Feminist Creativities and the Disciplinary Imaginary of International Relations


  • I would like to thank Fiona Adamson, Craig Calhoun, Markus Kornprobst, Spike Peterson, Anca Simionca, Ann Snitow, Joey Sprague, Sherrill Stroschein, Christine Sylvester, and Marysia Zalewski for their engagements with the ideas presented here. I would also like to thank the referees and the editors of the journal for their constructive suggestions. A previous version of the paper was presented to the 49th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, San Francisco, March 2008. A Visiting Fellow appointment at the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University, allowed me the space for thought to finalize this article.


Ever since feminist voices started to be heard in the field of International Relations (IR) more than two decades ago, the discipline has undergone important changes. These changes unfold at the level of the disciplinary imaginary, which means that our accounts of the legitimate units in the organization of knowledge are unsettled and the center–periphery topography of the discipline is reconfigured. By reflecting on the case of feminist knowledge production in IR, I propose a rethinking of the encounter orthodoxy-meets-heterodoxy, which allows us to conceive of heterodoxy as an active part, one that does and is not only being done. Ultimately, this contributes to the understanding of the creation of novelty in contemporary intellectual fields, and it recovers feminists in IR as reflexive artisans devising local modes of subversive action.