CfP – Special Issue of ‘Gender & History’: Historicizing Gender and Sexuality

Call for Abstracts: Special Issue of Gender & HistoryHistoricizing Gender and Sexuality

Issue editors:
Kevin P. Murphy, Dept. of History, University of Minnesota
Jennifer Spear, Dept. of History, Simon Fraser University

In the influential 1984 essay, “Thinking Sex: Notes Toward a Radical Theory on the Politics of Sexuality,” Gayle Rubin asserted that, “although sex and gender are related, they are not the same thing, and they form the basis of two distinct forms of social practice.” Building on this insight, and challenging the tendency of feminist theory to treat sexuality as derivative of gender, Rubin declared it “essential to separate gender and sexuality analytically to reflect more accurately their separate social existence.”

Over the past two decades, historians across period and region have, by and large, taken up the call of Rubin and her interlocutors to produce delineated analyses of “sexuality” and “gender.” Yet, these efforts have produced anything but a stable and coherent sense of how “sexuality” and “gender” have functioned throughout human history. Indeed, many scholars – especially those focusing on the pre-modern and non-western world – have productively questioned the conceptualization of and distinction between these categories, demonstrating that sexual desires and practices have intersected with gendered identities and norms in complicated, sometimes inextricable ways. Some scholars have suggested, in particular, that “sexuality” as a category of identity and technology of governance applies only to the modern West.

This special issue of _Gender & History_ examines the historical relationship between sexuality and gender writ large. We solicit work that explicitly examines the possibilities and limitations of these categories for analyzing the past. We especially encourage comparative analysis, scholarship that focuses on the nonwestern world, and work that contributes to the theorization of these categories and their relationship to one another.

We invite contributors to explore the following topics, among other possibilities, and we encourage submissions in non-traditional formats.

*The historical configuration of “gender” and “sexuality” in different global regions (including, but not limited to, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America)

*Historical shifts in the relationship between categories of gender and sexuality

*Histories of third-sex, transgender, and transsexual subjectivities and politics

*Historical experiences of “sexuality” for men, women, and those occupying other gender categories

*Intersections of racial formations and ideologies with categories of gender and sexuality

*The politics of sexuality and gender in relation to histories of colonialism and empire

*The reception and contestation of Western concepts of gender and sexuality throughout the world

*The political economy of sexuality and gender across space and time

*Gendered histories of same-sex practices, identities, and politics

*Histories of the production of knowledge about gender and sexuality

*Religious constructions of gender and sexual norms

*Gender and sexuality in relation to governmental and political discourse

*The association and disassociation of gender and sexuality with reproduction

Procedures for submission of articles:
By January 15, 2009, please submit a 1-2 page abstract as an attachment to, with “Issue 22:3 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. (Abstracts must be in English. However, limited funds for the translation of articles written in other languages may be available.) By February 20, 2009, authors will be notified of whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for complete articles is June 15, 2009. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in _Gender & History_ issue 22:3, scheduled to appear in November 2010.


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