ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Institutional Lives of Intersectionality

Continuing the debate on intersectionality (EPW, 25 April 2015 and 15 August 2015), this comment raises the issue of the institutional life of intersectionality as illustrated by women's studies in the United States.

As a black feminist scholar who has written extensively on inter-sectionality’s pitfalls, politics, perils, and pleasures, I found the conversations that circulated in EPW (Menon 2015 and John 2015) an important contribution to larger debates that have swirled around the analytic in recent years. Following Patricia J Williams’ contention that “subject position is everything,” I should begin by noting that I enter this dialogue as a scholar who, over the years, has become as attracted to the debates surrounding intersectionality—what I term in my newer work “the intersectionality wars”—as to intersectionality itself (Williams 1991: 3). In other words, I read these debates, where scholars regularly declare their allegiance to—or disidentification with—intersectionality as indexing how profoundly intersectionality has come to shape the feminist political imagination, and how deeply intersectionality reflects and produces feminist “political desires” (Wiegman 2012: 8).

Governance Feminism?

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