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Research

Dissertation abstract (short version)

My PhD thesis addresses one of the most contested concepts in feminist theory and activism: solidarity. Scholars and activists from oppressed social groups have rightly criticized appeals to feminist solidarity for reflecting paternalistic assumptions and ignoring the vast differences in women’s power and privilege. But renewed interest in the prospect of feminist solidarity in recent years, buoyed by feminist global activism against gendered violence (e.g., the #MeToo movement), gives us reason to revisit it. In my thesis, I take valid critiques of earlier iterations of feminist solidarity as a point of departure for analyzing the normative claims underlying appeals to this ideal today. Through a moral and political ethnographic lens, I ground my philosophical inquiry in qualitative research fieldwork I conducted in fall 2019 with Senegalese women’s rights activists and non-governmental organizations workers that coalesced in order to demand justice related to gender-based violence. My contribution, situated within nonideal normative political theory, adopts a resolutely engaged and grounded philosophical approach to political solidarity.

Please, email me at mal512[at]pitt.edu if you would like to have a look at my dissertation.

Peer-Review Publication

2020 | Philosophiques

Erreur de diagnostic : préférences adaptatives et impérialisme

Cet article porte sur le concept de préférence adaptative tel qu’il est apparu en philosophie féministe politique et anglophone depuis les années 2000. Ce concept désigne les préférences formées conformément à un milieu oppressif et qui vont à l’encontre du bien-être.

This article examines the concept of adaptive preference as it has appeared in feminist political philosophy since the 2000’s. This concept refers to preferences shaped in compliance with an oppressive environment and that jeopardizes one’s well-being. 

 

In progress or under review publications

2022 | Revise and Resubmit (paper available upon request)

 Transnational Solidarity in Feminist Practices: Power, Partnerships, and Divisions

I offer a descriptive and normative analysis of the requirements for effective transnational solidarity between southern NGOs and their northern partners. Drawing on interviews conducted with staff members of Senegalese women’s rights NGOs and a private international development foundation, I contend that existing theories of feminist transnational solidarity cannot allow us to properly acknowledge the power asymmetries and obstacles to solidarity that these NGOs are facing. 

2022  | Under Review (paper available upon request(

Engaged Solidaristic Research: Developing Methodological and Normative Principles for Political Philosophers

Reshaping our methodological research tools for adequately capturing injustice and domination has been a central aspiration of feminist philosophy and social epistemology in recent years. Some feminist and political philosophers have taken an increasingly empirical turn, engaging with case studies and the challenges arising from conducting research in solidarity with unequal partners. I argue that these challenges cannot be resolved by merely adopting a norm and stance of deference to those in the struggle for justice. To conduct philosophical research in an engaged and solidaristic manner, I suggest that deference be supplemented by three methodological and normative principles: 1) epistemic humility, 2) accountability, and 3) co-producing knowledge.

2022   | Under Review (paper available upon request)

Going With and Against the Tide: the Global Movement Against Gender-Based Violence and Solidarity Theory

In this paper, I reinterpret philosophical debates surrounding feminist solidarity through the lens of the recent renewal of global political activism against gender-based violence. I argue that this surge of activism presents a valuable opportunity for feminist theorists to normatively reimagine feminist solidarity beyond second-wave and third-wave accounts appealing to problematic notions of gender identity and shared context. This incipient, and newly situated, form of solidarity necessitates feminist philosophers to be attentive to the connection between feminist solidarity and resistance to gender-based violence. I contend that this global momentum should prompt theorists to recognize a new, more responsive form of solidarity that emerges from the shared vulnerability to gender-based violence.

2022   | In Preparation for a Special Issue

Digitalizing Development Research: Whose Voices are Included?

Because development practice has generally integrated a concern towards participatory practice in recent years, the current move towards online research should be closely scrutinized. Now more than ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to information and communication technologies for marginalized populations and women is a pressing global issue, and there is therefore a serious need for researchers to consider the ethical impact of the digitalization of development on their research. In this paper, I investigate whether the shift to digitalization in development research has had the effect of discouraging the participation of women and more marginalized community members. I suggest that this digitalization could contribute to epistemic and political obstacles in making projects truly participative, thus reinforcing existing epistemic injustices in development research. Integrating normative political theory with empirical research, I examine the ways in which researchers should respectfully navigate issues of informed consent, vulnerability, and confidentiality to encourage the participation of populations made vulnerable in responsible and responsive research design.

2022 | Co-written paper in preparation

Exploring residential segregation in cities through collective capabilities

In this article, we tackle the ways in which collective capabilities might contribute to an analysis, and a political normative diagnostic, of the dynamics of residential segregation in the cities. Specifically, we intent to show that the framework of collective capabilities brings light to conceptualize what is a sufficient level of intergroups relations to allow freedom and develop an inclusive ideal of an egalitarian community. In so doing, this would contribute to point out the need of interrelated local structures of solidarity.

Book reviews

2018 | International Feminist Journal of Politics

Review of Sara de Jong’s book Complicit Sisters: Gender and Women’s Issues Across North-South Divides’

(2018) ‘Review of Sara de Jong’s book Complicit Sisters: Gender and Women’s Issues Across North-South Divides’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 21(1), pp. 159-161.

2017   |  Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review/Revue canadienne de philosophie

Review of Diana Meyers’ book Victims’ Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights

(2017) ‘Review of Diana Meyers’ book Victims’ Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights’, Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review/Revue canadienne de philosophie, 56 (3) pp. 598-600.

2015  |  Genre, sexualité & société

‘Review of Nancy Fraser’s book «Le féminisme en mouvements. Des années 1960 à l’ère néolibérale (translated by Estelle Ferrarese)’ (French)

(2015) ‘Review of Nancy Fraser’s book «Le féminisme en mouvements. Des années 1960 à l’ère néolibérale (translated by Estelle Ferrarese)’ (French), Genre, sexualité & société, Analysis and reviews, URL : http://gss.revues.org/3411.