Kanchana Mahadevan

Professor of Philosophy, University of Mumbai (India)

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
April/May 2018

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»The Secular and the Post-secular: Gendered Inscriptions, Indo-European Contexts«

Project outline:
My research project at Frankfurt and the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften explores the possibility of rethinking political freedom by engaging with women of faith. It compares the gendered assumptions underlying debates on the post-secular (in the West) and the secular (in India). Although these debates have reassessed freedom of faith in contexts of religious tolerance and pluralism, they have neglected gender. Mainstream feminists have also tended to side-step women’s relation to faith. However, the significance of this relation is evident from the focus on women in secular law, religious extremism and reform. Besides, as feminist studies on religion reveal, women of faith are agents in their own right. This project attempts to unravel this agency through a hermeneutics of liberating religious narratives by women (such as saint traditions) in diverse social contexts. It also simultaneously re-conceptualizes the freedom of faith implicit in such agency. (Kanchana Mahadevan)

Funding of the stay:
»Justitia Amplificata. Rethinking Justice − Applied and Global«

Scholarly profile of Kanchana Mahadevan

Kanchana Mahadevan is Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai. She publishes in the areas of gender studies, critical theory, political thought and film theory. She was formerly a Visiting Professor at the Department of Political Science & Centre for Ethics and Global Politics, LUISS University, Rome.

Please find more information about Kanchana Mahadevan (CV Jan 2018) here.

Main areas of research:
Continental European Philosophy with special reference to issues pertaining to Ethics, Knowledge and Political Philosophy

Selected publications:
  1. »Constitutional Patriotism and Political Membership: A feminist decolonization of Habermas and Benhabib«, In: Margaret McLaren (ed.): Decolonizing Feminism, London & New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.
  2. »Contextual Empiricism and local Community: Postcolonial Reflections on Longino«, In: Gita Chadha and Sumi Krishna (eds.): Feminists and Science, Vol. 2, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2017.
  3. (with Kamala Ganesh), »Beyond diasporic Boundaries: New Masculinities in Global Bollywood«, In: Elke Mader, Bernard Fuchs and Rajinder Dudrah (eds.): SRK and Global Bollywood, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  4. »K.C. Bhattacharya and Spivak on Kant: Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives, Lessons and Prospects«, In: Sharad Deshpande (ed.), Philosophy in Colonial India, New Delhi: Springer, 2015.
  5. Between Femininity and Feminism: Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives on Care, New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research & D.K. Printworld, 2014.
  6. »Feminist Solidarity in India: Communitarian Challenges and Postnational Prospects«, In: Tom Bailey (ed.): Deprovincializing Habermas, London, New York and New Delhi: Routledge, 2013.