Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Signs Special Issue: War and Terror: Raced-Gendered Logics and Effects

Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invites submissions for a special issue titled "War and Terror: Raced-Gendered Logics and Effects," slated for publication in Summer 2007.

"In war time, only men matter," claimed Mary Sargent Florence and C.K. Ogden, two British antiwar suffragists during World War I 1. Writing in Jus Suffragii, the newsletter of the International Woman Suffrage Association, they noted that hostility to feminism was a deliberate, sustained, and central project of nations involved in war-making. More recent studies of women and war, as well as feminist studies of war suggest the intensification of deep-seated cultural, racial, and gender stereotypes during war time. Peace is commonly associated with "feminine virtues" and war with regimes of masculinity. Rape in war seems to reinscibe violent subjection as a "normal" facet of racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender relations. The logic of "feminization" appears to structure practices of terror deployed to induce helplessness, dependence, fear, and compliance. As "the enemy" is feminized, the "warrior-hero" mythos reestablishes linkages between citizenship and military service, as well as leadership and presumed male superiority in managing national security, remasculinizing the domestic politics of warring nations.

Although proponents of democratization optimistically predict the elimination of war, the specter of war continues to haunt the global community. Depending on the definition of war, there are between sixty-five and two thousand sustained armed conflicts on-going in the twenty-first century. The once inviolable boundaries of the nationstate have become permeable to terrorism, transnational policing, and international peacekeeping forces, as state and anti-state terror refigure space, hierarchies, and freedoms. Taking on the mantle of the national security state, some liberal democracies have joined their authoritarian counterparts in violating the rule of law.

* How do contemporary armed conflicts and terrorist engagements challenge received views about the dynamics of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and sexuality in violent conflicts?
* Are feminism and feminist scholarship becoming casualties of growing militarism?
* Do feminist analyses of war and terror offer unique insights into these phenomena?


For this special issue, we invite submissions that address the complex dynamics of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in war, war-making, and in the uses of terror against and by states in the prosecution of civil wars, ethnic conflicts, nationalist and imperialist military interventions. We welcome

* innovative analyses of women's involvement in war and terror (as combatants, military and political decision-makers, interrogators of military captives, providers of logistical support, medical personnel, sex workers, hostages, political prisoners, UN peacekeepers and peacebuilders, human rights workers, NGO activists, and activists in resistance to occupying forces);
* the impact of war on women (as direct casualties, as mothers, as war refugees, as victims of sexual violence by militants, combatants, and domestic partners, women's experiences of loss in relation to families, communities, nations);
* factors that contribute to women's support for and resistance against specific wars and terrorist campaigns; particular racial and gendered processes and effects associated with specific kinds of war (civil, ethnic, nationalist, imperialist);
* the gendered and racialized logics and rhetorics of war; the production and reproduction of gender, race, and sexuality in and through war and terror;
* unintended racial and gendered consequences of war and of terrorism; cultural representations and cultural productions of and about race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in war and in terror, historical approaches to these complex questions.

Analyses that encompass transnational and comparative perspectives are particularly welcome.

Please send submissions to Signs between March 1 and July 1, 2006. Guidelines for submission are available at here.

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