-45.
    Los problemas, teorías y metodologías utilizadas para producir conocimiento histórico cambiaron notablemente en la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Algunas de esas transformaciones conciernen al campo de los estudios feministas y las derivas posteriores, bajo el nombre de historia de las mujeres y estudios de género. Este vasto campo no es inmutable y muchos han sido los debates que involucraron a estudiosas de diferentes disciplinas y, por eso también, ni la historia de las mujeres ni los estudios de género se (...)
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  46. Marìa Lugones (2010). Toward a Decolonial Feminism. Hypatia 25 (4):742-759.
    In “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System” (Lugones 2007), I proposed to read the relation between the colonizer and the colonized in terms of gender, race, and sexuality. By this I did not mean to add a gendered reading and a racial reading to the already understood colonial relations. Rather I proposed a rereading of modern capitalist colonial modernity itself. This is because the colonial imposition of gender cuts across questions of ecology, economics, government, relations with the spirit world, and (...)
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  47. María Lugones (2009). Cosmology and Gender in Sylvia Marcos's Taken From the Lips. Clr James Journal 15 (1):283-288.
  48. Maria Lugones (2007). Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System. Hypatia 22 (1):186-209.
    : The coloniality of power is understood by Anibal Quijano as at the constituting crux of the global capitalist system of power. What is characteristic of global, Eurocentered, capitalist power is that it is organized around two axes that Quijano terms "the coloniality of power" and "modernity." The coloniality of power introduces the basic and universal social classification of the population of the planet in terms of the idea of race, a replacing of relations of superiority and inferiority established through (...)
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  49. Maria C. Lugones (1990). Structure/Antistructure and Agency Under Oppression. Journal of Philosophy 87 (10):500-507.
  50. Keya Maitra (2013). The Questions of Identity and Agency in Feminism Without Borders: A Mindful Response. Hypatia 28 (2):360-376.
    Chandra Mohanty, in introducing the phrase “feminism without borders,” acknowledges that she is influenced by the image of “doctors without borders” and wants to highlight the multiplicity of voices and viewpoints within the feminist coalition. So the question of agency assumes primary significance here. But answering the question of agency becomes harder once we try to accommodate this multiplicity. Take, for example, the practice of veiling among certain Muslim women. As many third-world feminists have pointed out, although veiling can't simply (...)
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