Anticolonial Feminist Imaginaries

Mercredi, 1 septembre, 2021

Past Struggles and Imagined futures - Call for Papers


A Special Issue for Kohl: A Journal for Body and Gender Research, guest-edited by Alina Sajed and Sara Salem.

Deadine for abstracts: September 1, 2021.
Deadline for full drafts: February 15, 2022.

This collection aims to revisit and reimagine the location of gender and sexual politics in anticolonial revolutionary struggles. This builds on the exciting and important scholarly work, literary writing, and archiving projects that have emerged to document and explore the question of anticolonial feminisms, which remains under-represented in broader questions of anticolonialism, twentieth century politics, histories of the left, and scholarly work on revolutions. We therefore imagine this as a contribution to the rich body of work focusing on marginalised, subaltern and radical knowledges, movements and figures, as well as to what thinking about anticolonialism from feminist spaces can tell us about past, present and future. 

From Pan-Africanism to Eastern European socialism; from contemporary Palestine and Kashmir to indigenous struggles for sovereignty; how might thinking with and through gender and sexual politics shift the frame of what justice, freedom, care and hope look and feel like? How might revolutionary pasts and revolutionary presents speak to feminist knowledge, and how might the radical futures imagined by those involved in gender and sexual politics tell different stories about familiar spaces, structures and events? For instance, how might we complicate understandings of women’s positions either as nationalist heroes or as victims, bringing out nuances often left out from such debates? How might the long history of feminist re-imaginings of concepts such as freedom, sovereignty, community, care, sexuality, socialism and more tell different histories of anticolonialism? 

There is no denying the significant role played by feminists in anticolonial struggles and in contemporary activism. However, beyond tropes of courage and heroism, victimhood and betrayal, lies a complex story that brings together experiences of hope and its ultimate betrayal, stories of conformism and rebellion, contestations over the place of nationalism, and debates over the continuing role of patriarchy within the left. Put differently, what does it look like to chart unknown futures from feminist spaces? Since the focus of our special issue is on retrieving feminist pasts and their relation to anticolonial struggles, we welcome contributions that are explicitly located in various anticolonial contexts. 

In order to speak to the many ways in which radical struggles are remembered, archived, or written about, we welcome submissions in any form, including but not limited to: visual essays; speculative pieces; research notes; reflective pieces; journal articles; archival documents with commentary; photographs; fiction and autobiography; pieces in the form of fragments; and poetry. 

If you are interested in contributing, please submit a title and an abstract of 350 words to both email accounts: and by September 1. We aim to respond to authors by September 15, and the deadline for submitting the full piece will be February 15. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

If accepted for inclusion, please note that your paper will be translated to Arabic by the Kohl team.