Calls for Papers

Special Issue "Contested Terrains: Women of Color and Third World Women, Feminisms, and Geopolitics"

Volume 32 Issue 3, 2017

Guest Editors: Ranjoo Herr (Bentley University) and Shelley Park (University of Central Florida)


Hypatia seeks papers for a special issue on “Contested Terrains” featuring feminist scholarship that explores the varied geopolitical landscapes on which contestations about feminist theories and practices regarding women of color and Third World women are situated. The experiences and perspectives of women of color and Third World women have been frequently erased, distorted and manipulated both by dominant feminist discourses and by dominant geopolitical discourses. Long after the proclaimed demise of second wave feminism in the academy, neoliberal feminist discourses continue to dominate within neocolonial geopolitical regimes.  Conventional geopolitical discourses flatten the complexity of the lives of women of color and Third World women and ignore their diversely embodied, material and psychic realities by emphasizing conflicts and alliances between nation-states. We invite feminist analyses that rescale geopolitical landscapes, shifting our attention from the macroscopic perspectives of international affairs and globalization to the smaller scale connections between space and politics that play out at the level of intimate lives, community practices, and everyday tactics of survival and resistance of women of color and Third World women.  Papers that explore the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, age and other forms of difference intersect with issues of geopolitical location are encouraged. 

This special issue starts from the premise that differences and disagreements among women have value. Thus, we encourage submissions that explore tensions among women—locally, regionally, nationally and globally—as a potential source of productive feminist questioning, reflection, knowledge and practice. At the same time, such tensions should not be romanticized; disagreements are experienced differently and disproportionately by diverse participants with varying issues at stake. Because the material and psychic consequences of disagreement are rarely distributed evenly across geopolitical terrains, contributors are encouraged to analyze the consequences—as well as the origins—of contestations between and among women of color and white women and/or Third World and First World women.

Identifiers “women of color” and “Third World women” are used here to center the perspectives of women of color who—whether living in the Third World or in the First World—contest the neocolonialism and cultural imperialism of the First World, including First World feminisms.  However, contributions critically examining the identifiers “women of color” or “Third World women” themselves, as well as geopolitical divisions of the globe into “First” and “Third” worlds (or other conventional geopolitical mappings) are welcome.  How best to describe the differing geopolitical contexts of different feminisms in the era of economic, political, and cultural globalization is—and should be—itself a site of contestation.

Possible topics may include:

·         Contested discursive terrains: For example, the contested geopolitical partitionings of West/East; North/South; or First World/Third World and competing feminist understandings of globalization as embedded in theories of “women of color feminism,” “Third World feminism,” “transnational feminism,” “postcolonial feminism,” and “global feminism.”

·         Contested epistemological terrains:  For example, inequitable access to publishing resources, the privileging of written over oral traditions, and different understandings of cultural intelligibility.

·         Contested political terrains:  For example, the geopolitics of war, military occupations, nationalism, patriotism, terrorism, migration, border patrols, detention, and deportation; differing experiences of trauma and violence, security and danger.

·         Contested economic terrains:  For example, resource conflicts between and among women (and girls) situated differently as owners, sellers, consumers, workers and commodities in various industries ranging from agriculture to technology to tourism. 

·         Contested terrains of kinship:  For example, local and global disagreements among women concerning the ethics of polygamy, arranged marriages, transnational adoptions, and other familial forms. 

·         Contested terrains of solidarity:  For example, the struggles that arise among women, locally and globally, with different ethico-political values or priorities; how allies often harm those they intend to help.

Submission deadline: December 1, 2015

Papers should be no more than 8000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. In addition to articles, we invite submissions for our Musings section. These should not exceed 3,000 words, including footnotes and references. All submissions will be subject to external review. For details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines.

Please submit your paper to: When you submit, make sure to select “Contested Terrains” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editor(s) indicating the title of the paper you have submitted:  Ranjoo S. Herr: and Shelley Park: