5615 - Diasporising Metropolitan Gender Studies

Stefanie Kron (Freie Universität Berlin) and Birgit zur Nieden (Humboldt Universität zur Berlin) Our paper aims to discuss the potential of the idea of Diaspora as a postcolonial-feminist methodology which is both, capable to contribute to the internationalisation of metropolitan Gender Studies in Europe and to constitute a political intervention in this field.  

The white and middle-class dominated mainstream of academic knowledge production on gender and intersectionality in Europe, especially in Germany, lacks a transnational and historically contextualised perspective on interdependent global (post)colonial power relations and social inequalities. Furthermore the aspects of mobility and perspectivity are hardly included into the intersectionality paradigm. Thus the intelectual contributions of migrant women and women of color are widely excluded from academic knowledge production in this field.  

In order to contribute to the development of a less eurocentric and more comprehensive understanding of how gender works in history, forms society and culture, and builds identities and subjectivities, we propose to ‘diasporise’ the current debates on gender and intersectionality. To do so we take a transatlantic perspective. Firstly we re-discuss postcolonial Diaspora concepts, especially Édouard Glissant’s conceptualisations of créolisation and ‘archipelago thinking’ as well as ‘Paul Gilroy’s’ idea of the ‘Black Atlantic’. These concepts emphasise the aspects of transnationality, perspectivity, relationality and mobility in social theory. Secondly we revisit several feminist approaches, most of them invented by women of color, that would include these aspects of postcolonial diaspora thinking on the levels of history, society and subjectivity. Hereby we draw especially on the perspectivity-method of Angela Davis to re-read women’s history, on Avtar Brah’s society model of ‘diaspora space’ as well as on Gloria Anzaldúa’s and Chéla Sandoval’s ideas on diasporic subjectivities.

Keywords: Diaspora, Creolisation, Gender Studies, Feminism, Postcolonial Studies

Author: Kron, Stefanie (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany / Deutschland)
Co-Author: Birgit zur Nieden (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany / Deutschland)


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