Call for papers: Women and Indian Thought: Ancient, Modern and Contemporary

Editors: Muzaffar Ali (Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune India), Richa Shukla (Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneshwar India), and Mansi Rathour (OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat India)

Indian thought remains at the margins of global academic philosophy that is dominated by an overwhelming presence of male Western philosophers. Paradoxical as it may sound, the marginalized discourses of Indian philosophy (generally characterized by the classical Indian school systems) rarely achieve the status of logos when it comes to the presence of women philosophers within it. It (akin to the Western philosophical discourse) remains mainly guarded by male philosophers and thinkers ranging from Shankar to Gandhi and Buddha to Ambedkar. Quite interestingly then, the Indian women thinkers and philosophers witness a double marginalization, where being part of the Indian philosophical discourse they are globally voiceless; and being women, the entire canon of Indian thought also outcastes and side-lines their meaningful contributions.  Our engagement with the larger issue of Indian women thinkers at various levels (gender gap, epistemic injustice, gender neutrality etc.) underlines that women thinkers have much to contribute to the domain of global philosophy. While classical Indian philosophy has a rich variety of women philosophers such as Akka Mahadevi, Saint Andal, Lalleshwari, Ubhaya Bharati, and the Buddhist Therigathas among others, the modern and contemporary Indian scenario has Sarojini Naidu, Savitribai Phule, Tarabai Shinde, Ramabai, Kamladevi Chattopadyaya, Aruna Asaf Ali, Margaret Chatterjee, Gurpreet Mahajan, Amita Chatterjee, Kanchana Natarajan, Meena Kelkar, Shefali Moitra, Sharmila Rege, Neera Chandhoke, Meera Baindur, Bindu Puri, Indrani Bhattacharjee, Poornima Agarwal, Priya Rai, Grace Darling, Neeti Singh, Pragati Sahni, Sujata Patel, Narmada Pujari, Kanchana Mahadevan, among others. These women thinkers and philosophers have contributed enormous scholarship in areas like ethics, logic, social and political thought, literature, analytic philosophy, aesthetics, phenomenology, feminism etc., although their voices and discourses continue to remain unnoticed, neglected and unrecognized.  It is necessary that as contemporary scholars of philosophy we challenge, study and interrogate the erasure of women thinkers and philosophers and their contributions from the mainstream and malestream academic canons (both Western and Indian).

As a step towards fulfilling this aim, we are co-editing a volume titled Women and Indian Thought: Ancient, Modern and Contemporary.  The proposed volume aims to focus on the neglected-but-existent alternative trajectory of Indian women thinkers, their writings and the debates that can be initiated around them.

We aim to invite contributions on and about the writings of classical, modern and contemporary Indian women thinkers and philosophers so that an exercise of retrieval of new frontiers of knowledge (that has hitherto existed but remained side-lined) can be envisioned. Some of the themes for contributions to this volume are as follows:

  • General overview of the limited awareness of Indian women philosophers and thinkers.
  • Intellectual biographies of ancient, modern & contemporary Indian women thinkers and philosophers.
  • Discussion of the works of Indian women thinkers and philosophers in the context of nationalism, colonialism, and cultural and religious diversity.
  • Drawing thematic/conceptual parallels between Indian and Western women philosophers and/or between classical and modern/contemporary Indian women philosophers.
  • Philosophical methodologies of classical Indian women philosophers.
  • Oral and alternative traditions of knowledge by Indian women thinkers.
  • Indian women philosophers on the gender gap in Philosophy and social sciences.
  • Justice, Indian society and women.
  • Women and public philosophy in the Indian context.
  • Debates within Indian feminism(s).

The ideal length (excluding notes and references) for ‘Intellectual biographies’ is 3500–4000 words. For original papers on other and related themes, the ideal length (excluding notes and references) is 6000–8000 words.

The contributions should follow standard APA style for brief in-text parenthetical citations to sources (author, year: page). Discussions that might otherwise interfere with the flow of the essay should be provided in the footnotes. The full source details should be given at the end of the essay under the title; “References”. Check the attached sheet for details about references.

CWPI Logo.pngSubmissions for the edited volume need to be mailed to with the subject line “Contribution for Springer Series Volume.” The deadline for submission of contributions is 31 May 2024. The submissions shall undergo a blind peer review and the decision shall be communicated accordingly through mail.

In case you have any queries about the themes and contributions for the volume, feel free to contact the editors at

See here also the talk by the collective in the 1000 Places 1 World New Voices Talk Series.

Back to top  

You cannot copy content of this page