Call for Papers on Sexualities, Language, and International Politics

Mainstream activism engaging with the politics of gender and sexual-identity tends more often than not to be labelled LGBT, homosexual, gay or queer activism. This implies a degree of universalism. Of course, these terms have gone a long way in promoting the rights of individuals, and the remarkable achievements of such movements have been ground-breaking. Yet, these terms also limit one’s understanding of identities by restricting the categories, often working along a binary logic. Those labels, it is important to remember, correspond to a particular understanding of gender and sexuality. While the etymologies of ‘LGBT’, ‘homosexual’, ‘queer’, and related terms, are complex and unique, the contemporary promotion of these words and their usage on a global scale have primarily grown out of the Anglosphere – and more specifically the Anglo-American context. We seek papers that problematise this lineage and examine its complex effects in international politics.

Commissioned papers from this call will be included in an open access book, published by E-International Relations and edited by Caroline Cottet and Manuela Picq. It will be supplied free online via e-book and web versions, and also sold in paperback in book stores worldwide. The purpose of this book is to explore how the language of sexuality intertwines with modernity to think IR. Proposed topics can:

  • Take a linguistic approach, to explore the historical development of the English language, its impact outside of the Anglosphere, and most particularly its influence in the area of gender and sexuality studies and activism. This can also include the multiplicity of ‘Englishes’, or language choice in multilingual societies.
  • Explore any terms, languages and places (outside of the Anglosphere) that can help us think differently about gender and sexuality. Terms that are not widely covered in existing publication will be prioritised.
  • Look at the concrete consequences for international relations. For example via the politics of translation, IPE and the funding of activism for gender and sexuality politics, transitional justice and the choice of gender and sexuality categories, hate and criminalisation of gender and sexuality identities deemed “Western imports”.

We do not seek to be overly prescriptive, and look forward to authors taking advantage of this invitation to shape interesting chapters as they see fit, including on areas not listed above. That being said, we place a premium on contributions that use real world examples, and we expect this to be reflected in abstracts (see below). For this reason, we welcome the participation of theorists, practitioners, and activists. More importantly, writing in an E-International Relations book requires that you adhere to our editorial mission statement, which is to provide cutting edge scholarship in a way that preferences brevity and accessibility. Authors who are native to the languages and places that they wish to write about will be advantaged.

Abstracts

We welcome abstracts of around 350 words sent via email to Caroline Cottet at cjh.cottet@gmail.com by 20 June, using the subject line ‘Edited Collection’. You may also address any questions to this address.

Your abstract should indicate, concisely, (1) the exact topic you would like to contribute on and (2) how you would use real world examples – where relevant – to illustrate your major points. Please also send us a brief author biography via an attached CV and/or a link to your academic webpage.

The guide length of commissioned chapters in final form will be between 3000 and 4000 words so we will expect that you factor this length into your abstract/planning. Alternative formats and lengths are also possible, as this book seeks to embody the variety and creativity it argues for. And, please remember how much we value the use of real world examples and accessible language. The absence of those in your abstract will likely lead to us not accepting it. Acceptance decisions will be made within four weeks after the submission deadline, after which we will contact all applicants with our response.

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