ABSTRACT

The path that has led to my analysis of connections between sovereignty and violence as they create and descend on postcolonial migrants winds through many landscapes: Italian, transnational, and postcolonial cinema; poststructuralist and postcolonial theory; personal engagements with transnational feminists and feminisms; and an attraction to non-Western and decolonizing feminist epistemologies. This path has been shaped by interactions across national, disciplinary, ideological, geographic, and linguistic borders. Through meeting and working with ex-Yugoslavian feminists, feminist artists active in the San Diego/Tijuana border region, transnational and grassroots organizers against gendered violence of all kinds (including the violence of development and globalization, the violence of militarism, and the violence of ecological devastation) in Africa and South Asia, I have developed a grassroots perspective on the complicities among academic disciplinary knowledge production, nation-state sovereignty, imperialism/ colonialism, and the hegemonizing eff ects of neoliberal market ideology. Many other postcolonial and transnational thinkers have called attention to this complicity, among them Kenyan novelist, playwright, and essayist Ngugi wa Thiong’o (1986), Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (1988), feminist postcolonial theorist Gayatri Spivak (1993), Caribbean-French philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant (1997), and decolonial critic and theorist Walter Mignolo (1995, 2011). By 2011, transnational comparatists Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih took as axiomatic, in the introduction to their collection The Creolization of Theory, that ‘structures of knowledge are complicit with the politics of global inequality’ (2011: 32), whereas scores of feminist epistemologists, including Spivak, feminist philosophers María Lugones and Elizabeth Spelman (1983), Chicana poet and theorist Gloria Anzaldúa (1987), transnational theorist Chandra Mohanty (1984),

Mexican activist and religious studies scholar Sylvia Marcos (2005), and feminist philosopher of science Sandra Harding (2011), to name only a few, have anatomized the imperialisms of even feminist academic knowledge production (Waller 2005).