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La Nouba des Femmes du Mont-Chenoua

"Returning to her native region 15 years after the end of the Algerian war, Lila is obsessed by memories of the war for independence that defined her childhood. In dialogue with other Algerian women, she reflects on the differences between her life and theirs. In lyrical footage she contemplates the power of grandmothers who pass down traditions of anti-colonial resistance to their heirs.

Muscular Nationalism: Gender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914-2004


Banerjee, Sikata. 2012. Muscular Nationalism: Gender, Violence, and Empire in India and Ireland, 1914-2004. Gender and Political Violence. New York: New York University Press.

Author: Sikata Banerjee


A particular dark triumph of modern nationalism has been its ability to persuade citizens to sacrifice their lives for a political vision forged by emotional ties to a common identity. Both men and women can respond to nationalistic calls to fight that portray muscular warriors defending their nation against an easily recognizable enemy. This “us versus them” mentality can be seen in sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalas, Serbs and Kosovars, and Protestants and Catholics. In Muscular Nationalism, Sikata Banerjee takes a comparative look at India and Ireland and the relationship among gender, violence, and nationalism. Exploring key texts and events from 1914-2004, Banerjee explores how women negotiate “muscular nationalisms” as they seek to be recognized as legitimate nationalists and equal stakeholders in their national struggles. 
Banerjee argues that the gendered manner in which dominant nationalism has been imagined in most states in the world has had important implications for women’s lived experiences. Drawing on a specific intersection of gender and nationalism, she discusses the manner in which women negotiate a political and social terrain infused with a masculinized dream of nation-building. India and Ireland—two states shaped by the legacy of British imperialism and forced to deal with modern political/social conflict centering on competing nationalisms—provide two provocative case studies that illuminate the complex interaction between gender and nation.
(New York University Press)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism, Political Participation, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: India, Ireland

Year: 2012

Gender and Feminist Geographies in the Middle East


Fenster, Tovi, and Hanaa Hamdan-Saliba. 2013. “Gender and Feminist Geographies in the Middle East.” Gender, Place & Culture 20 (4): 528–46. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2012.709826.

Authors: Tovi Fenster, Hanaa Hamdan-Saliba


This article aimed to review the research carried out in the Middle East primarily on gender and feminist geography and also on place formation, urban space, movement and mobility in the social and political sciences. This aim turned out to be challenging primarily because of the colonial and post-colonial history of the region that continues to have a profound effect on the development of academic knowledge among Middle Eastern scholars as well as a restricted accessibility to material published inside the Middle East. Despite this, the article primarily focuses on feminist research on Middle Eastern women done by Middle Eastern scholars and published in Middle Eastern journals and books primarily in Arabic (and Hebrew in Israel). However, during the process of reviewing a large variety of articles, book chapters and books that exist on Middle Eastern women, we realized that it is sometimes difficult and rather artificial to review the material with only this division in mind. In the end, we reviewed the literature on gender and feminism in the Middle East mainly highlighting local published research and also briefly referring to research published in the West by both Westerners and local researchers. The article begins with presenting its research methodology. It then analyzes the website and literature review that we carried out on the contexts, frameworks and themes of gender and feminist geography and spatial research in the Middle East with particular attention on the research carried out in Israel/Palestine. We focus on the private–public spheres; migration and diaspora and the veil as key concepts in analyzing the literature in this section. In the last section, we explain the reasons for the limitations on gender and feminist research in geography inside the Middle East and mention some general conclusions.

Keywords: gender, feminism, middle east, veil, private-public spheres, migration-diaspora

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Forced Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Terrorism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East

Year: 2013

Cutting across Imperial Feminisms toward Transnational Feminist Solidarities


Deb, Basuli. “Cutting across Imperial Feminisms toward Transnational Feminist Solidarities.” Meridians 13, no. 2 (2016): 164–88. doi:10.2979/meridians.13.2.09.

Author: Basuli Deb


Photography, not only by imperial men but also by imperial women, has played a significant role in portraying the Muslim woman as the apolitical exotic of orientalist fantasies. The legacy of colonial photography by European women travelers continues to haunt the media of the global North even today. Such imperial feminist discourse on women in Egypt was blatant in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's December 2011 announcement of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security at Georgetown University, as well as in the rhetoric of Laura Bush, Cherie Booth, and Condoleezza Rice on the War on Terror and Afghan and Iraqi women. In contrast, this article draws on the photographic counter-narratives, like “the girl in the blue bra,” that transnational feminists circulated through social media during the people's uprising in Egypt beginning in 2011 to evoke powerful images of women from the global south. It also examines the figure of the pan-Arab feminist Huda Shaarawi, who in 1919 organized the largest women's anti-British demonstration, and became in 1935 the vice president of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship, and in 1945 the founding president of the Arab Feminist Union. Bringing these figures into conversation with Angela Davis's encounter with women in Egypt in her book Women, Culture, and Politics opens up new spaces for cross-border feminisms that cut across imperial legacies that continue to define relationships between women of the global North and the global South.

Keywords: feminism, race, transnationalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Governance, Race, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2016

“Unsound” Minds and Broken Bodies: the Detention of “Hardcore” Mau Mau Women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954–1960


Bruce-Lockhart, Katherine. 2014. “‘Unsound’ Minds and Broken Bodies: The Detention of ‘Hardcore’ Mau Mau Women at Kamiti and Gitamayu Detention Camps in Kenya, 1954–1960.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 8 (4): 590–608. doi:10.1080/17531055.2014.948148.

Author: Katherine Bruce-Lockhart


From 1954 to 1960, the British detained approximately 8000 women under the Emergency Powers imposed to combat the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya. Kamiti Detention Camp was the main site of women's incarceration, and its importance has been widely acknowledged by scholars. However, new documentary evidence released from the Hanslope Park Archive since 2011 has revealed the existence of a second camp established for women at Gitamayu, created in 1958 explicitly to deal with the remaining “hardcore” female detainees. This article examines the British struggle to contend with the hardcore Mau Mau women in the final years of the Emergency Period, one that was marked by uncertainty, violence, and an increasing reliance on ethno-psychiatry. Debates about how to deal with this group of women engaged and perplexed the highest levels of the colonial administration, generating tensions between legal, political, and medical officials. At the center of these debates was the question of the female detainees' sanity, with some officials pressing for these women to be classified as insane. The charge that hardcore women were “of unsound mind” was used for a variety of purposes in the late 1950s, including covering up the abuses in the camps. Examining the British approach to these detainees illuminates how ideas about gender, deviancy, and mental health shaped colonial practices of punishment.

Keywords: Mau Mau Rebellion, Kenya, colonial rule, violence, deviancy, ethnopsychiatry, detention, women

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2014

African Women's Movements in the Twentieth Century: A Hidden History


Berger, Iris. 2014. “African Women’s Movements in the Twentieth Century: A Hidden History.” African Studies Review 57 (3): 1–19. 


Author: Iris Berger


This article begins by exploring the efforts of African women’s movements from the 1990s onward to end violent civil conflicts and to insist on guarantees of gender equity in newly formed governments. It attempts to explain these recent successes first by examining the complex relationships between international women’s movements and African women’s groups from the Second World War onward, particularly from the era of the U.N. Decade for Women beginning in 1975. The article then turns to a broader problem: exploring the connections between contemporary women’s activism and deeper currents in African history that link the precolonial period with the more recent past. By examining a variety of twentieth-century women’s protests, it argues that cloaked in the language of political, economic, and environmental grievances, these movements also reflect a hidden history of women’s influence as public healers, empowered not only to cure individuals, but also to mend broader relationships in the community.

Keywords: women, empowerment, protest movements, healing, international women's movements, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Post-Conflict, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Kenya, Nigeria

Year: 2014

Gender, Globalization, and Violence: Postcolonial Conflict Zones


Ponzanesi, Sandra. 2014. Gender, Globalization, and Violence: Postcolonial Conflict Zones. Routledge.


Author: Sandra Ponzanesi


"This wide-ranging collection of essays elaborates on some of the most pressing issues in contemporary postcolonial society in their transition from conflict and contestation to dialogue and resolution. It explores from new angles questions of violent conflict, forced migration, trafficking and deportation, human rights, citizenship, transitional justice and cosmopolitanism. The volume focuses more specifically on the gendering of violence from a postcolonial perspective as it analyses unique cases that disrupt traditional visions of violence by including the history of empire and colony, and its legacies that continue to influence present-day configurations of gender, race, nationality, class and sexuality. Part One maps out the gendered and racialized contours of conflict zones, from war zones, prisons and refugee camps to peacekeeping missions and humanitarian aid, reframing the field and establishing connections between colonial legacies and postcolonial dynamics. Part Two explores how these conflict zones are played out not just outside but also within Europe, demonstrating that multicultural Europe is fraught with different legacies of violence and postcolonial melancholia. Part Three gives an idea of the kind of future that can be offered to post-conflict societies, defined as contact zones, by exploring opportunities for dialogue, restoration and reconciliation that can be envisaged from a gendered and postcolonial perspective through alternative feminist practices and the work of art and their redemptive power in mobilizing social change or increasing national healing processes. Though strongly anchored in postcolonial critique, the chapters draw from a range of traditions and expertise, including conflict studies, gender theory, visual studies, (new) media theory, sociology, race theory, international security studies and religion studies." (From WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Globalization, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Transitional Justice, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Race, Religion, Sexuality, Trafficking, Violence Regions: Europe

Year: 2014

Living with the Fence: Militarization and Military Spaces on Guahan/Guam


Alexander, Ronni. 2016. “Living with the Fence: Militarization and Military Spaces on Guahan/Guam.” Gender, Place & Culture 23 (6): 869–82. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2015.1073697.


Author: Ronni Alexander


The landscape of Guahan/Guam, an organized unincorporated territory of the USA and the largest and southernmost island of the Mariana Islands archipelago, is visibly marked by chain link fences that enclose land taken for use by the US military. This US military presence on Guam is evidence of a long military colonial history that has stressed, particularly under US rule, the importance of the island's strategic location. The ‘fence,’ a frequently used but rarely defined expression, refers to a multiplicity of lines, most of which recreate a dichotomous view of military/local relations, and help to make invisible the complex web of identities that go through, over, and beyond its real and imagined spaces. Working from an understanding that theory must be grounded in experience, this article draws on interviews to explore the multiple meanings of the fence. It focuses on the ways the colonized, militarized, and gendered spaces of the fence promote US values, interests, and security concerns but also mark points of resistance to militarization and colonization. Exploring the ways colonization and militarization are played out on the bodies of those who live and work on the island, the article concludes that tearing down the ‘fence’ must include both demilitarization and decolonization, but in ways that transcend, rather than reproduce its present gendered and dichotomous spaces.

Keywords: Guam, gender, militarization, colonization, Chamoru

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Oceania Countries: United States of America

Year: 2016

Bengal Border Revisited


Banerjee, Paula. 2012. “Bengal Border Revisited.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 27 (1): 31–44. doi:10.1080/08865655.2012.687208.

Author: Paula Banerjee


This article deals with the notion of how borders have a penchant for becoming a marker of security. The moment borders become securitized the question of flows across them acquires particular importance. In the colonial period this was marked by concern over dacoits, thugees and hooligans who crossed the district border at will. In the post-colonial period concern remains over undocumented migrants and whether their arrival threatens the nation form. Against this background the article addresses the notion of flows and increasing violence at the borders, fencing as the most recent marker of such violence and how women and the evolution of their relationship to the border is shaped through the discourses of violence.

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Analysis, Nationalism, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, India

Year: 2012

Colonial Legacies, Post-Colonial (In)securities, and Gender(ed) Representations in South Asia's Nuclear Policies


Das, Runa. 2010. “Colonial Legacies, Post-Colonial (In)securities, and Gender(ed) Representations in South Asia’s Nuclear Policies.” Social Identities 16 (6): 717–40.

Author: Runa Das


Through a comparative study of India and Pakistan's national security discourses, this article explores the linkages between post-colonial India and Pakistan's nationalist/communalist identities, configurations of masculinities, and gendered representations underpinning their nuclear (in)securities. This paper contends that the colonial politics of place-making in the sub-continent has not only inscribed a process of ‘othering’ between these states but has also facilitated the rise of divergent visions of post-colonial nationalisms, which, at each of their phases and with particular configurations of masculinities, have used women's bodies to re-map India-Pakistan's borders and national (in)securities. This article particularly draws attention to a new form of gendered manipulation in South Asian politics in the late 1990s, whereby both states, embedded in colonial notions of religious/cultural masculinities, have relied on discourses of Hindu/Indian and Muslim/Pakistani women's violence and protection from the ‘other’ to pursue aggressive policies of nuclearization. It is at this conjectural moment of a Hinduicized and Islamicized nationalism (flamed by the contestations of a Hindu versus an Islamic masculinity) that one needs to provide a feminist re-interpretation of India-Pakistan's nationalist identities, gendered imaginaries, and their re-articulation of national (in)securities – that represents a religious/gendered ‘otherness’ in South Asia's nuclear policies.

Keywords: nationalism, communalism, gender, representations, nuclear insecurity, South Asian politics

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2010


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