Roundtable Abstract: For a Decolonial Approach to Text Analysis

Vallerie Matos

Yes, there can be a feminist text analysis. There is no denying the enormous contributions feminist discourse has made inside and outside of the academy. It has shifted our world in the most necessary ways. But as Sara Ahmed offers, feminism can be “a fantasy of inclusion which often conceals its own exclusions”. It can reinforce the gender binary and neglect the identities of many others. So if “feminism is driven by an imperative for change”, why stop here? Is our generic feminism enough? In this paper, I confront the erasures of non-binary folks and Black trans women inherent in feminist approaches to technology. I will instead explore and argue for decolonial approaches to text analysis and other digital technologies alike. I will frame this argument with the assistance of Sara Ahmeds, Thinking through Feminism, and “What Gets Counted Counts,” by Catherine D’lgnazio and Lauren F. Klein. I will then employ “Against Cleaning,” by Katie Rawson and Trevor Muñoz to exemplify where we can decolonize particular methodologies, and use notions such as scalability and non-scalability to offer inclusivity. A decolonial approach to technology seems to be the only home available to host and honor all intersectional and marginalized identities. It has the potential to disrupt the ways in which many discourses intentionally or unintentionally deny them.