Call for proposals for a special issue of The Journal of Lesbian Studies

This special Issue of The Journal of Lesbian Studies celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Monique Wittig’s The Lesbian Body by exploring the ways Wittig’s text continues to resist categorization and the relevance of Wittig’s practices of resistance in our present moment. What might we have yet to learn from Wittig’s linguistic practices, especially in the service of social change? We are seeking innovative approaches to The Lesbian Body that explore elements of the text that remain as yet un- or underexplored and its ongoing relevance and relationship (or not) to Gender, Lesbian, Trans, and/or Queer Studies.

Contributions might reflect on themes and questions including, but not limited to:

Identities and Anthropocentrism: In what ways does Wittig’s text invite readers to dismantle and reassemble identities of all sorts, including the assumption of the human as a normative point of view? How is this process and practice important to current thought and practices? To what end(s)? What does The Lesbian Body say about what it means to be lesbian? What do Gender, Lesbian, Queer, and/or Trans Studies lenses bring to our understanding of the text or the text to Gender, Lesbian, Queer, and/or Trans Studies?

Intertextuality and influences: Intertextual resonances abound in The Lesbian Body; everything seems fodder for Wittig’s material practice of “despoil[ing] the word of its everyday meaning.” How did the work of others influence Wittig’s practice? How has Wittig’s practice influenced the practices of others?
Reception: What new insights do we have on how The Lesbian Body was received in 1973 and the shifts in interpretation over time then and now? Internationally?

Formal elements: To what effect does Wittig make use of elements such as hyperbole, imprecation, enumeration, litotes, parataxis, etc.? And what of the experimentation with pronouns, particularly as it is translated across various languages?

Humor: How does Wittig make use of different forms of humor, sarcasm, or irony in this text and to what effect?

Passions: What is the nature of desire in this text and what is its relationship to violence and reappropriation? How might this relate to “despoil[ing] the word of its everyday meaning.”

Embodiment: How is embodiment characterized? What might be the relationship of embodiment as “​​improvisational, intersubjective, and intercorporeal” to the dismantling and reassemblage of identities and meaning?

We welcome essays of up to 5,500 words from any disciplinary perspective. We also encourage submissions of short, public-facing, and/or experimental articles, as well as visual art and poetry.

Proposals Due: April 1
Submit your 250-500 word proposal and a short bio here

Submissions Due:  July 15

Editor: Jules Balén (In consultation with Sande Zeig and Namascar Shaktini)

The event is finished.


Apr 01 2023


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