TRANSNATIONAL FEMINIST MOVEMENTS IN HISTORY. CONVERGENCES, INTERSECTIONS, AND TENSIONS (Special Issue of "Contemporanea")

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Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
July 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, World History / Studies

«What is feminism? Who is a feminist? How do we understand feminism across national boundaries? Across cultures? Across centuries? ». The questions raised by Karen Offen in 1988 are as ever relevant today. They reflect a keen awareness that feminist thinking and practices – as well as its subjects – have mutated over time. While we are witnessing a revival of conservative agendas – supported by “anti-gender”, “pro-life”, neo-traditionalist or male anti-feminist movements – that seek to control reproductive bodies, criminalise abortion and defend the patriarchal family, the feminist landscape is increasingly dynamic and expanding. Over the past fifty years, black, queer or disabled feminists, for instance, have transformed women’s activism, at the same time, contributing to the enduring contemporary importance of feminist politics across the world. The breadth and diversity of feminist’s issues have also developed significantly: a wide variety of groups and movements are fighting for reproductive rights and against sexual violence, racism and homophobic culture. These experiences often involve several generations of activists, the adoption of intersectional perspectives, the use of a diverse set of platforms and means of struggle and, not least, the establishment of flexible transnational networks.

This national and international sharing of political practices and theoretical approaches has not resulted in a homogeneous movement, quite the opposite. One manifestation of this variegated and complex landscape is the common practice of adding adjectives to clarify different feminist positions: “intersectional”, “trans”, “environmentalist”, “anti-racist”, “anti-capitalist”, “liberal”, “Islamic” and so on. The need to qualify the various experiences in such specific ways denotes a fundamental characteristic of our present: i.e., the coexistence of different positions, often in tension with each other and inhabiting different spaces, yet identifying with the same movement. The most divisive issues within the feminist spectrum very often relate to reproduction and sexuality. One can think of debates on “surrogate pregnancies”, the issue of linguistic sexism, today increasingly focused on the inclusiveness (or not) of non-binary identities; or controversies around the notion of “sex work”.

These debates and its bearers in the movement landscape are rarely restricted to a single national space. Rather, they are appropriated and (re)formulated within a fundamentally transnational arena of intervention where feminism intertwines with other socio-political instances. This has historically been the case even if the terrain has shifted from the “imagined community” of global womanhood in the nineteenth century to social media platforms nowadays. Nevertheless, the transnational linkages of feminist movements - whether in the form of convergences and alliances, attempts at intersection or even tensions and antagonistic relationships - have still received little attention from historians. While aware of the broader stakes of feminist subjects, these have often framed historical research within national boundaries.

In light of this constellation, «Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell’800 e del ‘900», one of the leading Italian journals of contemporary history, is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue on the history of feminisms: Transnational Feminist Movements in History: Convergences, Intersections and Tensions. The aim is to shed light on how transnational and transgenerational coalitions, alliances and networks (or, otherwise, the divergences and differences between different feminist actors), have impacted their trajectories and the definition of feminism itself across time and space, since the late nineteenth century until the most recent anti-globalisation movement(s), according to different national, political and historical contexts.

The call is directed at worldwide authors who are currently engaged in historical research on feminism in its various guises across the globe from the nineteenth century to contemporary times, and who approach women’s and gender history from a transnational perspective. The selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal aiming to reflect not only the wide variety of feminist movements and feminist activisms globally, but especially their interconnections and exchanges. Studies of the interactions between feminist movements and other socio-political actors and political instances are also welcome.

Lines of investigation and key questions include (but are not limited to):

  • The relationship between domestic and global feminist struggles (for instance, how external agendas have shaped national movements, their methods and aims in various parts of the world).
  • Dynamics of convergence and divergence within transnational experiences (for instance, translation, circulations and adaptation of practices, theories, writings, symbols across borders).
  • The impact of non-western feminist activisms on global struggles and debates, and vice versa.
  • Connections and convergences between feminism and other socio-political actors (for instance, environmentalism; pacifism; socialism; LGBTQI movements; nationalist movements; neoliberal politics).
  • The articulation of feminism and anti-racist/anti-colonial/self-determination struggles (for instance the evolution of Third-World Feminist Internationalism).

 

Abstract submission deadline has been postponed: The editors have decided to postpone the abstract submission deadline. The deadline has been extended until 1 July 2022. 

The proposals (600 words maximum) accompanied by a brief CV should be sent by 1 July 2022 to the editors Paola Stelliferi (paola.stelliferi@uniroma3.it) and Victor Strazzeri (victor.strazzeri@unibe.ch) along with a CC to the editorial secretary (contemporanea@mulino.it).

Responses will be announced via e-mail by 15 July 2022

The selected essays must be submitted in their final form by 31 January 2023.

All manuscripts will be refereed through a peer-review process (double blind). The special issue will be published by Autumn 2023. Please note that all manuscripts should be submitted in English.

 

Contact Info: 

«Contemporanea» presents the results of original and innovative research carried out by Italian and international scholars on political, social and cultural issues of Italian, European and international history from the late XVIII century to the present.

The proposals (600 words maximum) accompanied by a brief CV should be sent by 1 July 2022 to the editors Paola Stelliferi (paola.stelliferi@uniroma3.it) and Victor Strazzeri (victor.strazzeri@unibe.ch) along with a CC to the editorial secretary (contemporanea@mulino.it).