About this topic

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 1988), 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 1988; Narayan 1997; Minha 1989; Mohanty 1991.
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116 found
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  1. added 2018-11-07
    The Hermeneutics of Mexican-American Political Philosophy.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - Inter-American Journal of Philosophy.
    Este artículo aborda la prominencia de las actitudes colonialistas en tradiciones anti-coloniales, observando la capacidad del racismo sexista para adaptarse en la filosofía política Mexicano-Estadounidense. Señalo un paralelo entre el uso de universales culturales en el pensamiento hermenéutico y la continuación de mecanismos interpretativos colonialies en los debates centrales de la filosofía política Mexicano-Estadounidense. Basándome en pensamiento comparativo indígena de resistencia anticolonial, advierto contra tales tendencias excluyentes y mimetismas en un momento tan crítico de la formación de campo, mientras resaltando (...)
  2. added 2018-11-04
    Postcolonial and Decolonial Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.
  3. added 2018-11-04
    Musing: Spectral Phenomenologies: Dwelling Poetically in Professional Philosophy.Elena Flores Ruíz - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (1):196-204.
  4. added 2018-11-04
    Feminist Border Theory.Elena Ruíz - 2011 - In Gerard Delanty & Stephen Turner (eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory. Routledge. pp. 350-361.
  5. added 2018-10-26
    The Epistemology of the Question of Authenticity, in Place of Strategic Essentialism.Emily S. Lee - 2011 - 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 authentic- ity. 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.
  6. added 2018-08-21
    Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice by Michael Plaxton. [REVIEW]Lucinda Vandervort - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 28:697-702.
    This is a review and critical commentary on Michael Plaxton's 2015 book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, in which he proposes that the legal definition of sexual consent be amended to permit sexual partners to define the terms and conditions of sexual consent in accordance with private "normative commitments" between themselves. The proposed "reform" is intended to permit an individual to agree to be a party to sexual activity that would otherwise constitute sexual assault under Canadian law. For reasons explained (...)
  7. added 2018-05-20
    Islamist Women's Agency and Relational Autonomy.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2018 - Hypatia 33 (2):195-215.
    Mainstream conceptions of autonomy have been surreptitiously gender-specific and masculinist. Feminist philosophers have reclaimed autonomy as a feminist value, while retaining its core ideal as self-government, by reconceptualizing it as “relational autonomy.” This article examines whether feminist theories of relational autonomy can adequately illuminate the agency of Islamist women who defend their nonliberal religious values and practices and assiduously attempt to enact them in their daily lives. I focus on two notable feminist theories of relational autonomy advanced by Marina Oshana (...)
  8. added 2018-05-20
    The Possibility of Nationalist Feminism.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):135-160.
    Most Third World feminists consider nationalism as detrimental to feminism. Against this general trend, I argue that “polycentric” nationalism has potentials for advocating feminist causes in the Third World. “Polycentric” nationalism, whose proper goal is the attainment and maintenance of national self-determination, is still relevant in this neocolonial age of capitalist globalization and may serve feminist purposes of promoting the well-being of the majority of Third World women who suffer disproportionately under this system.
  9. added 2018-05-19
    Contested Terrains of Women of Color and Third World Women.Saba Fatima, Kristie Dotson, Ranjoo Seodu Herr, Serene J. Khader & Stella Nyanzi - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (3):731-742.
    This piece contextualizes a discussion by liminal feminists on the identifiers ‘women of color’ and ‘Third World women’ that emerged from some uncomfortable and constructive conversations at the 2015 FEAST conference. I focus on concerns of marginalization and gatekeeping that are far too often reiterated within the uneasy racial dynamics among feminist philosophers.
  10. added 2018-05-19
    Introduction: Contested Terrains.Shelley Park & Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (3):477-487.
  11. added 2018-05-19
    Can Transnational Feminist Solidarity Accommodate Nationalism? Reflections From the Case Study of Korean “Comfort Women”.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (1):41-57.
    This article aims to refute the “incompatibility thesis” that nationalism is incompatible with transnational feminist solidarity, as it fosters exclusionary practices, xenophobia, and racism among feminists with conflicting nationalist aspirations. I examine the plausibility of the incompatibility thesis by focusing on the controversy regarding just reparation for Second World War “comfort women,” which is still unresolved. The Korean Council at the center of this controversy, which advocates for the rights of Korean former comfort women, has been criticized for its strident (...)
  12. added 2018-05-19
    Reclaiming Third World Feminism: Or Why Transnational Feminism Needs Third World Feminism.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2014 - Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 12 (1).
    Third World and transnational feminisms have emerged in opposition to white second-wave feminists’ single-pronged analyses of gender oppression that elided Third World women’s multiple and complex oppressions in their various social locations. Consequently, these feminisms share two “Third World feminist” mandates: First, feminist analyses of Third World women’s oppression and resistance should be historically situated; and second, Third World women’s agency and voices should be respected. Despite these shared mandates, they have diverged in their proper domains of investigation, with transnational (...)
  13. added 2018-05-19
    Third World, Transnational, and Global Feminisms.Ranjoo S. Herr - 2013 - In Patrick Mason (ed.), Encyclopedia of Race and Racism Vol.4 (second ed.). Routledge. pp. pp. 190-195.
  14. added 2018-05-19
    A Third World Feminist Defense of Multiculturalism.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2004 - Social Theory and Practice 30 (1):73-103.
    Many influential Western feminists of diverse backgrounds have expressed concerns that multiculturalism, while strengthening the power of racial ethnic minorities vis-à-vis the majority, worsens the position of its most vulnerable members, women. Despite their good intentions, these feminists have been consistently dismissive of the voices of racial ethnic women, many of whom argue for the importance of sustaining their own “illiberal” cultures within the Western context. I offer a Third World feminist defense of multiculturalism by paying attention to these women (...)
  15. added 2018-01-29
    Do Muslim Women Need Freedom.Serene J. Khader - 2016 - Politics and Gender 2 (4).
  16. added 2017-07-13
    When We Handed Out the Crayolas, They Just Stared at Them.Shelley M. Park - 2016 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 23 (1):71-90.
    In 2008, over 400 children living on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a rural Texas polygamist community of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, were forcibly removed from their mothers’ care by State troopers responding to allegations of child abuse. This essay examines the role of neoliberal ideologies and, more specifically, what some queer theorists have identified as ‘metronormativity’ in solidifying a widespread caricature of FLDS mothers as ‘bad’ mothers. The intersections of these ideologies with (...)
  17. added 2017-02-15
    Post Colonial.Emmanuel C. Eze - forthcoming - African Philosophy: A Critical Reader.
  18. added 2017-02-15
    Postcolonial Fictions in the Roman de Perceforest: Cultural Identities and Hybridities. [REVIEW]Denyse Delcourt - 2007 - The Medieval Review 9.
  19. added 2017-02-15
    [Book Review] the Colonial Harem. [REVIEW]Malek Alloula - 1990 - Feminist Studies 16:345-380.
  20. added 2017-02-14
    Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial, and Feminist World.Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding (eds.) - 2000 - Indiana University Press.
    The essays in this volume bring to their focuses on philosophical issues the new angles of vision created by the multicultural, global, and postcolonial feminisms that have been developing around us.
  21. added 2017-02-14
    On Post-Colonial Semiotics.Eero Tarasti - 1998 - Σημιοτκή-Sign Systems Studies 1:115-135.
  22. added 2017-02-13
    Self as Postcolonial Pastiche: Historical Artifact and Multicultural Ideal 'In'.Eduardo Manuel Duarte - forthcoming - Philosophy of Education.
  23. added 2017-02-13
    Putting Race in Its Place: Order in Colonial and Postcolonial Peruvian Georgraphy.Benjamin Orlove - 1993 - Social Research 60:301-336.
  24. added 2017-02-08
    Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism.Gyan Prakash - 2010 - In Aakash Singh & Silika Mohapatra (eds.), Indian Political Thought: A Reader. Routledge.
  25. added 2017-02-07
    Mapping Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial Edited by Vinayak Chaturvedi.Pranav Jani - 2003 - Historical Materialism 11 (3):271-288.
  26. added 2017-02-03
    Identity, Ethics, and Nonviolence in Postcolonial Theory: A Rahnerian Theological Assessment.Susan Abraham - 2007 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this book, Abraham argues that a theological imagination can expand the contours of postcolonial theory through a reexamination of notions of subjectivity, gender, and violence in a dialogical model with Karl Rahner. She raises the question of whether postcolonial theory, with its disavowal of religious agency, can provide an invigorating occasion for Catholic theology.
  27. added 2017-01-29
    The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, and Dialogues.Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak - 1992 - 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.
  28. added 2017-01-27
    Understanding Postcolonialism.Jane Hiddleston - 2009 - Routledge.
    Postcolonialism offers challenging and provocative ways of thinking about colonial and neocolonial power, about self and other, and about the discourses that perpetuate postcolonial inequality and violence. Much of the seminal work in postcolonialism has been shaped by currents in philosophy, notably Marxism and ethics. "Understanding Postcolonialism" examines the philosophy of postcolonialism in order to reveal the often conflicting systems of thought which underpin it. In so doing, the book presents a reappraisal of the major postcolonial thinkers of the twentieth (...)
  29. added 2017-01-27
    Postcolonial Developments: Agriculture in the Making of Modern India (Amitrajeet A. Batabyal).A. Gupta - 2000 - Agriculture and Human Values 17 (1):111-112.
  30. added 2017-01-26
    Colluding Patriarchies: The Colonial Reform of Sexual Relations in India.Ashwini Tambe - 2000 - Feminist Studies 26 (3):587-600.
  31. added 2017-01-24
    Colonial Figures and Postcolonial Reading.Suvir Kaul - 1996 - Diacritics 26 (1):74-89.
  32. added 2017-01-16
    Nehruvian Science and Postcolonial India.David Arnold - 2013 - Isis 104 (2):360-370.
  33. added 2017-01-15
    Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures.M. Jacqui Alexander & Chandra Talpade Mohanty (eds.) - 2013 - Routledge.
    ____Feminist Geneaologies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic__ ____Futures__ provides a feminist anaylsis of the questions of sexual and gender politics, economic and cultural marginality, and anti-racist and anti-colonial practices both in the "West" and in the "Third World." This collection, edited by Jacqui Alexander and Chandra Talpade Mohanty, charts the underlying theoretical perspectives and organization practices of the different varieties of feminism that take on questions of colonialism, imperialism, and the repressive rule of colonial, post-colonial and advanced capitalist nation-states. It provides a (...)
  34. added 2017-01-15
    Framing the Postcolonial Sexual Contract: Democracy, Fraternalism, and State Authority in India.Christine Keating - 2007 - 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.
  35. added 2017-01-15
    Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy.Sandra Harding & Uma Narayan - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (3):1-5.
  36. added 2017-01-15
    Introduction. Border Crossings: Multicultural and Postcolonial Feminist Challenges to Philosophy.Uma Narayan & Sandra Harding - 1998 - Hypatia 13 (2):1-6.
  37. added 2016-12-12
    Westernization and Women's Rights: Non-Western European Responses to Mill's Subjection of Women, 1869-1908.E. H. Botting & S. Kronewitter - 2012 - 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 (...)
  38. added 2016-12-12
    What Lies Ahead: Envisioning New Futures for Feminist Philosophy.Kristen Intemann, Emily S. Lee, Kristin Mccartney, Shireen Roshanravan & Alexa Schriempf - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):927 - 934.
    Thanks in large, part to the record of schohrship 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 (...)
  39. added 2016-12-08
    Structure/Antistructure and Agency Under Oppression.Maria C. Lugones - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (10):500-507.
  40. added 2016-08-24
    Feminism in India.Maitrayee Chaudhuri - 2004
  41. added 2016-08-23
    What Does It Mean to Be a Postcolonial Feminist? The Artwork of Mithu Sen.Sushmita Chatterjee - 2016 - 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, (...)
  42. added 2016-08-23
    When Love and Violence Meet: Women's Agency and Transformative Politics in Rubaiyat Hossain's Meherjaan.Elora Halim Chowdhury - 2015 - 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 (...)
  43. added 2016-08-23
    Famine, Widowhood, and Paid Work: Seeking Gender Justice in South Asia.Martha Alter Chen - 2008 - 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. Oxford University Press.
  44. added 2016-04-05
    Sarah Grimké: Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and Other Essays.Elizabeth Ann Bartlett - 1989 - Hypatia 4 (1):175-180.
  45. added 2015-09-15
    Mondi (post)coloniali. Considerazioni su razza, genere e sesso, soggettività e temporalità.Karina Bidaseca - 2013 - 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 (...)
  46. added 2015-09-15
    Spectral Nationality: The Idea of Freedom in Modern Philosophy and the Experience of Freedom in Postcoloniality.Pheng Cheah - 1998 - 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 (...)
  47. added 2015-09-14
    Cultural Criminology and the Engagement with Race, Gender and Post-Colonial Identities.Chris Cunneen & Julie Stubbs - manuscript
    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 (...)
  48. added 2015-09-14
    Subjectivity in Motion: Caribbean Women's Articulations of Being From Fanon/Capécia to the Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands.Myriam J. A. Chancy - 2015 - 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 (...)
  49. added 2015-09-14
    Trabajo, cultura y poder: dilemas historiográficos y estudios de género en Argentina: Work, Culture and Power: Historiographical Dilemma and Gender Studies in Argentina.Mirta Zaida Lobato - 2008 - 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 (...)
  50. added 2015-09-14
    The Reproduction of Whiteness: Race and the Regulation of the Gendered Body.Alison Bailey & Jacquelyn N. Zita - 2007 - 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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