Decolonising gender in South Asia: a border thinking perspective

Nazia Hussein, Saba Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current collection elaborates on various ways of thinking about gender outside the epistemic frame of coloniality/modernity that is bound to the European colonial project. Following Walter Mignolo, we call for epistemic disobedience using border thinking as the necessary condition for thinking decolonially. Borders in this case are conceptualised not just as geographical borders of nation states, they also signify the borders of modern/colonial world, epistemic and ontological orders that the gendered and racialised populations of ex-colonies inhabit. We claim that dwelling, thinking and writing from these borders create conditions of epistemic disobedience to coloniality/modernity discourses of the West. The contributors of this collection, all women of colour from South Asia and South Asian diaspora write from and about these borders that challenge the colonial universality of thinking about gender. They are writing from and with subalternised racial/ethnic/sexual spaces and bodies located geographically in South Asia and South Asian diasporic contexts. In this way, when coloniality/modernity is shaping universalist understandings of gender we are able to use a broader canon of thought to produce a more pluriversal understanding of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalThird World Thematics: A TWQ Journal
Issue number4-5
Early online date14 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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