Transnational Legal Feminism – Beyond Western Hegemonies of International Law and Feminist Theory
A Transnational Legal Theory Journal Virtual Symposium in collaboration with London South Bank University and Cornell Law School’s India Law Center
25-26 March 2021
The Transnational Legal Theory Journal is publishing a special issue of articles on transnational legal feminism. We invite you to submit an abstract (due 15 December 2020) for consideration for the journal. Selected authors will be invited to submit papers (subject to peer review) that will be published in the Transnational Legal Theory Journal and presented in a virtual conference to be held on March 25th and 26th, 2021 in collaboration with the London South Bank University and the Cornell Law School. Chandra Mohanty and Lama Abu-Odeh will be keynote speakers.
The Symposium aims at bringing together scholars and activists working on the intersection of international law, particularly those working on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), transnational law, and feminist legal theories to exchange notes from both research and practice. The relationship between international law and feminist theory has predominantly been shaped by Western feminisms, especially liberal and dominance feminisms. This is most clearly visible in the current international women’s rights agenda. While the effectiveness of the international human rights system has been questioned by a vast array of different scholars, the central theme of this Symposium will focus on the legacies and repercussions of the hegemony of Western thought within both feminist research and practice in the sphere of international law and attempts and proposals for overcoming these.
Building on transnational and post-colonial feminist scholarship, as evidenced in the works of Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Inderpal Grewal, and others, the Symposium centres on the idea of ‘transnational legal feminism.’ Problematising particularly the hegemony of Western feminist thought with its colonial roots and power asymmetries within international law and international feminist practice, the Symposium invites those critical voices that engage with alterity and difference across cultural divides – a task that both feminist theory and international law have grappled with in the past. It particularly aims to bring together researchers who have been working at the intersection of the emerging scholarship on transnational law and feminist theories. Transnational law has been arguing for an inquiry into the role of law in context through the consideration of the diverse actors, norms and processes that both legal scholarship and practice are faced with as a result of globalisation. With transnational legal scholarship offering a variety of tools and frameworks that could have potential for cross-border feminist research and practice in international law (and vice versa), the Symposium encourages applications by those who have been attempting to connect the two disciplines.
By allowing Western epistemologies and narratives of feminist theory, gender equality and human rights to create the very basis of the international gender equality framework, non-hegemonic approaches to women’s rights promotion have gone ignored leading to certain blind spots in both feminist research and practice. The Symposiums aims to draw attention to some of these blind spots by inviting submissions from scholars whose research engages in a more contextualised approach to feminist theory and practice by allowing for the inclusion of non-liberal knowledge and discourse that might find their roots outside of the Eurocentric understanding of law and gender equality.
In this context, the Symposium will particularly focus on the following themes:
- Power struggles between the Global South and Global North regarding gender equality issue and international law, including critiques of dominant perspectives
- Non-hegemonic feminist theories and activism
- Contextualised approaches to cross-border feminist praxis that challenge notions of universality
- The effects of increased transnational neoliberal policies on gender-related and feminist issues
- The potential (risks) of transnational feminist solidarity movement
- How does transnational legal feminism intersect with the body of literature called “transnational law”?
- What could a new transnational legal feminist approach entail?
Contributions are invited from scholars and activists in the field of law, gender studies, feminist theory, international relations and other disciplines that consider the kinds of questions listed above.
The ‘Transnational Legal Feminism Symposium 2021’ is organised in collaboration with the Transnational Legal Theory journal and will result in a special issue of the journal. As a result, accepted papers will be given to be published in this special issue after a peer review process.
The virtual Symposium, organised by London South Bank University and Cornell Law School’s India Law Center, will be held on March 25th and 26th, 2021. We are delighted to welcome Professor Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Syracuse University) is opening keynote speaker and Lama Abu-Odeh (Georgetown Law School) is our closing keynote speaker.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, a short bio (max. 200 words), and your institutional affiliation to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 December 2020. Draft papers will be due to at the end of February 2021 with the final papers having to be submitted by the end of April 2021, after the Symposium.
London South Bank University
Transnational Law Institute
(King’s College London)
Clinical Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Cornell India Law Center
Cornell Law School