Multiple Spatialities, Temporalities, and Gender Identities

Document Type : Original Article


The Private University of Tunis


This paper seeks to develop a conception of time as a category open to continuous rethinking and to consider it in the mid of multiple forces like space and gender and how this perception empowers one gender and limits the power of the other gender. Guided by the postcolonial perspective on temporal difference, emphasis is put on how revisiting historical processes disrupts the linear notion of time by narrating various moments as disjunctive parts of the same story. Nonlinear narratives highlight the way the past comes back to disrupt the present. However, these narratives demonstrate that cyclical time as opposed to linear time, does not only mean defeat but also may encode the repetition of possibility through attention to historical exclusion and recourse to harmony with the nonhuman world. The concepts of cyclicality and harmony with nature largely correspond to the ecofeminist conceptualizations of time in terms of multiplicity and acknowledgement of difference.

Spatial turn is an intellectual movement that has shifted attention to the dynamic nature of space with regard to cultural change. This movement appeared in dialogue with feminist, ecological and postcolonial thoughts. Hence, this paper also essays to show how these thoughts share the understanding of space as multiple and heterogeneous to offer alternative spatial configurations. Focusing on theorizing space and gender, both feminist and spatial critique meet in their analysis of patriarchal spatialization, more specifically of the binary oppositions and hierarchical power structures that are laid bare through human interactions with space.