Finding Feminisms – a special issue from CJPS / RCSP
In this post, the guest Editors of the latest 50th anniversary issue of the Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique, Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Fiona MacDonald, Tracey Raney, Cheryl N. Collier and Pascale Dufour introduce us to their important special issue.
It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that we announce the first ever special issue of the Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique dedicated solely to the topics of gender and feminisms. A collection of essays on these issues is both timely and necessary. In an era characterized by widespread economic, environmental, political, and cultural uncertainties, and where complex debates about the fluidity of gender and “backlash” against the symbols and agents of past feminist activism are rife, this special issue queries: where do we find feminism(s) today? The responses to this question, as well as to the interrogation of the place of gender in the discipline of political science more generally, are undoubtedly diverse and contested. As such, this ground breaking collection features a rich sampling of the range of thought-provoking, recent scholarship on feminisms.
The contributions are purposefully diverse and inclusive. They draw on a range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives, and deploy multiple levels of analysis. Themes include: identifying and analyzing potential paths toward new feminist agendas (Fiona MacDonald; Francesca Scala and Stephanie Paterson; Brenda O’Neill; Anahi Morales Hudon; Ethel Tungohan), understanding diversity issues inside and outside feminism (Allison Harell; Alexandra Dobrowolsky; Geneviève Pagé; Amanda Bittner and Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant; Kimberley Manning) and, the ongoing debate on women’s political representation (Jeanette Ashe). Jill Vickers’ review essay also offers a careful reading of recently published gendered scholarship on pressing political issues, covering an array of topics such as the performance of masculinities in Putin’s Russia, the continuing problems associated with theorizing the public/private divide in theories of the state, and sexual violence and colonialism in settler states, including murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
As a whole, the contributors to “Finding Feminisms” engage with core dimensions of the discipline but also push the boundaries of traditional political science research. In so doing they open the conceptual and methodological tool-boxes we use in our analyses, as well as propose a diversification of fields of investigations to include political, social and economic phenomena conventionally at the margins.
It is our hope that this issue will be viewed not as a “one-off” contribution but rather, as an entry point into broader and deeper discussions of the place of gender and feminisms in Canadian political science research, and of the ever-important need to make space for these perspectives in the discipline. It is also our wish that this special issue will serve as a source of inspiration for many others in our academic community to push the boundaries of feminist political scholarship even further. These debates and contributions are as necessary and needed today as ever before.
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