CfP: Gender and (Post)Colonialism: Locating Marginalised Voices (Publication: Dutch Journal for Gender Studies); DL: 01.02.2015

Dutch Journal for Gender Studies (Web), SI Editors: Maaike Derksen and Margriet Fokken

Deadline submission of abstracts: February 1, 2015

The argument made by literary critic and theorist Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak in the 1980s (Spivak 1988), that the recovery of subaltern female voices is virtually impossible has not been without its critics. Different scholars have stated in response to Spivak that a full recovery of the female perspectives might not be possible, but that there is fractured evidence of her voice that offers the possibility for unsettling colonial master narratives (Mani 1998, Joseph 2004, Chaudhuri 2010). This raises questions about how scholars could go about finding marginalised voices and what these voices would add. The Dutch Journal for Gender Studies will dedicate a special issue to the subject of locating voices of gendered marginalised ‘others’, and invites academic articles that reflect on issues of methodology and interpretation involved in researching marginalised voices in colonial and postcolonial contexts.

The question of how to write history ‘from the bottom up’ has been on the minds of social, feminist, and postcolonial historians since the 1960s. Strategies for studying textual sources held in institutional archives were developed in order to read colonial sources ‘against the grain’, looking for contradictions, disruptions and meaningful silences. In response, Ann Laura Stoler has highlighted the importance of reading colonial archives ‘along the grain’ before examining the voices of ‘others’ represented in these archives, because researchers who have an understanding of how these records came to be, can pick up on uncertainties, doubts, and personal concerns of the author (Stoler 2009). Ricardo Roque and Kim Wagner propose a third distinct reading strategy, which derives from historical anthropology and is concerned with the actual cross-cultural encounters and material practices in which colonial knowledge is embedded. In this reading strategy, colonial accounts, like reports or testimonies, on the encounter between Europeans and non-Europeans, are considered intercultural objects, which can themselves be used as avenues to gaining access to these historical encounters (Roque and Wagner 2012). These three reading strategies, alternative or complementary as they might be, indicate the directions in which we can engage with (post-)colonial materials. Whereas reading strategies are conceptualised in application to textual sources, the analysis of visual and material culture provides an opportunity to critically engage with other realms of knowledge. Ludmilla Jordanova emphasizes the idea of ‘reading’ a visual or material source for its message is too limited, and researchers should be attentive to the multiple meanings objects or images might have dependent on the context and interpreter (Jordanova 2012).

This special issue of the Dutch Journal for Gender Studies, entitled Gender and (Post)Colonialism: Locating Marginalised Voices, will collect contributions reflecting on strategies for retrieving marginalised voices in (post)colonial textual, visual and material sources. We welcome contributions which focus on a (post)colonial context or use (post)colonial sources – not restricted to the Low Countries – and read or engage with (post)colonial archives/sources from a postcolonial feminist perspective

This themed issue ‘Gender and (Post)Colonialism: Locating Marginalised Voices’ will provide a platform for contributions of the international workshop: Locating Voices of Marginalised Others (29 August 2014), but is also interested in contributions from other scholars working on this theme.

Submission of abstracts (+/- 450 words) to
Deadline submission of abstracts: February 1, 2015
Deadline first version articles (max. 6000 words incl. references and bibliography): April 15, 2015

Click here for Author Guidelines in Dutch/ Click here for Author Guidelines in English:

The Dutch Journal for Gender Studies (Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies) is an interdisciplinary journal. It is primarily a platform for authors who conduct research on or are located in the Netherlands and Flanders, but also invites contributions from and about other areas. Articles may be written in Dutch or English. For further information see: