Press releases


Dec 3 2015

Renowned researcher speaks at the invitation of the Cornelia Goethe Center about “Anatomies of Violence” and “Neoliberalism” from a post-colonial feminist perspective

Chandra Talpade Mohanty accepts Angela Davis Guest Professorship

FRANKFURT. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, one of the most important post-colonial researchers and activists of our time, will take over the Angela Davis Guest Professorship for International Gender and Diversity Studies in December. The feminist, who has held a chair at Syracuse University in New York since 2004, has taken a critical look since the 1980s at the western, typically colonial perspective on “women in the ‘Third World’”. She now ascribes even greater importance to transnational feminist solidarity and anti-globalization analysis. Together with neoliberalism, this will be the topic of her two public lectures at Goethe University on the 12th and 16th of December.

In her inaugural public lecture entitled “Wars, Walls, Borders: Anatomies of Violence and Postcolonial Feminist Critique”, Mohanty will deal with the ‘anatomy of violence’ in relation to wars, walls and borders from a post-colonial feminist standpoint. The lecture will take place at 6.00 p.m. on Saturday, 12th of December in the “Casino” (Room 1.801) on the Westend Campus. At 6.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 16th of December, the guest professor will hold a public lecture on the topic of neoliberalism, emancipatory knowledge and pedagogies of resistance with the title: “Neoliberal Projects, Insurgent Knowledges, and Pedagogies of Dissent”. This lecture will also take place in the “Casino” (Room 1.801), Westend Campus. During her one-week stay, Chandra Talpade Mohanty will also engage in a dialogue with students and researchers in the framework of in-house workshops at the university.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty was called to the chair this year following Angela Davis herself, after whom the professorship is named. Its launch in December 2013 with Angela Davis, American civil rights campaigner and critical social science researcher, caused a national and international sensation. The Cornelia Goethe Center for Women’s and Gender Studies created the professorship at the beginning of the 2013/2014 winter semester. Its purpose is to foster international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the area of gender and diversity and it is filled every two years with an internationally renowned researcher in the field of women’s and gender studies.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty regards herself as an anti-racist feminist whose roots are found in the tradition of socialist feminists and the feminist theories of the “Global South”. Mohanty’s research interests lie in transnational feminist theory, post-colonial studies, analysis of imperialism and racism, anti-racist pedagogy and anti-capitalist critique.  In her writings she analyses the interlaced power relationship between colonialism, “race”, class and gender. For Mohanty, de-colonization, that is, the critical examination of colonial inheritance at all levels, is a key scientific and at the same time political issue.

Born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1955, Mohanty grew up in India. After a period in Nigeria, where she taught English at a secondary school, she moved to the USA. In 1974 she completed her Bachelor degree in English Studies at the University of Delhi. A Masters degree in English Studies at the University of Delhi (1976) and in English/Education at the University of Illinois (1980) followed. She obtained her doctorate at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 1987. Chandra Mohanty was Professor of Women’s Studies at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, from 1992. Since 2004 she is Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology and the Cultural Foundations of Education and since 2015 Dean of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Syracuse University, New York. The honorary doctorates of Lund University and the College of Wooster (Ohio) are just two of the numerous accolades awarded to her.


Further information: Prof. Dr. Kira Kosnick, Culture and Migration, Institute of Sociology, Westend Campus, Tel. 069/798- 36582,; Dr. Marianne Schmidbaur, Scientific Coordinator, Cornelia Goethe Center, Westend Campus, Phone +49(0)69/798-35103,