Critical Feminist Engagements with Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) Workshop

Paula Rego, Turkish Bath (1960)

Workshop Announcement

7 June 2022

London South Bank University

Feminist approaches to international law have been reformulating international legal relations to
be amenable to gender struggles. TWAIL feminists, specifically, have refocused feminist debates on the interventions and influences of feminist movements in the global south and their contributions to shaping the international legal system. While feminist approaches in TWAIL have gained traction in shaping the potential of TWAIL within Africa, Latin America and Asia, they remain overshadowed by salient TWAIL perspectives and Western feminist international legal movements. The lack of substantive engagement with feminist approaches and praxis within mainstream TWAIL is also a testimony to how these interventions are construed to be gendered/gender issue-specific. Despite the important contributions that feminist legal scholars have made to the development of the field, the recognition of the value of feminist theories, methods, and voices remains largely underexplored in mainstream TWAIL as well as the wider lexicon of legal theory. In the words of Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, through such absences, we see the formation of a ‘mainstream of the periphery’ (Scattered Hegemonies, University of Minnesota Press 1994) that can have far reaching consequences for a field that is firmly rooted in the endeavour of de-centring the hegemonic mainstream.

This workshop aims to centre critical feminist scholars to TWAIL by bringing together those who work at the intersection of critical feminist theory and TWAIL. We invite contributions on critical feminist approaches to questions of development, subjecthood, resistance, and pedagogy within international law.

This workshop is the first in a series of writing workshops to create a network of feminist scholars working on alternative feminist epistemologies. The first workshop will be a one-day event on 7 June 2022 held at London South Bank University, hosted by the Law and Justice Research Group and supported by the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility. It will be in a hybrid format offering in-person attendance as well as online participation. Participants with multiple and intersectional affiliations to the Global South will be prioritised. The second workshop will include online in-depth presentations to prepare a selected number of manuscripts for publication in a special issue and peer-reviewed blog format.

The workshop will benefit hugely from the support of renowned feminist scholars Ambreena Manji, Ratna Kapur, Silvana Tapia Tapia, and Vidya Kumar, who have confirmed their participation. They will not only function as chairs and discussants of panels but also contribute to the establishment of the network.

This workshop emerges from a network of early career feminist scholars who have founded a collaborative space for scholars working on gender struggles and non-western epistemologies within international law. The purpose of this project is to expand the influence of feminist scholarship within the research and teaching of international law from a TWAIL perspective.

Please email your CV and an abstract of maximum 450 words for your paper presentations to by 10 March 2022. Please be aware that participation is conditional upon the submission of a complete draft paper (no more than 8000 words) by 10 May 2022.