Seminar: Decolonial Feminism

De-colonial Feminisms: Exploring Religion as a Methodology


The model of power that is globally hegemonic today presupposes an element of coloniality. (Quijano, 2000). White feminism which imbibes the same hegemonic element has been under serious criticism from Black, Latin American, Chicana and Islamic/Muslim feminists and anthropologists for long. Though this resistant discourses as diverse as it has been in its geographic, spatial and temporal locations has now come to be looked upon as a decolonial possibility and consequently grouped by present day theorists as decolonial ‘feminisms’. There are differences and tensions among figures and movements that advance the decolonial turn, and the same stands true for Decolonial Feminisms as well. 

Coloniality in the context of gender, as pointed out by María Lugones (2010: 747), enables us to ‘understand the oppressive impositions as a complex interaction of economic, racializing, and gendering systems in which every person in the colonial encounter can be found as a live, historical, fully described being’. This vision, in Lugones’ (2010: 746) terms, calls for feminism ‘from and at the grassroots, and from and at the colonial difference, with a strong emphasis on ground, on a historicized, incarnate subjectivity’. This form of thinking allows for specificity, sensitivity to context and not seeing difference as a split but rather as a creative space.

This talk would try to provide an overview of the Concept and different streams involved, with readings from Major Theorists like Angela Davis, Sylvia Winter, Maria Lugones, Audre Lorde , Gloria Anzaldua, Linda Martin Alcoff, and Houria Boutelldja. The second part of the talk would engage with Boutelldja’s writings regarding Muslim female activism and her critique of Islamic/ Muslim feminism from a decolonial perspective.

Mariam Cooke argues “To call oneself an Islamic feminist…, does not entail the fixing of an identity but rather the creation of a new and highly contingent subject position.” If so, “what would entail the label of a Muslim Decolonial Feminist?”  is the question the speaker would like to think through with the audience present.

Dr. Varsha Basheer of University of Kerala will lead a one day seminar on “Decolonial Feminism”, which is scheduled for 30 of OCTOBER 2016.

The Venue: AVT Hall, Farook College, Feroke, Calicut

Programme partner: PG & Research Department of English, Farook College

Panel: Dr. Abida Farooqui, Dr. Thajudheen Wafi, Dilshad Lilly