Call for Papers
Re-Queering the Nation: America’s Queer Crisis
Special Issue of the European Journal of American Studies – Vol. 11, No. 3, 2016
LGBTQ social, cultural, and political issues have become a defining feature of twenty-first century American life, transforming on a national, international and transnational scale a number of institutions. With this special issue of the European Journal of American Studies we will stage a timely and much-needed conversation between American Studies and Queer Studies, in order to address America’s rapidly changing position in relation to LGBTQ issues.
Silenced, hidden, censored, hinted, claimed, or celebrated, queer dynamics have always been an integral part of American culture and history. Much has changed particularly in this still young twenty-first century: films and television shows now feature openly gay characters and themes, which are celebrated by mainstream audiences and achieve both commercial success and win major industry awards; same-sex marriage has emerged as the most important civil rights cause for powerful organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign; the end of the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy now allows gay men and women to serve openly; urban campaigners and civic promoters encourage business districts directed to LGBTQ communities as a means for achieving visibility and equality; and multibillion-dollar markets targeting LGBTQ tourists are rapidly increasing.
For many, such expressions of LGBTQ identity in the public sphere provide evidence of visibility, equality, and true social and political progress. Yet in the past decade, more radical activists and scholars have addressed such changes not as progressive signs of equality and liberation, but as responses directly linked to an authoritative and dominant brand of neoliberal politics. Lisa Duggan, for example, has identified these developments as evidence of ‘the new homonormativity […] a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions and institutions but upholds and sustains them’ (2012: 50). Following this rationale, established LGBTQ organizations increasingly embrace agendas that compete for acceptance within contemporary economic and political systems, thus abandoning earlier commitments to protecting sexual freedoms, such as those who challenge serial monogamy and those – including bisexual, pansexual, transgender, intersex constituencies – who feel subjugated by a binary gender or sex system.
In order to address these opposing positions in relation to America’s current LGBT dynamics, for this special issue, we will invite scholars and practitioners to examine the place, role, use, and power of queer expressions and dynamics in the face of a rapidly changing twenty-first century America. Our goal with this special issue is to bring together practitioners and scholars involved in a variety of creative and academic fields to examine contemporary cultural, political and social particularities and differences of queer America, to present new analytical frameworks for talking about LGBTQ culture and history that expand and challenge current models of identity and community formation, and to propose models of political and cultural resistance in America. Through this issue, we will thus offer examinations and re-examinations of queer American pasts and presents, which will simultaneously point to America’s queer future.
Topics to be dealt with include:
– Heteronormativities and homonormativities;
– Queer expressions of racial and ethnic formations;
– Queer visibility/invisibility;
– Politics of marriage and procreation in relation to queer dynamics;
– Law, corporate policy, privatization, government policy, social provision, and/or cultural production (literature, film, music, theatre, etc.) and queer politics;
– Queer immigrant expressions;
– Urban models of ‘gay gentrification’;
– Queer places, spaces and temporalities;
– Contemporary configurations of LGBTQ public/private identities;
– LGBTQ markets and consumption;
– AIDS activism and queer politics;
– Politics of sexuality in transnational frameworks;
– Cultural hegemonies and queer politics;
– LGBTQ globalization;
– Queer migrations and diaspora;
– Homonormativity and queer resistance.
These suggestions are meant to indicate the general scope of this special issue, and should not be taken as describing the limit of our interests.
To be considered for this special issue, an initial contribution proposal (300-500 words) should be submitted electronically as an attachment to the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 of November 2015. Contributors will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by 30 of November 2015. Finished manuscripts will have to be handed in by 30 April 2016. Essays solicited from proposals will be submitted to peer-review.