Unbearable Being(s) Deadline: October 13, 2023


Call for Papers

WSQ: Unbearable Being(s)

FALL 2024 ISSUE

Guest Editors:

DEBARATI BISWAS, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

LAURA WESTENGARD, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

This special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly invites submissions that explore the literary, theoretical, and cultural lifeworlds created by and about unbearable being(s). 

“Unbearable being(s)” functions on multiple valences. “Unbearable being” is an affective state of being and becoming that indexes the intolerableness of existence within the normative. On the other hand, “unbearable beings” are the subjects who inhabit abject and/or revolutionary positions in relation to the sociopolitical apparatus and offer alternate possibilities of living and being in this world. 

This special issue explores the unbearableness of that which cannot be contained within the category of what Sylvia Wynter defines as the “Man-as-human.” Infrastructures of oppression—the nation-state and its borders, citizenship, the unequal distribution of material resources deemed essential for survival such as healthcare, housing, education, and other human rights—police the borders of the category of the “Man-as-human” and cast out Black, Indigenous, people of color, impoverished, disabled, and LGBTQIA+ people differently. The COVID19 pandemic and accelerating climate change have further dismantled the fictions of liberal humanism and laid bare the exploitative and extractive designs of capitalist white supremacy that create the category of “Man-as-human.” Treated as the refuse of urban renewal and gentrification, and/or displaced by environmental crises, wars, and ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and capitalist exploitation, marginalized subjects have, however, effected enormous sociopolitical changes over time, and have fostered socialities in spaces deemed unhomely and unclean. Such abject spaces include prisons, hospitals, segregated housing projects, war-torn zones, disaster sites, nightclubs, single room occupancy hotels, digital spaces, and other similar sites.

There have been a growing number of studies published on abject socialities and aesthetics in the fields of affect, feminist, queer/trans, environmental, and disability studies and their intersections with Black, Indigenous, and ethnic studies. Examples include José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentifications (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), Katherine McKittrick’s Demonic Grounds (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), Darieck Scott’s Extravagant Abjection (New York University Press, 2010), Alison Kafer’s Feminist, Queer, Crip (Indiana University Press, 2013), Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s Sex, or the Unbearable (Duke University Press, 2014), Alexander G. Weheliye’s Habeas Viscus (Duke University Press, 2014), Donna J. Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble (Duke University Press, 2016), and C. Riley Snorton’s Black on Both Sides (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). Building on this existing scholarship, we seek submissions that focus specifically on cultural expressions produced in abject spaces within various nation-states both in the Global North and Global South. We are interested in submissions that explore abject spaces shaped by white settler colonial domestic/international policies and multinational corporations. More specifically, submissions should explore how these cultural expressions push against/ embrace/reject the unbearableness of being(s) and offer unknown possibilities of our freedom and creativity as a species.

PAPER TOPICS MIGHT INCLUDE:

  • The unbearable and Black, affect, feminist, queer, and disability studies 
  • Cyborg studies, animal studies, posthumanism, and the concept of “Man-as-human
  • Horror and the unbearable 
  • Speculative/weird/climate fictions and possibilities of being and becoming 
  • The “praxis of being human” in spaces marked by confinement, regulation, and surveillance 
  • Representations of Black, queer, and other marginalized socialities in spaces of exception, such as nightclubs, cruising grounds, hospitals, prisons, and other carceral spaces 
  • Possibilities of joy, pleasure, and resistance in spaces of tumult 
  • Unhomely and unclean spaces and the possibilities of communities, intimacies, and mutual aid 
  • Unbearableness of the settler colonial nation-state
  • Medical racism and homophobia/transphobia 
  • Community building though disability and chronic illness 
  • Radical care practices 
  • Criminalization of unbearable being(s)

We welcome contributions that examine a wide array of literary and popular texts, films, performance, music, and other artistic expressions by and about marginalized “humans” who engage with histories of negative inheritances. Especially encouraged to submit are scholars, artists, creative writers, and activists who themselves experience various forms of marginalization within nation-states in the Global North and Global South.

Submissions Guidelines

Priority Deadline: October 13, 2023

Scholarly articles should be submitted to WSQ.submittable.com. Please send complete articles, not abstracts. Please remove all identifying information from the file uploaded to Submittable. We will give priority consideration to submissions received by October 13, 2023. LGBTQIA+, disabled, Black, Indigenous, and people of color are especially encouraged to submit.

Submissions should not exceed 6,000 words (including un-embedded notes and works cited) and should comply with the formatting guidelines at https://www.feministpress.org/submission-guidelines. For questions, please email the guest issue editors at WSQEditorial@gmail.com.

Poetry submissions related to the issue theme should be submitted to WSQ.submittable.com. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting poems. Please note that poetry submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the poetry editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published.

Fiction, essay, memoir, and translation submissions related to the issue theme between 2,000 and 2,500 words should be submitted to WSQ.submittable.com. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting prose. Please note that prose submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the prose editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published.

Visual art submissions related to the issue theme should be submitted to WSQ.submittable.com. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting artwork. Please note that submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the visual arts editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published.

For all questions related to creative submissions, email the poetry, prose or visual arts editors at WSQEditorial@gmail.com and include your medium (poetry, prose, visual arts, etc.) in the subject line.

ABOUT WSQ: Since 1972, WSQ has been an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of emerging perspectives on women, gender, and sexuality. Its peer-reviewed interdisciplinary thematic issues focus on such topics as Asian DiasporasProtestBeautyPrecarious WorkAt SeaSolidarityQueer MethodsActivismsThe Global and the IntimateTrans-The Sexual Body, and Mother, combining legal, queer, cultural, technological, and historical work to present the most exciting new scholarship, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and visual arts on ideas that engage popular and academic readers alike. Shereen Inayatulla (York College, CUNY) and Andie Silva (York College, CUNY)

ABOUT WSQ: Since 1972, WSQ has been an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of emerging perspectives on women, gender, and sexuality. Its peer-reviewed interdisciplinary thematic issues focus on such topics as Asian Diasporas, Protest, Beauty, Precarious Work, At Sea, Solidarity, Queer Methods, Activisms, The Global and the Intimate, Trans-, The Sexual Body, and Mother, combining legal, queer, cultural, technological, and historical work to present the most exciting new scholarship, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, book reviews, and visual arts on ideas that engage popular and academic readers alike. WSQ is edited by Shereen Inayatulla (York College, CUNY) and Andie Silva (York College, CUNY) and published by the Feminist Press at the City University of New York. Visit http://www.feministpress.org/wsq and http://www.feministpress.org/wsq.


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Citizenship Teaching & Learning Deadline: 31 December 2023

Special Issue: ‘Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education’

Guest Editors:

Vanja Lozic (vanja.lozic@mau.se)

Saila Poulter (saila.poulter@helsinki.fi)

Deadline for online abstract submissions: 31 December 2023

Notification by: 31 January 2023

Article publication: July 2025

View the full call here>>

https://www.intellectbooks.com/citizenship-teaching-learning#call-for-papers

Form for online submission of abstracts

The journal Citizenship, Teaching & Learning is currently accepting papers for their upcoming issue (middle of 2025) titled ‘Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education’. The call for papers aims to showcase how education can encourage social and political action and promote emancipatory leadership in both formal (such as school, college, and higher education) and informal (including community, organisation, family, and peer group) contexts. One of the most significant challenges for any democratic society is to empower young people to become lifelong engaged, active citizens. Numerous youths in Europe are experiencing a setback caused by worldwide challenges such as the climate crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the emergence of populist political movements, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, rising social and economic inequality levels have left young citizens feeling more vulnerable and disconnected. However, they often believe they lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and opportunities to make a meaningful impact on their communities and society. This can lead to decreased participation in active democratic engagement.

The overarching purpose of citizenship education has been typically understood within the context of supporting political socialisation, a process whereby young people learn the political norms, values, and behaviours allied to groups, communities, or nation-states in which they live. It is a cognitive and relational process that informs youth transitions to adult citizenship and is undertaken in a range of formal, informal, and non-formal spaces and places. It highlights that young people experience citizenship during such transitions are influential in both being and becoming a citizen (Gifford, Mycock and Murakami 2013). The fragmented and uneven nature of the political socialisation of young people across Europe means that civic inequality is experienced from childhood, which can impact throughout young people’s adult lives. Contemporary civic socialisation is no longer about conforming to institutional norms, behaviours, and values. It increasingly focuses on supporting and facilitating young people to become creative agents in their civic self-actualisation.

Civic education should offer more than just standard policy programs to encourage young people to engage in active citizenship. This requires rethinking central educational concepts such as subjectification, freedom, empowerment, and emancipation. For instance, Levinas (1991) challenges the idea of a free and rational subject as an ideal for modern education. For civic education to exist in an ethical sense, it is necessary to consider learning and being ‘outside’ dominant and privileged social orders, which Biesta (2014) calls subjectification and as a personal ‘coming into the world’. Therefore, emancipatory education is about how individuals can be(come) subjects in their own right and not just remain objects of the desires and directions of others. Emancipation, in its different forms and definitions, operates with the impact of education on the person and human freedom. For hoping for a change in society, Freire (2018: 39) suggests that personal and societal freedom may be achieved when one stops being ‘afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled’ and ‘to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them’, which can empower to fighting at the side of oppressed. Thus, articulating one’s voice means listening to the voice of others, entering a dialogue and engaging in human responsibility and collective action (Levinas 1991), not a self-centred journey of finding ‘the self’.

Analysing empirically and reflecting philosophically, methodologically, and/or conceptually on emancipation and subjectification at different institutional levels is the starting point of the special issue of an edited volume, ‘Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education’. We invite abstract submissions focusing on empirical, methodological, conceptual, and philosophical analyses of the ways education in general and citizenship education in particular can work towards these normative ideas and goals. We are also looking for contributions that highlight and examine openings, dilemmas, and challenges that educators, civil society (including NGOs) and other agents working with children and youth encounter in their work with these issues.

Exploring these perspectives on citizenship education in formal and informal environments will bring new knowledge about how to approach social and political change, social action, and civic engagement of young people. It is also vital to address criticality educational programmes, which instil certain knowledge, skills, and values without more profound reflection on the meaning of education. Becoming active and reflexive citizens, prepared to critically reflect and act on power asymmetries and oppressive social order and lead their peers in undertaking social action, requires safeguarding the space for individual freedom and involvement. Thus, there is a need to explore how social and physical spaces and local and national contexts, where civic engagement, learning, and participation occur, provide emancipation possibilities. Additionally, we would like to see research that voices individuals and groups marginalised due to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, racialisation, religion, and other processes of othering. Finally, it is of interest to highlight conceivable ways of organising anti-oppressive education and emancipatory educational approaches.

We are inviting abstract submissions focusing on the theme from multi-disciplinary perspectives and in formal and informal emancipatory contexts. We welcome papers examining this theme, including but not limited to:

  • Conceptual and philosophical analysis of the emancipation of young people.
  • Conceptual and empirical analysis of the emancipatory aim of citizenship and civic education.
  • Empirical analysis and practical examples of leadership towards anti-oppressive education, political subjectivity and emancipation, and transformation of social spaces young people dwell in.
  • Explorations of emancipation in formal and informal learning and social contexts.
  • Analysis of the role of educational and other institutions, as well as professionals that are engaged there, in the actualisation of the emancipatory role of education and other. institutions and social spaces young people reside in.
  • Examples and analysis of social action among youth.

We welcome:

  •  Research articles (5,000–8,000 words)
  •  Book reviews and book review essays (up to 3,000 and 6,000 words)

Proposed Timeline:

  • Abstracts/proposals (500 words): 31 December 2023 to the online form
  • Decisions made: 31 January 2024
  • Deadline for submission of papers: 31 August 2024
  • Publications: July 2025

Contact information:

Vanja Lozic, 

Associate professor, Malmo University (Sweden)

lozic @ mau.se

Saila Poulter, 

Senior University Lecturer, University of Helsinki (Finland)

poulter @ helsinki.fi

References:

Biesta, G. (2014), The Beautiful Risk of Education, London: Paradigm Publishers.

Freire, P. (2018), Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York, London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Gifford, C., Mycock, A. and Murakami, J. (2014), ’Becoming citizens in late modernity: A global-national comparison of young people in Japan and the UK’, Citizenship Studies, 18:1, pp. 81–98.

Levinas, E. (1991), Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publisher.–
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Originally published at CULTSTUD-L

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