Decolonial Feminisms Working Group

DECOLONIAL FEMINISMS WORKING GROUP

2013 Update: The Decolonial Feminisms Working Group meets this semester with a focus on decolonial projects happening here at Berkeley. We would like to create a workshop-style forum where graduate students and other scholars can present their works-in-progress to share how they engage the decolonial in their thinking. Given that there are many decolonial conversations, some of them epistemology-centered, or feminism-centered, or queer-centered, happening along with other feminist and critical approaches, the sense of the decolonial may not always be legible across theoretical or disciplinary borders. Therefore, one goal for us would be to practice both reading and posing our research problems and questions from/within a decolonial feminist stance. That is, through a rigorous engagement with decolonial feminist texts and each other's research, we aim to develop an attentiveness to the following: How is the research aligned with decolonial feminist thinking? What genealogies of decolonial feminist thought are being invoked? How is the methodology informed by decolonial feminist theories? What is the decolonial "turn" or intervention being offered? What is there to be gained and/or lost as our scholarship engages the possibility of decolonial feminisms?

Please join us in a welcoming meeting on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:00am in the CRG Conference Room, 6th Floor, Barrows Hall. For more information please contact Wanda Alarcón,  wanda.alarcon@berkeley.edu, Alisa Sanchez, alisa.catalina@berkeley.edu, or Pedro DiPietro, pdipietro@berkeley.edu.

Research focus:  The Decolonial Feminisms Working Group considers what it means to “do” decolonial feminism:  a feminism that is decolonial and a decoloniality that is feminist. We begin with the decolonial feminist assertion that “gender is a colonial introduction” as we envision and practice new ways of relating that do not align with coloniality and domination.  We are informed by a wide body of literature on gender, sexuality, and race/coloniality, attentive to the ways in which decolonial feminism overlaps and departs from other strains of feminism and decolonizing projects.

In our first year, we engaged a series of readings, research questions, and praxical projects related to pedagogy. Currently, we seek to continue this discussion as well as to invite new questions and orientations reflective of our members. An exciting and emerging site for liberatory possibilities, we are collaboratively involved in the process of situating, defining, theorizing, and otherwise adding “ingredients to the brew” of Decolonial Feminism.

A brief history:  We originally formed in 2008 at the invitation of Prof. Maria Lugones of Binghamton University and since then have also been in contact with other decolonial feminist groups and scholars within California (at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara) as well as New York, Mexico, and Bolivia.  A pivotal moment of this collaboration included the convening of all of the groups in a transnational video conference in the spring of 2009. We are now working to create multiple forums (skype/web/blog) for sharing our research locally, nationally, and transnationally to help keep our various communities in conversation.