CfA – Revising Gender and Sexuality as Signs in French History

Revising Gender and Sexuality as Signs in French History.

The idea of the volume is to collate a set of papers on gender and
sexuality in their use as metaphors or signs for nation, republic,
enemies, traitors, ideologies, power, heresy or other forms of
political cause or identity across the long history of France, and to
frame this collection as a new attempt to understand why such a strong
pattern of this kind of metaphoric usage has recurred across a long
history. Papers will particularly focus on the instrumentalisation of
gender and sexuality in politics of various kinds – the
‘sexualisation’ and ‘engendering’ of political phenomena, rather than
the history of gender and sexuality in and of themselves. Part of the
purpose of the volume will be to stake out the territory of this
approach so as to draw attention to its particular epistemological
value. It is designed to help to avoid some of the misunderstandings
that sometimes occur when those of us who work in this way are
criticised for over-emphasising the representational over the real, or
the cultural over the social, as happens particularly when
representational approaches lack consideration of other contextual
dimensions.  At the same time it may provide both a point of departure
and point of debate for others writing on the use of sex and gender as
signs in other cultures and from other disciplinary perspectives such
as critical theories of race, postcolonial studies, literary studies,
queer theory and cultural studies, by showing how an historicist
approach to this question can operate across a long time frame.

The volume was designed to follow from the special theme day, Revising
Gender and Sexuality in Nation, Race and Identity at the recent George
Rudé Seminar in French History at the University of Queensland,
This day was a great success and the volume already promises to
include some excellent papers by some of the leading gender and
sexuality historians of France. The theme day was, from the beginning,
designed to address a set of questions that would result in an edited
collection with a coherence not usually expected from the publication
of conference papers. In advertising the theme day we received
unsolicited expressions of interest from 2 different publishers. So
there is good reason to believe  that the volume will find a home
without too much difficulty.

Interested parties, either publishers or contributors, should contact
Alison Moore at rudéxiv[at]

Papers should be between 5000-7000 words.
Deadline for Abstracts: September 15th 2008
Deadline for Papers: November 1st 2008


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