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Call for papers – Special Issue

Feminist perspectives on learning, media and educational technology

  • Deadline for submission of abstract: 22 July 2020
  • Successful authors informed: 26 August 2020
  • Deadline for submission of full papers: 1 March 2021
  • Final revised papers due: 30 September 2021

Frances Bell1, Javiera Atenas2, Helen Beetham3, Catherine Cronin4, Jade Vu Henry5 and Sukaina Walji6 are guest editing a Special Issue of the journal on the theme of “Feminist perspectives on learning, media and educational technology”. All final papers will be published with free access for 30 days upon publication of the entire special issue.

1 Independent Researcher (United Kingdom)

Open Education Working Group, Open Knowledge Foundation (United Kingdom)

3  Institute of Education, University of Wolverhampton (United Kingdom)

4 National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Ireland)

5 Centre for Invention and Social Process, Goldsmiths, University of London (United Kingdom)

6 Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town (South Africa)


There is a long and rich history of feminist perspectives on technology (e.g. Cockburn 1985; Haraway 1988; Wajcman 1991) and pedagogy (hooks 1994; Lather 1992; Shrewsbury 1987). These have been informed in turn by feminist epistemology and philosophy, challenging Western rationalist assumptions about the subject of these powerful knowledges (Harding, 1991), or what Haraway (1988) calls the decontextualised and disembodied “gaze from nowhere”. As Rose (1983) has said: “science … is neither sexless nor classless; she is a man, bourgeois, and infected too.

Earlier feminist frameworks for thinking about education and technology include a feminist ethics of care as relational (Gilligan 1977; Tronto 1993) in contrast to an ethics of justice (Kohlberg 1971); and a feminist epistemology of knowing as difference (Belenky et al 1986) in contrast to a linear model of development (Perry 1970). There are echoes of these concerns in current thinking about digital pedagogy. Adam (2000) observed that AI projects of the 1990s ‘deleted’ subjects other than the assumed white male norm: today, ‘other’ subjects are still routinely deleted or oppressed through algorithmic bias.

The aim of this Special Issue is to explore how this diverse legacy of feminist scholarship and activism might be deployed to interrogate the power relations of current educational technologies and practices. Our efforts are aligned with Weber’s claim that:

At the heart of feminist studies lies the search for better, or at least more visible, ways to design and use categories, knowledge, and technologies, to shape objects, artifacts, and worlds in order to make exclusions visible and to overcome the hardships of gender-asymmetries, reductionism, and injustice. (2006, p. 402).

There is also a history of contestation amongst feminists, as “first-wave” and “second-wave” feminisms focused on gender equality have been challenged by an intersectional “third-wave” that examines how interactions between gender, sex, race, class, disability and colonialism produce distinct forms of oppression (Crenshaw 1991). These intersectional perspectives have led to alliances with queer scholarship (Anzaldúa, 1987), posthumanist thinking (Braidotti, 2007) and postcolonial studies (Dussel 2015; Pollock & Subramaniam, 2016), reflecting the belief that “a singular focus on gender, race, coloniality, or indigeneity alone leaves numerous gaps in our understanding of the constitution of science and society” (Subramaniam et al., 2017, p. 407).

Feminist perspectives on technology and education are not only of interest to women, and not only because of their focus on gender inequality. In this time of pandemic and inter-related health, social, political, economic and environmental crises, how can feminist epistemologies, theories, methods, frameworks and debates support more emancipatory research and practice – for the benefit of everyone?

Examples of topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Gender, race, class and digital labour
  • Gender, surveillance and learning
  • The ‘pivot’ to online and educational inequalities
  • Feminist (digital) pedagogies
  • Feminist perspectives on open education
  • Feminist approaches to design and computing
  • Emancipatory research methodologies
  • Feminist, embodied and situated epistemologies
  • Critical intersectional and transnational perspectives
  • Feminist science and technology studies (STS)/ techno-feminism
  • Post-humanism, trans-humanism
  • Imagining feminist futures

Submission instructions

As well as your 300 word abstract, title and author details, we request that you address how the full paper (expected to be between 6,000 and 8,000 words including references) will fit the Aims and Scope of the Learning, Media and Technology journal, in the specific context of this Call. Please submit abstract and other information via NOW CLOSED . All final papers will be subject to the usual blind reviewing and refereeing processes.


Adam, Alison. 2000. “Deleting the Subject: A Feminist Reading of Epistemology in Artificial Intelligence.” Minds and Machines 10 (May): 231–53. .

Anzaldúa, Gloria. 1984. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 1st ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.

Belenky, Mary F., Blythe M. Clenchy, Nancy R. Goldberger, and Jill M. Torule. 1986. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice and Mind. New York: Basic Books Inc.

Braidotti, Rosa. 2007. “Feminist Epistemology after Postmodernism: Critiquing Science, Technology and Globalisation.” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 32 (1): 65–74. .

Cockburn, Cynthia. 1985. Machinery of Dominance: Women, Men and Technical Know-How. London: Pluto Press.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1991. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43 (6): 1241–99.

Demczynksi, S. 1969. “The Tools of the Cybernetic Revolution.” In Survey of Cybernetics: A Tribute to Dr. Norbert Wiener, edited by J. Rose, 10–28. New York: Gordon and Breach.

Dussel, Inés. 2015. “Feminists in Search of a Postcolonial Turn: Locating Ourselves in the Geopolitics of Knowledge.” Gender and Education 27 (2): 95–97. .

Gilligan, Carol. 1977. “In a Different Voice: Women’s Conceptions of Self and of Morality.” Harvard Educational Review 47: 481–517.

Haraway, Donna. 1988. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14 (3): 575. .

Harding, Sandra. 1991. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?: Thinking from Women’s Lives. Cornell University Press. .

hooks, bell. 1994. Teaching to Transgress. Education as the Practice of Freedom. London: Routledge.

Kohlberg, Lawrence. 1971. “From Is to Ought: How to Commit the Naturalistic Fallacy and Get Away with It in the Study of Moral Development.” In Cognitive Development and Genetic Epistemology, edited by T. Mischel. New York: Academic Press.

Lather, Patti. 1992. “Critical Frames in Educational Research: Feminist and Post‐structural Perspectives.” Theory Into Practice 31 (2): 87–99. .

Perry, William. 1970. Forms of Intellectual & Ethical Development in the College Years. New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston. .

Pollock, Anne, and Banu Subramaniam. 2016. “Resisting Power, Retooling Justice: Promises of Feminist Postcolonial Technosciences.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 41 (6): 951–966.

Rose, Hilary. 1983. “Hand, Brain, and Heart: A Feminist Epistemology for the Natural Sciences.” Signs 9 (1): 73–90.

Shrewsbury, Carolyn M. 1987. “What Is Feminist Pedagogy?” Women’s Studies Quarterly 15 (Fall-Winter 3/4): 6–14.

Subramaniam, Banu, Laura Foster, Sandra Harding, Deboleena Roy, and Kim Tallbear. 2017. “Feminism, Postcolonialism, Technoscience.” In The Handbook on Science and Technology Studies, edited by Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, 407–33. Boston, MA: MIT Press. .

Tronto, Joan C. 1993. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. Psychology Press.

Wajcman, Judy. 1991. Feminism Confronts Technology. Polity.

Weber, Jutta. 2006. “From Science and Technology to Feminist Technoscience.” Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies, 397–412. .

Link to PDF File – LMT feminist perspectives call

Link to Blog post about Call