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 2001) 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 2001; Minha 1989; Mohanty 1991.|
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