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Chapter 2. Postcolonial Feminism/ Postcolonialism and Feminism

Rajeswari Sunder Rajan and You-me Park

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

Key-Topics feminism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631206637.2004.00005.x


Postcolonial feminism cannot be regarded simply as a subset of postcolonial studies, or, alternatively, as another variety of feminism. Rather it is an intervention that is changing the configurations of both postcolonial and feminist studies. Postcolonial feminism is an exploration of and at the intersections of colonialism and neocolonialism with gender, nation, class, race, and sexualities in the different contexts of women's lives, their subjectivities, work, sexuality, and rights. Though such an enterprise is necessarily multidisciplinary in scope, like other postcolonial and feminist studies it primarily inhabits the discursive space of cultural studies, which will provide the focus of this essay. We shall try to identify what we think are, and in some cases what we feel ought to be, the major concerns of postcolonial feminism, within the necessary limits of our scholarship and in the inevitable light of our biases. “Postcolonial feminism” as a rubric and an aegis under which certain kinds of work are produced (or at least appear) – like postcolonialism itself, the name and the thing – is a product of and circulates mainly within the Anglo-American academy. It is identified with the work of feminists of Third World origin located in the metropolitan university, and it is the agendas set by them that define a recognizable postcolonial feminism. At the same time, however, there ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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