Signs currently has three open calls for papers:
Signs Special Issue: RAGE
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society invites submissions for a special issue titled “Rage,” slated for publication in the summer of 2021.
Feminists are raging. This special issue will consider our rage as a global, complex phenomenon that mandates interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis. Rage is historical. Rage can be deeply exclusionary, recognizable as a legitimate emotion for only a privileged few. It is an instrument of patriarchy as well as a potential feminist resource. Rage shapes moral claims for racial justice, movements against gender violence, and opposition to the global rise of authoritarian regimes. Rage can do so in ways that both extend and depart from the histories of feminist and queer raging that marked late-twentieth-century radical feminism, global organizing against HIV/AIDS, and against police brutality. Rage is embedded in the fabric of institutions, in public policy, and in conservative rhetoric. It animates white supremacist and patriarchal violence as well as feminist resistance. Women’s rage has historically been medicalized, pathologized, and perceived as antinormative and antisocial. Yet rage also marks transgressive arenas such as black feminist culture, thought, and politics. Black feminist theory has offered critical insights on rage’s eloquence, uses, and violent racialization, while public figures such as Serena Williams force us to grapple with rage as public refusal, as well as a labor resource and commodified affect. This special issue seeks to further explore rage as a conundrum, or double agent, operating both for and against feminism: visceral, transgressive, galvanizing, and socially constructed.
We welcome essays that consider political, social, and cultural understandings of rage. Essays should address rage as a contested framework and concept that shapes structural distributions of power, consolidated and constituted through modern institutions and ideologies. We welcome essays that theorize rage from decolonial, anticolonial, and intersectional feminist perspectives to better understand the lives of women, and subaltern, queer, trans, and nonbinary peoples. Essays should address rage as a central analytical question for feminist theory and practice but may also analyze rage as a dynamic concept, constituted in relation to other affective modes, from sadness, grief, elation, and exhaustion to the long-term effects of these emotional experiences on the body, on marginalized communities, and on the workings of the state. Authors may examine rage in individual narratives or collective experience — from the everyday life of rage in performances of gender, affect, and embodiment to the cultural and political life of rage in social and political movements, to representations of rage in the arts. The special issue will address rage in historical as well as contemporary perspectives, and will highlight the significance of rage across time and diverse geopolitical spaces. We encourage essays from all disciplines and fields, and from different regions around the world, that present a clear and accessible interdisciplinary argument and that speak to a wide audience.
Signs particularly welcomes bold essays that engage the complex dynamics of rage as personal and social, affective, and political, and that consider rage in empirical and theoretical ways. These essays should consider broader affective, political, social, and historical contexts. Signs encourages essays that address large questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We welcome essays that put rage in relation to race, sexuality, class, sexual difference, and power. We seek essays that are forceful, passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks. We are interested in essays that are historical as well as those that engage contemporary situations, texts, performances, representations, and movements. We invite essays that break with academic conventions, as well as those that deploy those conventions creatively. We seek essays that rage, as well as those that offer ways to move our energies forward.
The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2019. Sarah Haley (UCLA), Carla Kaplan (Northeastern), and Durba Mitra (Harvard) will serve as guest editors of the issue. Manuscripts may be submitted electronically through Signs’ Editorial Manager system at http://signs.edmgr.com and must conform to the guidelines for submission available at http://signsjournal.org/for-authors/author-guidelines/. This call for papers is available for download as a PDF here.
The 2021 Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship
The University of Chicago Press and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society are pleased to announce the competition for the 2021 Catharine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship. Named in honor of the founding editor of Signs, the Catharine Stimpson Prize is designed to recognize excellence and innovation in the work of emerging feminist scholars.
The Catharine Stimpson Prize is awarded biennially to the best paper in an international competition. Leading feminist scholars from around the globe will select the winner. The prizewinning paper will be published in Signs, and the author will be provided an honorarium of $1,000. All papers submitted for the Stimpson Prize will be considered for peer review and possible publication in Signs.
Eligibility: Feminist scholars in the early years of their careers (fewer than seven years since receipt of the terminal degree) are invited to submit papers for the Stimpson Prize. This includes current graduate students. Papers may be on any topic that falls under the broad rubric of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship. Submissions must be no longer than 10,000 words (including notes and references) and must conform to the guidelines for Signs contributors (http://signsjournal.org/for-authors/author-guidelines/).
Deadline for Submissions: March 1, 2020.
Please submit papers online at http://signs.edmgr.com. Be sure to indicate submission for consideration for the Catharine Stimpson Prize. The honorarium will be awarded upon publication of the prizewinning article.
Congratulations to Meredith Reiches, winner of the 2019 Catharine Stimpson Prize, for her essay “Reproductive Justice and the History of Prenatal Supplementation: Ethics, Birth Spacing, and Prioritizing Infant Outcomes in The Gambia,” which will appear in the Autumn 2019 issue of Signs.
Signs Special Issue: Rethinking “First Wave” Feminisms
Over the past several decades, scholarship in a variety of disciplines has challenged the “wave” model of feminism. Inspired by the 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, this special issue seeks to rethink “first wave” feminisms in a heterogeneous and expansive way—by pushing geographic, chronological, and ideological boundaries and by broadening the definition of whom we usually think of as early feminists. While contributions on the Nineteenth Amendment in the United States, and the suffrage movement worldwide, are welcome, we also encourage submissions that consider early manifestations of feminism and feminist movements in broad and global terms. Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to submit their work.
The editors invite essays that consider questions along but by no means limited to the following lines:
- How were the era’s signal achievements—the global movement for universal suffrage, international labor legislation for women and children, international human rights, and transnational solidarities around a range of goals—achieved? What compromises were entailed in the legislative accomplishments, and what possibilities did their passage enable? What accomplishments were outside the realm of legislation?
- In our scholarly and popular retellings, what is celebrated, and what is silenced? Are there historical figures, or events that have been written out of the story, and why?
- What were the racial politics of the first manifestations of feminism? How do we understand—in light of the intervening history—the compromises and political exigencies that led to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and similar developments worldwide? How do the exclusions of the era help us recognize the exclusions of our own?
- What were the sexual politics of early feminisms? What role did class- and race-based understandings of respectability play? What role did reproductive rights and justice play?
- What are the feminist implications of the medical history of the era, notably the movement for birth control, underground abortion networks, and early transgender movements?
- What were the class politics of early feminisms, and what role did political economy and labor play in feminist thought and activism?
- How do we understand first-wave feminisms through the frames of the Romantic and modernist turns? How did new literary, visual, and musical representations of women shape (and how were they shaped by) women’s newfound status as public and political actors?
- How do we understand the long history of feminism in terms of coterminous (and overlapping) movements and developments, including but not limited to war, imperialism, revolution, socialism, migration, urbanization, pandemic, progressivism, abolitionism, Reconstruction, segregation, and fascism—and how does this confluence shed light on the present era?
- Can we understand early feminisms as media phenomena shaped by (and shaping) the communications and technological developments of their era, notably the telegraph, radio, and the increasing proliferation of print culture? What key texts (including literary texts) articulated important feminist theories and galvanized activism?
- Finally, how could we understand the initial emergences of feminism and its subsequent history if we rejected the wave metaphor and instead conceive of early feminism—with its limitations and its extraordinary achievements—as a beginning that casts a clear and compelling light on the feminist activism to come?
Signs particularly encourages transdisciplinary and transnational essays that address substantive feminist questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We seek essays that are passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks.
The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2020. The issue will be guest edited by Susan Ware, general editor of the American National Biography and Honorary Women’s Suffrage Centennial Historian at the Schlesinger Library, and Katherine Marino, assistant professor of history at UCLA.
Please submit full manuscripts electronically through Signs’ Editorial Manager system at http://signs.edmgr.com. Manuscripts must conform to the guidelines for submission available at http://signsjournal.org/for-authors/author-guidelines/.
Signs continues to accept submissions for regular submissions on a rolling basis.