CALL FOR PAPERS
“Critical Feminist Exits, Re-Routings, and Institutional Betrayals in Academia”
a Special Issue of Feminist Formations
Full papers due February 15, 2018
Edited by Marta Maria Maldonado and Katja M. Guenther
While universities often identify diversity as an important concern and goal, the neo-liberalization of academic contexts has in many ways fostered the entrenchment and rearticulation of hegemonic racial and gendered ideologies and practices. As a result, critical scholars often face institutional environments that are hostile and/or unresponsive to their concerns and perspectives, and broadly speaking, to issues critical to women, LGBITQ people, people of color, and other marginalized groups. Scholars who experience discrimination, bullying, harassment, and/or hostile work environments may find themselves relocated, either by “choice” or as an outcome of administrative processes.
This special issue focuses on the politics of the movement of critical feminist scholars—those who routinely challenge racialized, gendered, ableist, heteronormative or homophobic, and/or first-worldist scripts within their fields or departments, through their embodied presence and their substantive work. We invite manuscripts that map out and examine scholars’ movements within, across, and out of academic institutions. Of interest also are analyses of how administrators and academic institutions initiate, negotiate, and/or respond to moves and exits by critical scholars. We seek thoughtful examination of institutional failures to support critical feminist scholars, analysis of the consequences of such failures, as well as discussion of administrative responses that embrace and support critical feminist scholars and their work, as a way to identify transformative possibilities.
The fact that critical feminist scholars move within, across (and sometimes out of) academic institutions is not new. It is also not unique, as scholars whose work is not particularly feminist or critical move and exit academic units and institutions routinely. The premise that motivates this special issue, however, is that there are particular institutional and structural constraints and conditions which impel the moves and exits of critical scholars, especially of those who occupy marginalized social locations through their embodiment of non-dominant ethnoracial and gendered characteristics, identities, and histories. Also, the consequences of moves and exits are likely to be different for critical scholars from marginalized social locations than for “mainstream” scholars occupying dominant social locations. For example, given dominant ideologies of gender, sexuality, and race in academic contexts, the actions and rationales of scholars from marginalized social locations are likely to be coded or interpreted negatively, and even dismissed, with repercussions for the racialized and gendered academic enterprise of knowledge production.
The Guest Editors encourage submission of manuscripts that sustain and advance critical, systemic reflection on and analysis of the following (and related) questions:
- What factors drive the exit/movement of critical feminist scholars from one department/unit/institution to another? What kinds of marginalization and epistemic and/or political friction prompt such moves?
- Are there disciplinary/academic sites that routinely expunge critical feminist scholars or fail to stop them from leaving? What are the various types of receiving sites?
- What kinds of issues within “critical academic units” like Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or Ethnic Studies cause critical feminist scholars to leave them? What role do differing understandings of equity and social justice play in such moves?
- To what extent are several types of moves understood as voluntary or as a matter of “personal choice?” Who gets to make choices, and under which constraints?
- What is revealed when we shift focus from individual to collective exits and moves? To what extent can we think of critical feminist exoduses, or even exiles? What does it mean to consider those who have not necessarily chosen to exit particular contexts, but who have been effectively banished, displaced, removed, dispossessed, disappeared, or exiled from particular spaces, or from the academy more broadly? Who replaces those who leave (or are forced to leave)?
- What are the implications of the exits of critical feminist scholars for feminist practice and institutional transformation?
- How do critical feminist scholars negotiate exits in different type of institutions (e.g., research university, 4-year teaching college, community college, research institute, etc.)?
- Are opportunities and limitations for critical feminist scholars similar across national contexts? Do administrative responses vary across nations? What propels some critical feminist scholars outside of academia altogether?
- How does the movement of critical feminist scholars vary across career levels (grad students, ladder- rank, contingent faculty) and what are the implications at different levels?
- How are exits and re-routings managed, justified, and understood/explained by the scholar who moves, the sending unit, the receiving unit, and by administrators?
- What happens after a move? How do relocated faculty discover and negotiate the constraints that unfold as they confront sexist/ableist/racist/settler/class/sexuality hegemonies within the receiving department?
- What are the (positive or negative) consequences of critical exits for individual faculty, departments, campuses (including students), and disciplines? Do such exits influence how interdisciplinarity is understood and valued? How does the social location of the exiting scholar shape the consequences of moving?
- What lessons accrue for universities and administrators who care about equity, inclusion, diverse knowledges, social justice? What types of interventions are effective at addressing the negative drivers and consequences of critical academic migrations? What does a critical feminist agenda regarding such movements look like?
We welcome submissions from scholars across disciplines, as well as analyses that draw on personal experience with critical feminist exits.
Please see https://www.feministformations.org/submit/calls-for-papers for details and link to the submission system.