Feminist Afterlives of Colonialism

May 12, 2023 - May 13, 2023
Philosophy Department, University of Oregon

Eugene
United States

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Feminist Afterlives of Colonialism is a two-day, interdisciplinary conference on the topic of critical feminist approaches to the coloniality of gender that will be held at the University of Oregon on May 12th - 13th, 2023. 

As we navigate the myriad crises and possibilities interspersed throughout the world and our many worlds, we find ourselves embedded in experiences and movements of life, resistance, and re-existence marked by the history of colonialism. We are breathing, and struggling to breathe, in the afterlife(s) of colonialism. The idea is inspired by African-American thinker Saidiya Hartman’s concept of the “afterlife of slavery”, the continuation of the devaluation of Black life born out of slavery into the present—an insight that was expanded in relationship with decolonial thought by Rocío Zambrana’s reinterpretation of coloniality as the “afterlife of slavery”. To name or enunciate, “the afterlife of colonialism,” that is, to trace and struggle against the reproduction of racial, colonial and gender hierarchies and violences, requires a particular commitment to decolonial and feminist thought and praxis. 

The goal of this conference is to facilitate conversations regarding the history of colonialism and its afterlives between decolonial, postcolonial, anti-colonial, and indigenous scholarship that will support liberatory initiatives to reimagine and build pathways for decolonization and networks of solidarity across different geopolitical spaces.

Interestingly, there has been an overemphasis on particular interpretations of doing 'decolonial thinking’ that tend not to include theorists working in the Global South, outside of academic departments, and outside the United States, as well as within marginalized communities within the United States. This conference will underscore the importance of broadening the definition of decolonial thought within philosophy and other disciplines such as (but not limited to) art, anthropology, sociology, geography, political economy, and literary studies; as well as questioning the categories of “women” and “feminism” within Western feminist philosophy. 

Feminist Afterlives of Colonialism will provide like-minded scholars and activists working on issues of the Global South to connect, inquire, and form much-needed scope for intellectual and creative allyship and provide space for crafting networks of solidarity.

We invite scholars and activists who have done work on critical approaches to the intersectionality of gender and coloniality to present papers, prepare workshops and share their work and knowledge from their disciplines and lived experiences. Zoom options will be considered for scholars and activists who cannot travel to the University of Oregon. 

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