From intersectionality to interference: Feminist onto-epistemological reflections on the politics of representation

Women's Studies International Forum 3 (41) (2013)
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Abstract

This article reviews the debate on ‘intersectionality’ as the dominant approach in gender studies, with an emphasis on the politics of representation. The debate on intersectionality officially began in the late 1980s, though the approach can be traced back to the institutionalization of women's studies in the 1970s and the feminist movement of the 1960s. Black and lesbian feminists have long advocated hyphenated identities to be the backbone of feminist thought. But in recent years, intersectionality has sustained criticism from numerous angles within gender studies, ranging from feminist philosophy to applied political research. This article will use the theorization of ‘interference’ as a searchlight to produce an overview of this interdisciplinary debate, culminating in our affirmative answer to the question: should we move from intersectionality to interference? Our answer is based on onto-epistemological reflections, i.e., reflections in which being and knowing are always already entangled.

Author Profiles

Iris Van Der Tuin
Utrecht University
Evelien Geerts
University of Birmingham

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