Dispersed Trajectories:
Feminism, Postcolonialism, and the Road Ahead


A conference at the English Faculty, St. Cross Building, University of Oxford

June 19, 2006

Keynote address: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Other speakers include Elleke Boehmer, Maria Donapetry, Alison Donnell, Priyamvada Gopal, Margaret Higonnet, Ratna Kapur, You-me Park, and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan

The ubiquitous rhetoric of globalization is proof enough that its impact cannot be ignored. Nor, it seems, can it be contained within insular academic departments. Its invocations are being heard across disciplinary and academic borders: in Etienne Balibar's call for a 'new' Europe, in Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's proposal of 'planetarity', or in Arjun Appadurai's depiction of 'grassroot globalization'. Initial misgivings about globalization are being replaced, gradually, by more nuanced and temperate responses. What happens to those disciplines in this new global climate, one might ask, which were already premised on certain versions of internationalism and social justice? What is the future of those disciplines that have been engaged in articulating the local within larger frameworks as an ethical project? And, finally, what happens to those disciplines that have espoused the ethos of being situated as part of global belonging? Two of the most prominent disciplinary formations answering to these descriptions, feminism and postcolonialism, are the focus of this one-day conference.

The speakers will look at the continuities and discontinuities between postcolonialism and feminism, each in its double role as institutional discourse and political movement, and note transformations and lines of flight in each. What subject waits in transit between postcolonialism and feminism? How can postcolonialism and feminism help each other in an alternative production of subjects? Can postcolonial feminist studies, often characterized by a culture-specific focus on the gendered subject and on nation-state space, resonate with (unmarked) theory as such, or with the ampler spatial, political and conceptual reaches of globalization and 'universal' feminism?

In this one-day conference, we wish to focus on the spatial politics of the future, more specifically the future of the postcolonial nation-state, without losing sight of a gendered subjecthood that cannot be located outside such concrete contexts. "Dispersed Trajectories," aims to explore the divergence between postcolonialism and feminism and ask about means of reconciliation.


· Students Pre-registration: £10.00
· Waged Pre-registration: £20.00
· Students on the day registration: £20.00
· Waged on the day registration: £25.00                              

Pre-registration payment should be made by cheque.

  • Please make out cheques to ´English faculty, University of Oxford´.
  • All envelopes should be marked ´Dispersed Trajectories conference´
  • Please enclose the following information with your cheque: your name, address, affiliation and e-mail id.
  • Cheques should be sent to:
    Lila Shahani,Wolfson College, Oxford University, Linton Road,Oxford OX2 6UD

Enquiries: bianca.jackson@wadh.ox.ac.uk, stuti.khanna@wolfson.ox.ac.uk

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