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CFP: “Coloniality”, special issue of Feminist Review.

Feminist Review is calling for articles and Open Space pieces for a themed issue on ‘Coloniality’ (submissions due 31 December 2019).

This themed issue seeks to focus on coloniality as an ongoing and unfolding process and, from this starting point, aims to unpack its feminist complicities. Despite Sylvia Wynter (2003) and Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s (1984) provocations of (Western) feminist scholarship’s implications within imperialism, feminist studies to date has not sufficiently acknowledged the alignment of its own vested interests with the structures and institutions created for the purpose of colonial domination, even in their decolonising guises. By taking heed of Aníbal Quijano’s (2010) statement that ‘epistemic decolonization is necessary to make possible and move toward a truly intercultural communication; to an exchange of experiences and significations as the foundation of an-other rationality…’, we posit that the staying power of coloniality requires feminist studies to embark on ‘an-other rationality’ in order to create space for feminist anti-colonial thinking. While critiques of the modernity/coloniality complex have highlighted the fracturing lines between and across postcolonial and decolonial framings (Mbembe,  2003; Mignolo, 2007; Bhambra, 2014; Mignolo and Walsh, 2018) as well as the unexceptional nature of sexual violence and torture under imperialist occupation (Puar, 2005), feminist studies has been slow to recognise its own active participation in the persistence of hegemonic power and knowledge systems that emerge from the modus operandi of empire and coloniality. Evolving modalities of global necropolitics can be seen in the morphing logics of ‘development’, human/women’s/LGBTQ ‘rights’, ‘just war’, democracy and other adjoining and intersecting discourses.

While the formal transfer from European empires to independent nation states appeared to mark a transition away from direct domination, rule and subjugation, their continuities in the contemporary context have been strikingly reproduced through feminist alliances and loyalties with the new/old world order in line with the directives of capitalism, neoliberalism and nationalism. By positing that feminist studies has been both implicit and complicit in coloniality over time, this themed issue contests the notion of ‘post’-colonial as ‘past’-colonial, and instead recognises coloniality as the colonial past and present (Gregory, 2004).

Feminist analysis and perspectives no longer exist on the margins but are increasingly central to structures that produce violence globally (e.g., the War on Terror, border regimes, the ‘development’ industry and carceral states). Military strategies that invade, occupy and punish synchronistically align with ‘women’s rights’ through the instatement of such programmes and laws as Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), trafficking and slavery. Thus, coloniality both produces and disciplines gender while professionalising feminist/gender expertise, co-opting social movements and directing resources towards institutional power structures. Given these complicities with coloniality, feminist scholarship has reached an impasse.

We invite article submissions from scholars engaging with coloniality and decolonial thinking who are working across a range of disciplines including but not limited to development studies, politics, literature, law, history, geography, religion, women and gender studies, queer studies, economics, anthropology and sociology. The foundations of many of these disciplines as creations and continuities of hegemonic, racialised, masculinist hierarchies of power have roots in entrenched extractive, exploitative and disciplining forces that have utilised gender indicators and issues to further the broader cause of coloniality. Within and across these disciplines, we invite scholars to go beyond the critiques of gender indicators, outcomes and biases in order to disrupt feminist complicity with coloniality. We welcome articles that can contribute to the themed issue’s attempt to break this impasse in charting out ‘an-other’ decolonial, feminist rationality.

Contributors are invited but not limited to address the following areas:

  • Colonised bodies; post/neocolonial embodiments
  • Carceral states; feminist abolitionism
  • Feminist anti/decolonial activism; insurgency
  • ‘Development’; gender mainstreaming; femonationalism
  • ‘Race,’ coloniality and racial capitalism
  • Empire, occupation and intervention
  • Biopolitics/necropolitics of coloniality
  • ‘Normal’ and exceptional violence
  • Displacement; resettlement; dispossession
  • ‘Modern slavery’ and ‘anti-trafficking’ as nationalist discourses and practices
  • Social policy, social work and civilising missions
  • Regimes of production and labour
  • Queer critiques and queer politics; homonationalism
  • Border logics and feminist transgressions
  • Empire and law; institutional coloniality
  • Historiographies of the colonial past and present
  • Decolonial methods, methodologies and epistemologies
  • Translation; memory

Issue editors: Sita Balani and Navtej Purewal

If you would like to discuss your ideas for this issue, please contact the editors at and

Full articles and Open Space pieces must be submitted by 31 December 2019.

Manuscripts should be submitted through Feminist Review’s online submission system and in FR house style. Please visit and to read full instructions for authors.


Bhambra, G., 2014. Postcolonial and decolonial dialogues. Postcolonial Studies, 17(2), pp. 115–121.

Gregory, D., 2004. The Colonial Present. Oxford: Blackwell.

Mbembe, A. 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture, 15(1), pp. 11–40.

Mignolo, W. and Walsh, C., 2018. On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis. Durham: Duke University Press.

Mignolo, W., 2007. Delinking the rhetoric of modernity, the logic of coloniality, and the grammar of de-coloniality. Cultural Studies, 21(2–3), pp. 449–514.

Mohanty, C.T., 1984. Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Western Discourses. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Puar, J., 2005. Abu Ghraib: arguing against exceptionalism. Feminist Studies, 30(2), pp. 522–553.

Quijano, A., 2010. Coloniality and modernity/rationality. In W. Mignolo and A. Escobar, eds. Globalization and the Decolonial Option. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 22–32.

Wynter, S., 2003. Unsettling the coloniality of being/power/truth/freedom: towards the human, after man, its overrepresentation—an argument. The New Centennial Review3(3), pp. 257–337.

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