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(P35) Where are we now? Understanding women and gender studies' contributions in hunter-gatherer research

Convenors: Celine Camus, Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona; Debora Zurro, Spanish National Research Council

Abstract: The present panel focuses on women and gender related issues. It aims at reflecting about the evolution of women studies and feminist contributions and discussing how hunter-gatherer research benefits from this perspective.

Keywords: feminism, gender, women and gender studies, knowledge production, neoliberal changes in academia

Format: standard panel

Precirculated papers: none required

 

This panel focuses on gender related issues and on discussing how HG research may benefit from a feminist perspective today. Indeed, there are several ways in which feminist theories have contributed to the interpretation of prehistory and of the experiences of people under subjugation (Conkey 2005, Lamphere 2006). More than ever before feminist theories are becoming increasingly self-reflexive to resist the homogenisation of women's experiences (Cobb 2005, Sterling 2015), to criticise the role of the “objective knower”, to listen to the voices of HG and to reflect on the processes of gathering and sharing knowledge (Brown and Strega 2005). This panel aims to reflect on the evolution of gender studies in HG studies and to depict the most recent contributions highlighting the voices of HG women. Second, it proposes to tackle the reasons why some of the most rudimentary feminist insights are still omitted today although indigenous feminist approaches are increasing. The reasons might be related to the hegemonic use of some methodologies (e.g chronocentrism in archaeology) or to the current neoliberal changes occurring in academia (a decrease of public funding, gendered career asymmetries, etc.) impacting knowledge production (Cornell 2013, Lykke 2010).

We welcome papers addressing one of the following questions:

  • How has a focus on women/gender changed our understanding of past and present HG societies? Where are we now and what is the role and future of feminist perspectives?
  • Are there any challenges in considering gender among HG societies? How can the voices of HG women be better accounted for?
  • Which methodological questions are scholars confronted by in order to go beyond a gender-blind perspective and resist restrictive methods of Western positivist research?
  • How do organisational changes in academia affect the development of feminist approaches in HG studies?

 

 

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