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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. 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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  2. Ann Brooks (1997). Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory, and Cultural Forms. Routledge.
    Once seen as synonymous with "anti-feminism" postfeminism is now understood as the theoretical meeting ground between feminism and anti-foundationalist movements such as postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonialsm. In this clear exposition of some of the major debates, theorists and practitioners, Ann Brooks shows how feminism is being redefined for the twenty first century. Individual chapters look at postfeminism in relation to feminist epistemology, Foucault, psychoanalytic theory and semiology, postmodernism and postcolonialism, cultural politics, popular culture, film and media, and sexuality and identity. (...)
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  3. 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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  4. Samuel Allen Chambers (2008). Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics. Routledge.
  5. Suchorita Chattopadhyay (2012). Ashapurna Devi’s “Women” – Emerging Identities in Colonial and Postcolonial Bengal. ARGUMENT 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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  6. Urszula Chowaniec & Marzenna Jakubczak (2012). Conceptualizing Generation and Transformation in Women’s Writing. ARGUMENT 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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  7. Sharyn Clough (2008). Science and Social Inequality: Feminist and Postcolonial Issues (Review). Hypatia 23 (2):pp. 197-202.
  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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.
  13. 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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  14. Namita Goswami (2008). Philosophy, Postcolonialism, African-American Feminism, and the Race for Theory. Angelaki 13 (2):73 – 91.
  15. Sandy Grande (2003). Whitestream Feminism and the Colonialist Project: A Review of Contemporary Feminist Pedagogy and Praxis. [REVIEW] Educational Theory 53 (3):329-346.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. M. A. Jaimes* Guerrero (2003). ?Patriarchal Colonialism? And Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism. Hypatia 18 (2):58-69.
  19. Sandra Harding & Uma Narayan (1998). Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy (Part II). Hypatia 13 (3):1-5.
  20. 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.
  21. Kristen Intemann, L. E. E. S., 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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.
  26. 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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  27. 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” (Derrida 1991). 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 (...)
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  28. 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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  29. María Lugones (2009). Cosmology and Gender in Sylvia Marcos's Taken From the Lips. Clr James Journal 15 (1):283-288.
  30. 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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  31. Maria C. Lugones (1990). Structure/Antistructure and Agency Under Oppression. Journal of Philosophy 87 (10):500-507.
  32. 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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  33. Lorraine Mayer (2007). A Return to Reciprocity. Hypatia 22 (3):22-42.
    : Feminist affiliation has long been suspect among Native American women whose memories survive the dishonor of colonialism. The idea of common struggles is simultaneously repugnant and alluring. Sadly, this has led to much confusion and rejection between Aboriginal women. I suggest "a return to reciprocity" to understand and come to terms with feminist rejection or affiliation. If we cannot come together, the fracturing that began with European ideology will continue to fragment and destroy the fabric of Native cultures.
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  34. Sara Mills (2005). Gender and Colonial Space. Manchester University Press.
    Sara Mills offers a trenchant analysis of the complexities of social relations--including notions of class, nationality and gender--and spatial relations, landscape, topography and travel, in post-colonial contexts.
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  35. Monica Mookherjee (2005). Affective Citizenship: Feminism, Postcolonialism and the Politics of Recognition. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (1):31-50.
    A serious problem confronting discourses on recognition is that of showing equal respect for citizens? diverse cultural identities whilst at the same time attending to feminist concerns. This article focuses on the complex issues emerging from the recent legislation prohibiting the Muslim veil in French state schools. I respond to these problems by defending two conditions of a postcolonial and feminist approach to the politics of recognition. This approach should be, first, transformative, in the sense of widening its conception of (...)
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  36. Stephen Morton (2007). Gayatri Spivak: Ethics, Subalternity and the Critique of Postcolonial Reason. Polity.
    Gayatri Chakravorty Spivaks seminal contribution to contemporary thought defies disciplinary boundaries. From her early translations of Derrida to her subsequent engagement with Marxism, feminism and postcolonial studies and her recent work on human rights, the war on terror and globalization, she has proved to be one of the most vital of present-day thinkers. In this book Stephen Morton offers a wide-ranging introduction to and critique of Spivaks work. He examines her engagements with philosophers and other thinkers from Kant to Paul (...)
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  37. Paula M. L. Moya (2006). Book review: Maria Lugones. Pilgramages/peregrinajes: Theorizing coalition against multiple oppressions. Lanham, md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. [REVIEW] Hypatia 21 (3):198-202.
  38. Prasita Mukherjee (2012). Revolutionizing Agency: Sameness and Difference in the Representation of Women by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain and Mahasweta Devi. ARGUMENT 2 (1):117-127.
    In this paper the sameness and difference between two distinguished Indian authors, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880–1932) and Mahasweta Devi (b. 1926), representing two generations almost a century apart, will be under analysis in order to trace the generational transformation in women’s writing in India, especially Bengal. Situated in the colonial and postcolonial frames of history, Hossain and Mahasweta Devi may be contextualized differently. At the same time their subjects are also differently categorized; the former is not particularly concerned with subalterns (...)
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  39. Uma Narayan (1998). Essence of Culture and a Sense of History: A Feminist Critique of Cultural Essentialism. Hypatia 13 (2):86 - 106.
    Drawing parallels between gender essentialism and cultural essentialism, I point to some common features of essentialist pictures of culture. I argue that cultural essentialism is detrimental to feminist agendas and suggest strategies for its avoidance. Contending that some forms of cultural relativism buy into essentialist notions of culture, I argue that postcolonial feminists need to be cautious about essentialist contrasts between "Western" and "Third World" cultures.
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  40. Uma Narayan (1997). Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions and Third World Feminism. Routledge.
    Dislocating Cultures takes aim at the related notions of nation, identity, and tradition to show how Western and Third World scholars have misrepresented Third World cultures and feminist agendas.
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  41. Uma Narayan (1991). Feminism/Postmodernism. Radical Philosophy Review of Books 3 (3):7-15.
  42. Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding (1998). Introduction. Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy (Part I). Hypatia 13 (2):1-6.
  43. Pramod K. Nayar (2012). Frantz Fanon. Routledge.
    Fanon: life in a revolution -- Influences and engagements -- Colonialism, race and the native psyche. Race, colonialism and identity -- The black man's inferiority complex and race -- The dependency complex -- "Mental disorders" and colonial psychiatry -- Colonialism, gender, sexuality. Colonialism and its sexual economy -- Colonialism and sexual violence -- Women, the anti-colonial struggle and the veil -- On violence I: the destruction of selfhood. Colonial violence -- Territory, geography and the violence of space -- Embodied violence (...)
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  44. Sheryl Nestel (1998). (Ad)Ministering Angels: Colonial Nursing and the Extension of Empire in Africa. Journal of Medical Humanities 19 (4):257-277.
    This essay reviews recent feminist scholarship, autobiographical narrative and fiction which explores nurses' engagement with empire in Africa and elsewhere in this century. Such literature suggests that while nursing work may have improved native health in colonized regions, it also contributed significantly to the establishment and stabilization of the racialized order of colonial rule. Of particular significance was colonial nursing's intervention into the reproductive practices of native women, resulting in the loss of local knowledges and autonomy, the disruption of complex (...)
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  45. Elizabeth A. Pritchard (2000). The Way Out West: Development and the Rhetoric of Mobility in Postmodern Feminist Theory. Hypatia 15 (3):45-72.
    : In this essay, I trace a rhetorical affinity between feminist postmodern theory and an Enlightenment narrative of development. This affinity consists in the valorization of mobility and the repudiation of locatedness. Although feminists deploy this rhetoric in order to accommodate differences and to accustom readers to the instability that results from such accommodation, I show how this rhetoric works to justify Western colonial development and to efface women's very different experiences of mobility in the early twenty-first century.
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  46. Louise Racine (2009). Applying Antonio Gramsci's Philosophy to Postcolonial Feminist Social and Political Activism in Nursing. Nursing Philosophy 10 (3):180-190.
    Through its social and political activism goals, postcolonial feminist theoretical approaches not only focus on individual issues that affect health but encompass the examination of the complex interplay between neocolonialism, neoliberalism, and globalization, in mediating the health of non-Western immigrants and refugees. Postcolonial feminism holds the promise to influence nursing research and practice in the 21st century where health remains a goal to achieve and a commitment for humanity. This is especially relevant for nurses, who act as global citizens and (...)
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  47. Helene Bowen Raddeker (2007). Sceptical History: Feminist and Postmodern Approaches in Practice. Routledge.
    A highly original work in history and theory, this survey considers major themes including identity, class and sexual difference, weaves them into debates on the nature and point of history, and arrives at new ways of doing history that – very unusually – consider non-Western history and feminist approaches. Using wide range of historical and cultural contexts, the study draws extensively on feminist scholarship, both feminist history and postcolonial feminism.
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  48. Sangeeta Ray (1992). Review: Shifting Subjects Shifting Ground: The Names and Spaces of the Post-Colonial. [REVIEW] Hypatia 7 (2):188 - 201.
    This essay participates in a feminist postcolonial critical historiography/epistemology by providing a critique of The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues. The essay considers Spivak's success in interrogating her own position as a leading postcolonial critic as she engages in dialogues with various people. Spivak's commitment to cross-cultural exchanges is undeniable. However, at times the resurgence of her authoritative subject position deflects productive tensions generated by careful scrutiny of the category postcolonial.
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  49. L. E. E. S. (2011). The Epistemology of the Question of Authenticity, in Place of Strategic Essentialism. Hypatia 26 (2):258-279.
    The question of authenticity centers in the lives of women of color to invite and restrict their representative roles. For this reason, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Uma Narayan advocate responding with strategic essentialism. This paper argues against such a strategy and proposes an epistemic understanding of the question of authenticity. The question stems from a kernel of truth—the connection between experience and knowledge. But a coherence theory of knowledge better captures the sociality and the holism of experience and knowledge.
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  50. Ella Shohat (2006). Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices. Duke University Press.
    Written between 1985 and 2005, the twelve essays in this collection include some of Shohat's best known pieces as well as one new essay.
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