Add your Insight
15 December 2020
Is Lesbian Identity Obsolete?
Is lesbian identity obsolete? We pose this provocation in order to think through what has changed and not changed about lesbian identities and their articulations in the face of recent developments—from the rise of transphobia in the name of feminism to increased income inequality and gentrification and the accompanying loss of community spaces. If lesbianism is (arguably) unique as a constellation of erotic, political, and social energies, how do changes in the latter categories challenge, destabilize, morph, reshape, and/or solidify lesbian identities and their meanings? We seek a wide-ranging set of contributions from multiple disciplines and are hoping to represent a diversity of perspectives. The editors are committed to transgender inclusion and centering the voices of nonwhite and non-U.S. thinkers. We also welcome considerations of this question from multiple historical perspectives.
Possible topics for submissions include but are not limited to:
- How has the political meaning and utility of lesbian identities changed over time and in response to cultural and political shifts?
- How does the increased visibility of gender identities including but not limited to nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, and transgender expand lesbian identities?
- How does the emergence of identity categories such as pansexual, asexual, demisexual, kink, and polysexual shift or support lesbian identities?
- What are the current possibilities for trans-inclusive articulations of lesbian identities? How should progressive activists respond to so-called “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”?
- How have disability activists rearticulated the relationship between dis/ability and sexuality? How have lesbian legacies of care been revisited—or ignored—in comparisons of the current pandemic to the AIDS crisis?
- How does Black lesbian thought influence current movements? For example, how has the work of Audre Lorde and the Combahee River Collective informed Black Lives Matter and police abolition movements?
- How do intersectional theory and research as well as decolonial approaches apply to, problematize, or confirm lesbian identities? How have Indigenous thinkers challenged settler-centric visions of lesbianism?
- How do research and theories from the Global South and the non-Western world challenge narrow Eurowestern understandings of lesbianism?
- How do technological innovations (social media, dating apps, pornography sites) change or bolster lesbian desire, attraction, and identification?
- How do processes of income inequalities, gentrification, and urban displacement of poor and working-class people, as well as the closing of lesbian bookstores, cafés, and bars, impact lesbian communities and identities?
We are interested in including short, public-facing, and/or experimental articles, as well as visual art, in addition to more traditional academic articles (e.g. empirical) of up to 5,500 words.
Looking to Publish your Research?
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Please send your 250-500 word proposal to Ella Ben Hagai ([email protected]) and Nicole Seymour ([email protected]) by August 15, 2020. Contributors will be notified of the status of their proposal by September 1, 2020, and full manuscripts will be due by December 15, 2020.
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