Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] CFP on “Cross-cultural Feminist Technologies”

Tue Oct 01 21:40:45 GMT 2019

*Call for papers*

Special Collection for /Global Perspectives / on “Cross-cultural Feminist Technologies”

*Estimated Timeline*

October 31, 2019 - 500-word abstracts and 250 word bio. Please submit abstracts to Payal Arora, Professor and Chair in Technology, Values and Global Media Cultures, Erasmus University Rotterdam ((arora /at/ <mailto:(arora /at/>) and Rumman Chowdhury, Global Lead for Responsible AI, Accenture Applied Intelligence ((rchowdhury /at/ <mailto:(rchowdhury /at/>)

December 1, 2019 - Notification of invitation to submit full papers (6000-8000 words)

April 1, 2020 - Submission of full papers

September 1, 2020 - review process complete

November 2020 - publication of articles

*Cross-cultural Feminist Technologies*

Feminist scholarship is an increasingly diverse, interdisciplinary field that uncovers a wide range of voices, perspectives and points of emphasis. Feminist theory and movements are crucial in disentangling asymmetries such as power and subordination, oppression and resistance, dominance and marginalisation through a critical lens, and at bettering existing social environments and the pursuit of fairness, justice and freedom. Particularly, the merit of feminist theory lies within the shared scepticism of dualistic thinking that divides the world into clear-cut, antagonistic categories and reinforces hierarchical relationships between these categories (Ferguson, 2017).

In the digital age, feminist scholars have shifted their attention to the impact of technology on gender inequalities, asymmetric power relations and social circumstances. For instance, the internet used to be understood as a feminist media that may enable women’s liberation and lay the groundwork for a new type of social relations (Wajcman, 2010). However, the restrictive and hierarchical nature of the digital environment, while enabling many opportunities for marginalised categories, also engenders emergent issues such as cyber racism (Daniels, 2009), online misogyny (Jane, 2014; Dragiewicz, 2018), virtual sexual violence or revenge porn (Arora, 2019; Henry & Powell, 2015).

Given numerous threats to women and other gender or sexual minorities, a feminist internet ensuring equality, freedom and safety is advocated by activists and scholars alike. Moreover, feminists active in Science and Technology Studies (or technofeminists) actively examine the ways in which society, politics and culture impact technological developments. At the same time, Feminist HCI (Human Computer Interaction) scholars propose that interactive systems and technologies should integrate feminist values such as agency, identity and empowerment in their agenda (Bardzell, 2010), and make use of feminist tools – both empirical and methodological, to understand issues of marginalisation and exclusion within HCI.

Though comprehensively addressed by feminist researchers, a new issue arises: are these new feminized technologies inclusive? Critiques of the Enlightenment teleological narrative of dividing Western feminisms into ‘primitive’ and ‘modern’ are applicable in a technological space where these discourses intersect with the digitization of the global south (Abu-Lughod, 2013; Narayan, 1997, 2010; Khader, 2019). Critiques of missionary feminism argue that these tools are not saving ‘from,’ but saving ‘to’ a westernized ideal (Abu-Lughod, 2002). A decolonized conceptualization of technological feminism is therefore called for.

A strictly localised approach to these issues might prove insufficient as digital platforms can foster communication and new alliances across physical borders. Rather, we need a cross-cultural feminist approach that takes into account the intersection of different identities, values, and the broader technological and social contexts that shape them. In brief, a decolonized feminist approach to technology is essential today for understanding the ethical, social and political implications of the ever-changing world we inhabit. The purpose of this Special Issue is to push contemporary discourses at the intersection of feminism, technology, society, and decolonization by posing questions such as:

•Can we encode feminist values into technological design, development, and implementation and if so, how? Are there intrinsic values of these tech communities that can be at odds with feminist values?

•Whose feminism is encoded to build a digital space that is inclusive of women across borders? Technology is created to transcend borders and cultures; is there a universal feminism that can do the same?

•Is technological feminism an extension of western feminist ideals? If so, how can feminist technologies be decolonized and what values are missing?

•Is it possible to build a feminist technology in a contextual vacuum? If not, then how can we create localized context for products that are generalized by design?

•Can feminist technologies address online hate and misogyny? If so, how?

•Is feminism a primary pathway for the most inclusive of future technologies, or are there other intersectional identities that should supersede feminism?


Arora, P. (2019). The next billion users: Digital life beyond the West. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Abu‐Lughod, L. (2002). Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others. American anthropologist, 104(3), 783-790.

Abu-Lughod, Lila (2013). Do Muslim Women Need Saving?, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Bardzell, S. (2010). Feminist HCI: taking stock and outlining an agenda for design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 1301-1310). ACM.

Daniels, J. (2009). Cyber racism: White supremacy online and the new attack on civil rights. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Ferguson, K. E. (2017). Feminist theory today. Annual Review of Political Science, 20, 269-286.

Henry, N., & Powell, A. (2015). Embodied harms: Gender, shame, and technology-facilitated sexual violence. Violence against women, 21(6), 758-779.

Jane, E. A. (2014). ‘Back to the kitchen, cunt’: speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny. Continuum, 28(4), 558-570.

Khader, S. (2019). Decolonizing Universalism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Narayan, U. (1997). Dislocating cultures: Identities, traditions, and third-world feminism. New   York: Routledge Press.

Narayan, U. (2010). Symposium: Global gender inequality and the empowerment of women: Perspectives on Politics, 8(1), 282-284.

Wajcman, J. (2010). Feminist theories of technology. Cambridge journal of economics, 34(1), 143-152.


Please submit a 500-word abstract and 250-word bio to Payal Arora ((arora /at/ and Rumman Chowdhury ((rchowdhury /at/ before _October 31^st , 2019._

The special collection will be published as part of the Communication and Media Section of the /Global Perspectives/ journal. The special issue will publish full paper submissions of 6,000-8,000 words. Publication guidelines can be found here <>.

*About the journal*

/Global Perspectives/(GP) is an online-only, peer-reviewed, transdisciplinary journal seeking to advance social science research and debates in a globalizing world, specifically in terms of concepts, theories, methodologies, and evidence bases. Work published in the journal is enriched by invited perspectives, through scholarly annotations, that enhance its global and interdisciplinary implications.GP is devoted to the study of global patterns and developments across a wide range of topics and fields, among them trade and markets, security and sustainability, communication and media, justice and law, governance and regulation, culture and value systems, identities, environmental interfaces, technology-society interfaces, shifting geographies and migration.

GP sets out to help overcome national and disciplinary fragmentation and isolation.  GP starts from the premise that the world that gave rise to the social sciences in their present form is no more. The national and disciplinary approaches that developed over the last century are increasingly insufficient to capture the complexities of the global realities of a world that has changed significantly in a relatively short period of time.  New concepts, approaches and forms of academic discourse may be called for.

*About the Communication and Media Section of /Global Perspectives /*

Section Editor: Payal Arora, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The ‘global turn’ in communications, advances in mobile technologies and the rise of digital social networks are changing the world´s media landscapes, creating complex disjunctures between economy, culture, and society at local, national, and transnational levels. The role of traditional mass media - print, radio and television - is changing as well. In many cases, traditional journalism is declining, while that of user-generated content by bloggers, podcasters, and digital activists is gaining currency worldwide, as is the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on communication systems. Today, researchers find themselves at important junctures in their inquiries that require innovations in concepts, frameworks, methodologies and empirics. /Global Perspectives/ aims to be a forum for scholars from across multiple disciplines and fields, and the Communication and Media Section invites submissions on cutting-edge research on changing media and communication systems globally. Click here <>to read the full description of the section.

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