Coloniality and Gender


Date: Nov. 15, 2007
Location: The John Hope Franklin Center, room 240


This workshop will explore the complicity between the concept of “woman” and the “logic of coloniality.”

The idea that the concept of “woman” is a Western invention and, consequently, it is embedded in the logic of coloniality and imperial expansion, have been recently advanced and explored. While it could be documented that “patriarchy” is not singular to the West, it could be argued also that “woman” is a concept used in Western rhetoric of modernization and salvation, to re-organize human relations and to transform subjectivities around the globe. “Coloniality” (which is not the same than “colonialism”), is a hidden logic that allows imperial transformations and colonial management in the name of progress, civilization, development and democracy.

Dr. María Lugones is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture at the University of New York, at Binghamton, where she is conducting an ongoing seminar on “Decolonial thinking”. Dr. Lugones’ fields of interests, research and teaching include ethics, social and political philosophy, feminist theory, philosophy of race and gender, Latin American philosophy, popular education and U.S. Latino Politics. Among her recent publications are, “Problems of translation in Postcolonial Thinking.” Anthropology News April 2003, with Joshua Price; “The Inseparability of race, class, and gender.” Latino Studies Journal . Vol. I #1, Fall 2003, with Joshua Price; “Impure Communities” in Diversity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Reader , edited by Philip Anderson; Blackwell, 2002; Peregrinajes/Pilgrimages: Theorizing Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions. New York : Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2003.

Dr. Lugones’ presentation will be based on her recent published article, “Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System” Hypatia – Volume 22, Number 1, Winter 2007, pp. 186-209;

Dr. Madina Tlostanova is Visiting Scholar at the John Hope Franklin Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor at the Department of Comparative Politics at the People’s Friendship University of Russia, in Moscow . Dr. Tlostanova’s fields of interests, research and teaching, include trans-cultural subjectivities and aesthetics, as expressed in literature, cinema, arts, the culture of the quotidian; racism in the global context and particularly in the post-socialist world and the Russian ex-colonies – Central Asia and Caucasus; gender issues in non-eastern contexts; feminist theory and Eurocentrism. Among her recent publications are “The Imperial Chronotope: Istanbul-Baku-Khurramabad”, in Cultural Studies 21/3, 2007; “The Imagined Freedom: Post-Soviet Intellectuals between the Hegemony of the State and the Hegemony of the Market”, South Atlantic Quarterly , 105/3, 2006; “Life in Samarkand: Caucasus and Central Asia vis-á-vis the West and Islam”,Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Knowledge , V/1, 2006; “Theorizing from the Borders, Shifting to Geo- and Body Politics of Knowledge”, European Journal of Social Theory , 9/2, 2005, with Walter Mignolo. Dr. Tlostanova is currently working on a book-length manuscript on gender, race and religion in Central Asia and the Caucasus .

Dr. Tlostanova’s talk will be based on a recent article “‘Why Cut the Feet in Order to Fit the Western Shoes?’: Non-European Soviet Ex-colonies and the Modern Colonial Gender System” (manuscript, used with permission) which is a chapter of her book in progress.