Unsafe travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements

Lewis, Gail (2013). Unsafe travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements. Signs: a journal of women in culture and society, 38(4) pp. 869–892.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/669609

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/669609


Intersectionality has assumed a central place in European feminists’ toolkit of knowledge production. It has led to a burgeoning of the feminist archive that traces the multiple and complex constellations of numerous axes of difference and their implications for the social structures, institutional forms and processes, and lived realities of contemporary European societies. Yet in the context of global circuits of knowledge production, and when inequalities of opportunity and recognition tied to structures of race, class, gender remain, questions of due regard as to provenance also remain central to the politics of knowledge production. Thus the question arises as to what would happen as intersectionality as concept, theory, methodology gathered ever greater momentum, proliferating a growing intersectionality literature with ever more distance from its birthplace? This is the issue I explore here. I suggest that there is a deep anxiety and process of double displacement traceable in the reception of and debates about intersectionality that have arisen as it has travelled from the black feminism fashioned in the USA, via the black feminism of Europe and into the wider community of feminist scholarship.

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