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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Lesbian Studies

For a Special Issue on
Chicana Lesbians: Re-Engaging the Iconic Text “The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About”

Abstract deadline
15 March 2022

Manuscript deadline
15 June 2022

Cover image - Journal of Lesbian Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Stacy I. Macias, California State University, Long Beach
[email protected]

Liliana C. González, California State University, Northridge
[email protected]

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Chicana Lesbians: Re-Engaging the Iconic Text “The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About”

Historical Overview & Context

In 1991, Carla Trujillo published the anthology, Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About at Third Woman Press. With its provocative subtitle and controversial initial cover art “La Ofrenda” by Ester Hernández featuring a hand offering a red rose to a Virgen de Guadalupe image tattooed on the bare back of a masculine-presenting woman, Chicana Lesbians marked an unabashed claim to a racialized sexual identity and politics captured in its range of inspired essays, poems, and reflections. Moreover, Chicana Lesbians sent “shock waves” across lesbian and Chicano/a communities– and just as the anthology’s editor, Trujillo, intended. Breaking through racist heteropatriarchal barriers, the anthology altered the very foundations of Chicana/o Studies, Chicana and Latina feminisms, LGBT studies, and other related fields of thought, catapulting them into more complex engagements with the overlaps among sexuality, gender, class, race, nationality, and ethnicity. Building on the work of Chicana and Latina lesbians (Compañeras: Latina Lesbians Edited by Juanita Ramos, 1989), Trujillo’s anthology has reverberated with generations of artists, activists, and scholars and ignited conversations on the significance and complex underpinnings of Chicana lesbian existence. The first text devoted exclusively to exploring “The Life,” “The Desire,” “The Color,” and “The Struggle” of Chicana lesbians, the anthology cemented Chicana lesbians as skilled producers of creative and critical knowledge as much as subjects of lesbian desire and political struggle.

This special issue both celebrates the 30-year anniversary of its publication and explores its ongoing relevance in light of the emergence and establishment of comparative ethnic studies, women of color feminist thought, and queer and trans politics as robust sites of inquiry and activism. In particular, this issue invites contributors to consider the intertextual, transhistorical, and geographic border breaking conversations that the anthology catalyzed in relation to cultural politics, pleasure, bodies, being, and community.

Possible themes and inquiries to address:

  • Historical Recognition & Contemporary Potential: In what ways has the anthology Chicana Lesbians served as a poignant reminder of the diverse existence and ongoing significance of Chicana lesbians in relation to feminism, cultural politics, and sexual cultures of desire?
  • Methodological Approaches/Reading Practices: How has Chicana Lesbians functioned to produce racialized lesbian sexualities as a subversive historical subject, a cultural field, an affective relation, and/or a mode of analysis?
  • Arcs of Engagement: What are the ways in which the original contributions of Chicana Lesbians continue to matter or not to contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality expressions, femme/butch dynamics, erotic desire, loss, healing, spirituality, motherhood, kinship, and racial politics?
  • Genealogies of minoritized lesbians: What genealogical work does Chicana Lesbians chart and inspire? As an essential artifact, what official, submerged, affective, and/or forbidden archives of knowledge has Chicana Lesbians exposed, interrogated, and contemplated? Then? Now?
  • Enfleshed theorizing, Desire, & Pleasure: What can be said about Chicana lesbians as an embodied mode of theory that nuances both queer and lesbian thought and lives, and Chicana feminist thought and lives? How does the text’s attention to sexual desire and the erotic reorient current lesbian and queer theorizing?
  • Pedagogical Tool: How did Chicana Lesbians enable diverse generations to imagine, foreclose, and/or create work, lives, and futures differently or anew? What lessons from this text can we incorporate and apply to our current undertakings?
  • Trans and Queer Affect: How can Chicana Lesbians find traction within trans and queer studies of affect?
  • World-building Practices: What does Chicana Lesbians teach us about solidarity, community building, and world-making with other women, feminists, and lesbians of color in U. S. and transnational contexts?

Submission Instructions

We welcome essays from any disciplinary perspective, of up to 5,500 words. We also encourage submissions of short, public-facing, and/or experimental articles, as well as visual art and poetry. Please send your 250-500 word proposal to Stacy I. Macias ([email protected]) and Liliana C. González ([email protected]) by March 15, 2022 and full manuscripts are due by June 15, 2022.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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