CfA – Special Issue of the Journal of Women’s History on Postwar Transnational Feminisms

Call for Special Issue:  “Human Rights, Global Congresses, and the Making
of Postwar Transnational Feminisms”

Edited by Jean H. Quataert and Benita Roth

For a special issue on “Human Rights, Global Congresses, and the Making of
Postwar Transnational Feminisms,” co-edited by Jean Quataert and Benita
Roth, we invite authors to submit articles that address the historical
dimensions of the intersection between human rights and transnational
feminist organizing. We are particularly interested in pieces that explore
the following question:

“How did United Nations-sponsored World Conferences for women (beginning in 1975)   and meetings of feminists at
similarly large-scale congresses – for example at the World Social Forums beginning in 2001 – transform the landscape for transnational feminism in the post-World War II era?”

Of particular interest to the editors are assessments of the tensions between universality and particularity in the
making and sustaining of transnational feminist networks.  We invite papers that trace centrifugal effects from the meetings outward to local organizing, or recursive effects from organizing on the local level feeding back into the large-scale congresses.   Did the large global conferences impact relationships between feminist organizations and other non-governmental organizations?  Did they transform the meaning of feminist organizing on the ground?  Did these gatherings structure or restructure relationships between feminists and governmental entities? How did they shape relationships among feminists from different geographic and social locations? Were there specific feminist and women’s issues that the meetings served to highlight or, conversely, that they repressed?

As this broad call for articles for the special issue lends itself to feminist theoretical examinations of law, universalism, and possibilities for cross-cultural advocacy in their historical and social specificities, authors should confront relevant theories about feminist practices in the last half-century, particularly those that address the intersection of
gender with class, ethnic, and racial identities. Authors should also place their analysis in its specific historical and social contexts. We encourage submissions from academics, activists, and meeting attenders.

The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2011. Submissions will be part of the regular review process employed by JWH.  Please submit papers to both Jean Quataert ( and Benita Roth
( The special issue is slated to appear in September 2012, issue 24, 2.