CFP Pandemonium: A special issue of Women's Studies Quarterly (WSQ) DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2023

Tracey Jean Boisseau's picture
Call for Papers
March 1, 2023
Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies, Human Rights, Contemporary History, World History / Studies






This special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly invites reflection on the status, health, precarity, and promise of the discipline of women’s, gender, sexuality, and feminist studies in light of our current state of pandemonium.

By “pandemonium,” we point not only to those tragedies, inequalities, and disruptions to the university and higher education stemming directly from the Covid-19 pandemic but also to the crisis-roiled political context fomenting a barrage of assaults on feminist studies as a discipline in the United States and elsewhere that have been accelerating for several years prior to the pandemic and have only intensified since its outbreak.

We seek submissions from a diverse group of feminist- studies scholars, researchers, teachers, administrators, practi- tioners, intellectuals, artists, advocates, and leaders, drawing on their research as well as personal experiences, that reveal and analyze the effects of a kaleidoscopic set of conflicts, crises, and pressures affecting their lives, scholarship, work, teach- ing, careers, institutions, and political organizing, particularly those that are a sign of or hold consequences for the health and survival of the discipline of feminist studies as a whole.

The key elements of “pandemonium” we refer to, beyond those most directly pandemic-related, hinge on decades of neoliberal policy making pushing privatization and commercialization of education. Such policies, in the face of genuine economic crises stemming from the pandemic, as well as “natural” disasters and population dislocations caused by warfare and accelerating climate change, have been used to justify the implementation of so-called austerity measures that have hit nontechnical and especially advocacy fields such as feminist studies the hardest. At the same time, concerted right-wing and authoritarian movements have put feminists as well as women, queer, trans and nonbinary folk, immi- grants, refugees, and people of color in their crosshairs. The United States is seeing unprecedented attacks on liberal demo- cratic institutions, escalating “culture wars,” the dismantling of women’s rights and reproductive justice (e.g., the Dobbs decision), as well as increased anti-trans hysteria and anti-intellectual vitriol specifically targeting feminist and anti-racist educators and scholars. Across the globe—in Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Haiti, Hungary, Nicara- gua, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere—emergent anti-feminist, nativist, and white-supremacist political parties as well as established autocratic and authoritarian regimes have instituted blatantly misogynistic, anti-queer, anti-trans, racist, and anti-immi- grant legislation, often accompanied by governmental and extra-governmental policies explicitly intended to marginalize, erase, suppress, or extinguish feminist studies as a legitimate academic discipline and teaching field.

Pandemonium creates space for feminist-studies practi- tioners to consider the tumultuous circumstances we find ourselves in, to document and reflect on recent experiences, and to draw conclusions about the current state—and possible future—of our field. In that spirit, we offer this special issue as a site not only for identifying and assessing existential threats and proliferating crises but also as an opportunity to recognize promising strategies and praxes of resistance that may illuminate new pathways through the pandemonium of our moment, hopefully leading to a stronger future for our discipline.

Submissions should address ways our discipline--its individual practioners and organizational institututions—have been affected by, or have encountered adversity and experienced struggle in the face of:

• The Global Pandemic and a panoply of consequences flowing from it

• Right-wing (white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti- queer/trans, misogynist, etc.) movements

• Right-wing corporate media and social media

• Authoritarianism, illiberalism, and threats democratic institutions

• War, invasion, civil strife, and refugeeism

• Neoliberalism, corporatism, and commercialization

• Climate-change disasters, environmental degradation, and climate-change denial

• Impoverishment and the “austerity” measures and policies arising from the above

We are keenly interested in contributions that document and evaluate the ways that our discipline and its practitioners exer- cise and exhibit resistance, revolutionary praxis, and refusal to the above in the form of:

• Scholarly, pedagogical, and administrative strategizing

• Organizational-, institutional- and alliance-building (both inter- as well as intra-disciplinary)

• Public engagement, political activism, and direct action (both on- and off-campus)

• Escape hatches, off-ramps, and alternative social- cultural protest forms and modalities

We welcome contributions that recognize and share artistic and creative endeavors, performances, and cultural interventions offering insight and inspiration regarding the core themes of this issue. Especially encouraged to submit are women; people of color; Black; Indigenous; gender-variant, LGBTQIA+; disabled people; and those whose work is located outside the United States or who collaborate cross-nationally.


  • Scholarly articles should be submitted to Send complete articles, not abstracts. Remove all identifying authorial information from the file uploaded to Submittable. We will give priority consideration to submissions received by March 1, 2023. Scholarly submissions must not exceed 6,000 words (including un-embedded notes and works cited) and must comply with formatting guidelines at https://www.feministpress. org/submission-guidelines. For questions, email the guest issue editors at

  • Artistic works (whose content relates clearly to the issue theme) such as creative prose (fiction, essay, memoir, and translation submissions between 2,000 and 2,500 words), poetry, and other forms of visual art or documentation of performative artistry should be submitted to Before submitting, please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of creative submissions we prefer. Note that creative submissions may be held for six months or longer. We do not accept work that has been previously published. (Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the editors are notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere.) For questions related to creative prose submissions, email For questions related to poetry submissions, email the WSQ’s poetry editor at WSQpoetry@ For questions regarding other forms of artistic or creative work, email the visual arts editor at WSQvisualart@


Contact Info: 

Tracey Jean Boisseau

Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Purdue University

Contact Email: