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Displacements: Religion, Gender, and the Catachrestic Demand of Postcoloniality

Hawthorne, Sian Melvill (2013) 'Displacements: Religion, Gender, and the Catachrestic Demand of Postcoloniality.' International Journal of Religion and Gender, 3 (2).

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Abstract

This paper examines the uneasy intersection between ‘religion’, ‘gender’ and ‘postcoloniality’ as it is staged in the field of religion and gender. Noting the lack of sustained attention in the field to those postcolonial challenges that might question the prioritization of gender as the site from which critique should be originated, and suggesting that this neglect might compromise the assumption that, because of its alignment with the politics of the marginal, it is comparatively less implicated in colonial knowledge formations, I argue that scholars of religion and gender risk perpetuating imperialist figurations found elsewhere in the study of religions. I propose the figure of the catachresis, as theorized by Gayatri Spivak, as a step towards displacing those European concept-metaphors and value-codings that both derive from imperialist ideologies and sustain the fiction operational within much religion and gender scholarship of a generalizable or normative epistemic subjectivity. I suggest these ideologies ultimately prevent an encounter with the non-western women and men who exist beyond this mode of production and whose priorities may be configured entirely differently to those that seem currently to determine the intellectual itineraries of the field.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: postcoloniality, religion and gender, catachresis, displacement, value-coding
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of the Study of Religions
Depositing User: Sian Hawthorne
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 10:55
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/16923

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