CFP: Intimate Archives: Gender, Sexuality, and the Boundaries of the Human (ASAA2022 Conference, Cape Town, April 11-16)

Caio Simões de Araújo's picture
August 30, 2021
South Africa
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Call for Papers ASAA2022 Conference Panel April 11-16, Cape Town

Intimate Archives: Gender, Sexuality, and the Boundaries of the Human

In the last decades, feminist and queer studies have been particularly invested in problematizing the boundaries of “the human” as an universal category. This critical body of work has showed that gender and sexual normativities have been constitutive of “hierarchies of humanness,” by which certain bodies were de-humanized, and deemed as nonhuman, sub-human or in-human. Modern historiography and conventional archives have played a critical role in reifying these processes of de-humanization. Of late, the “archival turn” in scholarship, activism, and the arts has called for a thorough rethinking of the archive as a concept speaking to issues of memory and history; knowledge and authority; violence, justice and redressal. In particular, feminist and queer scholarship and activism have critically engaged existing archives, while also devising alternative practices of archiving and creative strategies of re-imagining the past (and the future). Intervening on this debate, this panel calls for an exploration of the politics of archives, gender, sexuality, and intimacy in the African continent. We are interested in proposals interrogating, pushing, and expanding the boundaries of what gets to be legible and historicized as human in the colonial and postcolonial archive – and, likewise, of what is denied humanity. We invite research on intimacies and desires that transgress these boundaries, not only by unsettling notions of the human but also by actively engaging the nonhuman. Finally, we also invite papers connecting the archival politics of “the past” to queer and feminist contemporary struggles, intellectual debates, or artistic/creative projects about the future.


Dr. Srila Roy (Wits University)

Dr. Caio Simões de Araújo (Wits University)

Dr. Emily Bridger (University of Exeter)

If you would like to submit an abstract of up to 250 words, please follow the instructions on:

Deadline: 30 August 2021

You can find the detailed call for abstracts here: Abstracts_Jul2021.pdf