Thema : fem*
kommentieren (0)SendeniCalTeilen

Mittwoch, 25. April 2018 - 18:00

On doing feminist theory from the 'global south': The double-edged swords of agency and rights

Sumi Madhok

Perhaps, few other conceptual ideas attract absolute feminist ire or a attachment as those of autonomy/agency and rights. A possible reason for this a attachment is their double-edged nature: their epistemic authority within feminist theory and their power within mobilisations and struggles on the ground, but also their complicity in neoliberal ideas and processes. Both are seen as integral to a feminist politics but are also implicated in upholding and advancing civilizational arguments. This lecture considers the double edged theoretical and political work that 'agency' and human rights do in contexts of global development and grassroots citizen movements in South Asia to argue for two things: the importance of conceptual attention to the innovative and dynamic engagements with agency and rights within grassroots mobilisations in ways that disrupt, i.e. that 'speak back' to feminist theory - this is crucial if we are to shift the epistemic center of feminist scholarship; and secondly to generate conceptual and empirical work that captures the stakes and struggles over gendered agency and human rights in 'most of the world' - this is important if we are to decolonize feminist scholarship.

SUMI MADHOK is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. She is the author of 'Rethinking Agency: Developmentalism, Gender and Rights' (2013); the coeditor of 'Gender, Agency and Coercion' ( 2013) and of the 'Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory' (2014). Currently, she is completing a monograph on decolonising human rights titled: Vernacular rights cultures, gender and citizenship in South Asia'. Trained as a feminist political theorist, Dr Madhok's research lies at the intersection of feminist political theory and philosophy, gender theories, transnational activism, rights/human rights, citizenship, postcoloniality, feminist ethnographies and developmentalism.

This lecture is part of the Cornelia Goethe Colloquium in 2018.