Thursday, February 23, 2006

WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly

WSQ plans forthcoming issue on The Sexual Body; Call for submissions:

In the last 30 years, debates about the female body and sex have remained a controversial subject. Most often, this controversy stems from associations between the body, sex, and questions about women's liberation. In the mid-1970s, a turning-point in feminist critiques of the female body and sex emerged within the antipornography movement and its particular critiques of patriarchal sexuality. These activisms against rape and other forms of violence against women seemed to conflate sexuality with violence. This distinction between women's sexual agency and their oppression has so informed discussions about the sexual body that feminist scholarship on the issue confronts a culture that is often inhospitable to critical analyses of sex, of women's sex, in particular. At the same time, new handbooks on female sexuality, masturbation, and lesbian sexuality emerged to affirm "women-centered" sex. Since the "Toward the Politics of Sexuality" conference at Barnard College in 1982, scholars have been questioning the status of sex, pleasure, power, desire, and the body within feminist theory and practice. In this issue
of WSQ, we would like to reexamine the sexual body in history and in action, or more specifically, the material and social practices of sex.

What is sex? How do bodies matter vis-à-vis sex? To ask these questions is to invite strong responses, responses that require reconsiderations of a sexual body linked to a Foucauldian notion of identity, to power, politics, agency, pleasure, danger, reproduction, race, representation, disease, and to geographical location. There are many ways feminists have explored the practice of sex. For instance, the Marxist sense of a praxis determined by labor, the poststructuralist notion of a signifying practice, and the realization of either an essential or constructed desire, return to the material and representational concerns of the body. How has time, or new developments in sex and the body studies, affected the terms and the debates about sex and the body? Have feminists ceded questions of desire and the body to queer theory? Can contemporary feminist scholarship offer innovative arguments about the sexual body in which the political implications are less clear?

WSQ's special issue on the sexual body seeks to explore the various ways in which the female body is central to the social practice of sex. We invite submissions of critical essays, poetry, fiction, and visual images that engage the sexual body within the diversity of feminist cultural analyses.

If submitting academic work, please submit abstracts by April 1, 2006, to guest editors Shelly Eversley at shelly_eversley@baruch.cuny.edu and Jennifer Morgan at jlmorgan@rci.rutgers.edu. Full papers will be due by June 1, 2006.

Poetry submissions should go to WSQ's poetry editor Kathleen Ossip, at ossipk@aol.com by April 15, 2006.

Fiction, essay, and memoir submissions should go to WSQ's Fiction/Nonfiction editor Kamy Wicoff at kwicoff@yahoo.com by April 15, 2006.

All art submissions should be sent on CD or floppy disk in a high-resolution (300 dpi or more) JPEG or TIFF image to both of the following addresses:

Shelly Eversley
Baruch College
Box B7/240
City University of New York
New York, NY 10010

Jennifer Morgan
Rutgers University
FAS - History
16 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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