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Gendered Modernities in Motion – Call for papers

Gendered Modernities in Motion. Literary and Cultural Interrogations of Gender and Sexuality in a Time of More Pronounced Transnational Dialogue

Special themed number of the Journal of Literary Studies

Call for contributions

You are kindly invited to submit your articles for a special themed number of the Journal of Literary Studies edited by Andries Visagie (University of Stellenbosch) and Martina Vitackova (University of Pretoria).

Gender and sexuality are often the terrains where conceptions of personhood are contested as societies evolve towards variegated responses to modernity. Fresh perspectives on gender and sexuality are needed for a more comprehensive picture of modernities that in contemporary culture are not only in constant motion but also thoroughly fluid. Today the view of a singular modernity is countered by a view that the will to autonomy and mastery associated with modernity is, in fact, much more multidimensional in different parts of the world and at different points in time, and the insertion of gender and/or sexuality into new understandings of modernity becomes the critical site for comparison.

The increased mobility brought about by technological innovation and the rapid exchange of ideas across the globe lead to the development of new gendered subjectivities, or, conversely, the entrenchment of older conceptions of gender and sexuality. The question is how literary and cultural production are contributing to contemporary thinking about modernity, and, in particular, how gender in literature and culture is giving shape to a modernity (or, indeed, modernities) that can no longer be limited to a singular trajectory rooted in European thought. Instead, contemporary phenomena associated with modernity (e.g. migration, new relations between species and the growing importance of cities) are producing a variety of vernaculars characterised both by hybrids and new zones of signification with pretensions to purity. The conference on “Gendered modernities in motion” invites critical responses from scholars interested in gender, sexuality and queer studies to unpack modernity as it is evolving in different parts of the world.

Some of the questions related to literature and culture that we aim to address include but are not limited to:

  • In what ways is modernity an ongoing phenomenon that conditions/interrogates intersections between race, class, gender and non-human animals?
  • How do literature and cultural practice in postcolonial societies and the global South deal with same sex desire in a modernizing world where long established traditions are brought into contact with new queer and other gendered identities?
  • How does migration to the more privileged North bring about new responses to variously configured gendered identities, including same sex practices?
  • To what extent do rituals of affiliation articulate with gendered practices in a modernising world?
  • What is the role of religion, belief and tradition in the formation of modern gendered identities?
  • To what extent have gendered urban geographies become the sites where modernities evolve?
  • How do gendered modernities articulate with the function of institutions, access to rights and citizenship?
  • What is the impact of hybridity on the evolving trajectories of gendered modernities in the North and the South?

Complete articles should be submitted electronically to genderedmodernities2015@gmail.com not later than 31st October. For Instructions for Authors and more information on the journal see: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=rjls20#.VcH1C_ntjjU

We are looking forward to your contributions!

With kind regards,

Andries Visagie and Martina Vitackova