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The Australian National University

Revisiting dilemmas in transnational feminist research and practice: call for papers

A call for abstracts for a themed selection of papers in Gender, Place & Culture to be introduced by Hamsa Rajan & Kerrie Thornhill, University of Oxford. 

The proposed collection of papers shall investigate the ethics of transnational feminist research and activism, building upon established debates for a renewed approach to lingering questions in feminist geography. Specifically, the editors aim to interrogate the work of feminist researchers and activists from the global North operating in the global South, the position of Southern feminist activists who may be both insiders and outsiders of the communities they work with, and/or the experiences of Southern feminists who orchestrate normative change within their own communities. Feminist research and activism in transnational contexts is fraught with ethical questions, touching upon an expansive range of topics such as consent, representation, paternalism, ‘false consciousness’, and the challenges of building solidarity across chasms of difference and hierarchies of privilege.

Particular qureies include:

  1. How can transnational feminist activists better understand and address ethical dilemmas related to the intersecting matrices of oppression that they (the activists) inhabit?
  2. In spaces where an ongoing feminist, pro-feminist, or proto-feminist activist movement does not already exist, should outsiders seek to initiate one? If so, how would one proceed to do so ethically?
  3. In inter-and cross-cultural settings where outsiders collaborate with women’s rights activists who comprise a minority voice within their communities, what are the unintended negative consequences of engaging in this type of activism? What lessons can be gained?
  4. What are some of the key roles that men can play in transnational feminisms, and how can activists and researchers better collaborate with marginalised men?

The themed selection will be submitted to the journal Gender, Place and Culture, as a return to an earlier collection of viewpoint articles on the same theme (2002, Issue 9, Vol.2). To participate, please submit by December 10th, 2015, an abstract of approximately 300 words, outlining the question your paper proposes to address, the methods and data utilised, and the analysis and conclusions reached. Please include also a biography of no more than 100 words. The timeline for submitting finished papers could be short; we therefore encourage writers to submit abstracts for work already underway. 

Please email your abstract to Hamsa Rajan at hamsa.rajan@spi.ox.ac.uk and Kerrie Thornhill at k.thornhill@univ.oxon.org. High priority is placed on facilitating publications by women and men from any context where one’s access to academic resources or privileged spaces is constrained. Shortlisted writers are therefore offered the option to be put in touch with an expert reviewer who will advise them on the first draft of their paper, prior to submission for peer review. If you would like to access this resource please mention it on your abstract.

Updated:  7 November, 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute