Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invites submissions for a special issue titled “Displacement,” slated for publication in spring 2018.
The current refugee crisis gives new urgency to questions of gendered displacement. The United Nations’ most recent statistics place the number of registered Syrian refugees at 4.7 million, 50.7 percent of whom are women and over half of whom are children under eighteen. During the same period, tens of thousands of Central American women and children have crossed the Rio Grande into the United States. Feminists have already responded to concerns about sexual violence in refugee camps and during refugees’ journeys and to the gendered response to the crisis on the part of receiving states (i.e., demographic concerns surrounding gender ratios of migrants admitted). What are the larger questions of “displacement” that require an interdisciplinary and transnational feminist lens?
This special issue of Signs seeks submissions reflecting multifaceted, innovative, and interdisciplinary approaches to the question of displacement, as well as the potential for attention to displacement to address and transform central questions in feminist theory, including how feminists approach larger questions of space, place, and subjectivity. Feminist scholars have a long history of engagement with the question of displacement; across disciplines, feminist scholars have described, theorized, and critiqued gendered forms of displacement and how these displacements have shaped and reshaped geopolitics, national borders, political discourses, narrative form, and ethnic and racial formations both contemporarily and historically. Questions of place and belonging have long been at the heart of cultural work in literature, theater, visual culture, and the arts. We invite submissions on the theme of displacement widely conceived and at multiple scales—the subjective, the family, the city; regional, national, transnational, and global. Possible subjects include:
- How humanitarian and state responses to displaced persons depend on, reinforce, or transform gendered, racial, and sexual norms.
- Visual and narrative representations of displacement in relation to gendered and racialized subjectivities.
- Cultural representations of displacement, migration, belonging, and exile. Critical and historical investigations and comparisons of feminist ideas of these subjects.
- Reverberations of historical displacements in the contemporary world.
- Claims to space and place as forms of resistance to displacement or as the basis for social movements (i.e., landless movements, right to the city).
- Dispossession and displacement as central to neoliberalism, capitalist development, colonization, and slavery. How are dispossession and displacement related?
- How experiences of displacement reshape constructions of “home” or the nation.
- Critical assessments of homophobic and gender-based violence as sources of displacement.
- Gendered figurations of internally and externally displaced persons as threats to national sovereignty or borders. The production of new forms of intimacy through displacement or the creation of new social movements through and in response to displacement.
- The way that ethical norms and perspectives ignore or undervalue the importance of gender and gendered perspectives with regard to displacement.
Pieces that critically examine or call into question distinctions between migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons are also welcome.
Signs particularly encourages transdisciplinary and transnational essays that address large questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We welcome essays that make a forceful case for why displacement demands a specific and thoughtfully formulated interdisciplinary feminist analysis and why it demands our attention now. We seek essays that are forceful, passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks.
The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2016. Denise Horn, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Simmons College, and Serena Parekh, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University, will serve as guest editors of the issue.
Manuscripts may be submitted electronically through Signs’ Editorial Manager system at http://signs.edmgr.com and must conform to the guidelines for submission available at http://signsjournal.org/for-authors/author-guidelines/. This call for papers is also available as a PDF.