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Coloniality/Post-Coloniality

Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi

Citation:

Kerr, Rachel Bezner. 2011. “Lost and Found Crops: Agrobiodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and a Feminist Political Ecology of Sorghum and Finger Millet in Northern Malawi.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104 (3): 577-93.

Author: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This article tells the story of two indigenous, drought-tolerant grains, finger millet and sorghum, once grown in northern Malawi. Sorghum essentially disappeared from the landscape, replaced by maize. Finger millet persisted, despite being discouraged by colonial and postcolonial governments, but is now in decline. This case study of these two crops in northern Malawi uses data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, archival documents, and observations. I suggest that sorghum almost disappeared due to a combination of maize promotion, male migration, and pest problems. An upsurge of tobacco production, in part due to neoliberal policies, combined with gender dynamics that favor maize are reducing finger millet production. Drawing on theories of feminist political ecology, resilience, and indigenous knowledge, I argue that agrobiodiversity and related indigenous knowledge are situated in material and gendered practices. Efforts to improve social resilience in these vulnerable regions need to pay attention to processes and the intersectionality of gender, class, and other subjectivities at different scales that produce particular agricultural practices and knowledge in a given place.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Este artículo relata la historia de dos granos indígenas adaptados a la sequía, el millo (mijo) perla y el sorgo, que tradicionalmente han sido cultivados en la parte norte de Malawi. El sorgo esencialmente desapareció del paisaje, remplazado por el maíz. El millo perla persistió, pese a que su cultivo fue desestimulado por los gobiernos colonial y poscolonial, pero ahora está en declive. El estudio de caso sobre estas dos cosechas en el norte de aquel país utiliza datos generados en entrevistas a profundidad, grupos focales, documentos de archivo y observaciones de campo. Pienso que el sorgo casi desapareció debido a las campañas de promoción del maíz, combinadas con otros factores como la migración de varones y problemas de plagas. En lo que se refiere al millo perla, su producción se ha reducido por la competencia de la reactivación de cultivos de tabaco, debida en parte a políticas neoliberales, combinado todo esto con dinámicas de género que favorecen el cultivo del maíz. A partir de teorías de ecología política feminista, resiliencia y conocimiento indígena, arguyo que la agro-biodiversidad y el conocimiento indígena pertinente son factores situacionales en las prácticas de materialidad y género. Los esfuerzos para mejorar la resiliencia social en estas regiones vulnerables deben poner atención sobre los procesos y la interseccionalidad de género, clase y otras subjetividades, a diferentes escalas, que producen prácticas agrícolas particulares y conocimiento en un lugar dado.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, indigenous knowledge, Malawi, resilience, ecología política feminista, conocimiento indígena, resiliencia

Topics: Agriculture, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Malawi

Year: 2011

Multispecies Ecofeminism: Ecofeminist Flourishing of the Twenty-First Century

Citation:

Power, Chelsea. 2020. “Multispecies Ecofeminism: Ecofeminist Flourishing of the Twenty-First Century.” PhD diss., University of Victoria.

Author: Chelsea Power

Abstract:

Ecofeminism has had a nonlinear developmental path. Although it was celebrated as a potentially revolutionary project in the 1970s, by the time climate change and environmental crises had worked their way into mainstream discourse ecofeminism had become practically unheard of. The purpose of this thesis is to reflect on the failure of early ecofeminism and to explore ecofeminism’s potential as a transformative project of the twenty-first century. This thesis is motivated by my own personal experience of ecofeminism as transformative and also by what I would call a recent resurgence of interest in ecofeminism by young students, budding feminists, and fledgling environmentalists that understand the climate and environmental crises as fundamentally linked to the oppressions of colonial capitalist-patriarchy. Recounting the origin, history, and marginalization of the project of ecofeminism, I explore the rift between materialist and spiritual/cultural approaches to argue that the effectiveness of ecofeminism is dependent upon a collaborative recovery from the damages done by extensive anti-essentialism critiques. The onto-epistemology of our current paradigm— defined by neoliberal capitalism and colonial patriarchy—limits response to the environmental crises of our times to that of incremental policy change that is more symbolic than substantive. I argue that, in order to escape the chains of the neoliberal/capitalist/patriarchal subject that are cast upon us by these predatory onto-epistemologies, we must envisage ways to be human otherwise; in reciprocal relationships with more-than-human nature. As a prefigurative project that centres the more-than-human yet maintains a comprehensive intersectional anti-oppressive framework, a contemporary ‘multispecies ecofeminism’ can endow us with this potentiality. In our times of immense ecological degradation and ‘point-of-no-return’ deadlines, ecofeminism is a needed ‘third story’ that resonates as revolutionary with young scholars of the twenty-first century.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2020

Determinants of Ecofeminism in Anglophone Cameroon: A PESTECH Analysis

Citation:

Njoh, Ambe J., and Elisabeth N. M. Ayuk-Etang. 2020. “Determinants of Ecofeminism in Anglophone Cameroon: A PESTECH Analysis.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. doi:10.1177/0021909620970571.

Authors: Ambe J. Njoh, Elisabeth N. M. Ayuk-Etang

Abstract:

This paper analyzes ecofeminism operationalized as the relationship between women and the natural environment. It treats ecofeminism as context-dependent and not a universal construct as suggested in the literature. It focuses on the political, economic, social, technological, ecological, cultural and historical (PESTECH) context of ecofeminism in Anglophone Cameroon, a polity with a unique pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial experience. Each dimension is shown to impact women–nature relations in its own unique way. This underscores the need to be more discerning and attentive to context in any analysis of ecofeminism.
 

Keywords: Anglophone Cameroon, ecofeminism, women-nature relations, feminism, gender-based discrimination, political, economic, social, technological, ecological, cultural and historical (PESTECH) context, environmental scanning model

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2020

Women, Land, Embodiment: A Case of Postcolonial Ecofeminism

Citation:

Jabeen, Neelam. 2020. “Women, Land, Embodiment: A Case of Postcolonial Ecofeminism.” International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 22 (8): 1095-109.

Author: Neelam Jabeen

Abstract:

In continuation of a previous essay about how Pakistani Anglophone literature intervenes into the mainstream ecofeminist paradigm, in this essay I show how South Asian literature – specifically, Pakistani and Indian fiction – challenges the mainstream ecofeminist assumption of a symbolic woman–nature (land) connection where terms like fertile, barren, seed, rape, womb, virgin, etc. are used for both women and land, symbolically feminizing land, and naturalizing women. I argue that this woman–land connection cannot be merely regarded as symbolic because in the post/colonial South Asian societies that the selected texts present, women’s bodies are actually treated as land, which in turn complicates the notion of women–land embodiment, allowing a deeper understanding of the cause of the twin oppression of women and land.

Keywords: embodiment, postcolonial ecofeminism, women-land/nature connection

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2020

Development Paradoxes: Feminist Solidarity, Alternative Imaginaries and New Spaces

Citation:

Chowdhury, Elora Halim. 2016. “Development Paradoxes: Feminist Solidarity, Alternative Imaginaries and New Spaces.” Journal of International Women's Studies 17 (1): 117–32.

Author: Elora Halim Chowdhury

Abstract:

In his seminal work Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995), post-development scholar Arturo Escobar likens development to a chimera. My work builds on a sophisticated body of post-development and transnational feminist theory drawing on conceptions of the relationship of representations of development in the Third World to the interconnected webs of various transnational patriarchal and economic dominations that affect, and are affected by, the realities of marginalized communities in the Global South. In particular, I am concerned with how development discourses interlock with global systemic hierarchies of race, gender, class as well as structural oppressions, including uneven global systems of economic restructuring, neo-colonial interventions, and donor-structured development operations that hinder global solidarity and cross-border feminist organizing. Enjoining development debates to cultural texts, I explore what disparate fields such as post-colonialism, feminism, post-development have to offer and enrich the ideas about the conflicted terrain of development discourse.

Keywords: development, post-development, post-coloniality, neocolonialism, transnational feminism, knowledge production, culture

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Race

Year: 2016

Decolonization and Afro-Feminism

Citation:

Tamale, Sylvia. 2020. Decolonization and Afro-Feminism. Ottawa: Daraja Press.

Author: Sylvia Tamale

Annotation:

Summary:
Why do so many Africans believe they cannot break the “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” cycle?  Six decades after colonial flags were lowered and African countries gained formal independence, the continent struggles to free itself from the deep legacies of colonialism, imperialism and patriarchy.  Many intellectuals, politicians, feminists and other activists, eager to contribute to Africa’s liberation, have frustratingly, felt like they took the wrong path.  Analyzed through the eyes of Afro-feminism, this book revisits some of the fundamental preconditions needed for radical transformation.

The main focus of Decolonization and Afro-feminism is unlearning imperial power relations by relearning to “shake off” the colonial filters through which we view the world, including the instruments of law, education, religion, family and sexuality.  It re-envisions Pan-Africanism as a more inclusive decolonizing/decolonial movement that embraces Afro-feminist politics.  It also challenges the traditional human rights paradigm and its concomitant idea of “gender equality,” flagging instead, the African philosophy of Ubuntu as a serious alternative for reinvigorating African notions of social justice. (Summary from original source)

 

Table of Contents:

Introduction

1. The Basics of Decolonization and Decolonial Futures

2. Feminists and the Struggle for Africa’s Decolonial Reconstruction

3. Challenging the Coloniality of Sex, Gender and Sexuality

4. Legal Pluralism and Decolonial Feminismn

5. Repositioning the Dominant Discourses on Rights and Social Justice

6. Rethinking the African Academy

7. Decolonizing Family Law: The Case of Uganda

8. Towards Feminist Pan-Africanism and Pan-African Feminism

Epilogue: Decolonizing Africa in the Age of Big Data

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Education, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Religion, Sexuality Regions: Africa

Year: 2020

Thinking Fragments: A Disciplinary Reflections on Feminism and Environmental Justice

Citation:

Asher, Kiran. 2017. “Thinking Fragments: A Disciplinary Reflections on Feminism and Environmental Justice.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3 (2): 1–28.

Author: Kiran Asher

Abstract:

Feminisms and environmental justice are some of the names of struggles to understand nature-culture linkages and conceptualize just worlds for nonhumans and their human kin. In this paper, I revisit my journey of doing environmental justice research, i.e. of my feminist scientific practice in Asia and Latin America. In this retrospective telling I highlight how gender, political economy, and race were and remain fundamental in producing the subjects and objects of my research and analysis. I discuss how an implicit feminism helped me grapple with the complex nature-culture linkages I observed in the field. Postcolonial and marxist insights supplement and complement feminisms in the questions I pose as we attempt to imagine new nature-cultures.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Justice, Political Economies, Race Regions: Americas, Asia

Year: 2017

Unmasking the Gaze: Unpacking Colonial Understandings of Gender Programming in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan

Citation:

Abdelrahman, Hadiya. 2020. "Unmasking the Gaze: Unpacking Colonial Understandings of Gender Programming in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan." PhD diss., Fordham University.

Author: Hadiya Abdelrahman

Abstract:

There have been emerging bodies of literature and research that are addressing the colonial roots of humanitarian aid. Research and literature that center humanitarianism in that history aim to disrupt the neutral and impartial framework that informs general understandings of it. In this thesis, I hope to disrupt the notion of its impartiality by contextualizing humanitarian aid, specifically around gender programming, in Zaatari Camp in Jordan through a colonial lens that further perpetuates inequality. By engaging with existing literature around colonial roots of humanitarianism and the colonial gaze around the brown (re: Muslim/Arab) bodies, I will further problematize Zaatari Camp as a space that serves as a continuum of both the roots and gaze of the colonial imagination.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, Race Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan

Year: 2020

Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India

Citation:

Stock, Ryan, and Trevor Birkenholtz. 2020. “Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (11): 1628-51.

Authors: Ryan Stock, Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.

Topics: Caste, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo

Citation:

Gruner, Sheila. 2018. "Territorio y el ser decolonial: Pervivencia de las mujeres y los pueblos en tiempos de conflicto, paz y desarrollo." In Movimientos indígenas y autonomías en América Latina: Escenarios de disputa y horizontes de posibilidad, edited by Flores Pavel C. López and Guerreiro Luciana García, 259-84. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO.

Author: Sheila Gruner

Abstract:

SPANISH ABSTRACT:

La autonomía de los movimientos étnico-territoriales está orientada por conceptualizaciones de territorio y los derechos políticoterritoriales, y las relaciones sociales de producción que se producen y reproducen dentro del mismo territorio. Para entender lo que está en juego para pueblos indígenas y negros tanto como sociedad en general, se requiere abordar temas del desarrollo, conflicto y paz en su conjunto, mirar las tendencias de violencia contra las mujeres, y las mujeres racializadas en específico, desde un marco crítico, global y decolonial, tanto como anti-racista y depatriarcal. En este artículo serán explorados movimientos étnico-territoriales en Colombia y Canadá, examinando aquellos que han avanzado hacia formulaciones ontológicas alternativas al desarrollo, representado en conceptos como el buen vivir, ubuntu, y mino-bimaadiziwin. En este escrito se examinarán de igual forma los esfuerzos de los pueblos indígenas y negros en Colombia en cuanto a la construcción de la paz, la defensa del territorio y su autonomía, y la inclusión del Capítulo Étnico en los Acuerdos de paz de la Habana.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:

The autonomy of ethno-territorial movements is oriented by conceptualizations of territory, political and territorial rights and the social relations of production that are produced and reproduced within this same territory. To understand what is at stake for indigenous and black people, as well as for society in general, issues of development, conflict, and peace must be addressed in relation to each other, examining tendencies of violence against women and racialized women in particular, from within a critical, global and decolonial framework, that is also anti-racist and depatriarchal. Ethno-territorial movements in Colombia and Canada will be explored, examining those that express ontologies alternative to that which underpins dominant development, represented in concepts such as good life, ubuntu and mino-bimaadiiziwin. Efforts of indigenous and afrocolombian communities will also be explored in relation to the construction of peace, the defense of territory, autonomy and will centre on the inclusion of the Ethnic Chapter in the Havana Peace Accords.

Keywords: decolonial, buen vivir, good life, ubuntu, mino-bimaadiiziwin, movimiento etno-territorial, ethnoterritorial movement, territorio ancestral, ancestral territory, Acuerdos de Habana, Havana Accords, Ethnic Chapter, Capitulo Etnico

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Peacebuilding, Race, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Canada, Colombia

Year: 2018

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