Special Issue "Possibilities and Paradoxes of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Cultural Change"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mari Lee Mifsud

Professor of Rhetoric and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Program Coordinator for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 804-426-8240
Interests: histories and theories of rhetoric, archaic and ancient Greek rhetorics; critical/cultural theory; women; gender and sexuality; democracy; justice; equity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to extend this invitation to contribute your writing for consideration in our Special Issue of Humanities, “Possibilities and Paradoxes of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Cultural Change.”

We welcome writings from any discipline, engaging the humanities in and through Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). As WGSS is an interdisciplinary study, contributors from the humanities include, though not exclusively, disciplines such as philosophy, history, rhetoric, communication and media studies, performance studies, literature, creative writing, theatre, law, political theory, sociology, environmental studies, international studies, American studies, and economics.

We invite papers that evoke and provoke intersectional ideas about the possibilities and paradoxes of women, gender, and sexuality in cultural change. How does the study of women, gender, and sexuality open up, critically analyze, address, and enact cultural change? How does this study necessitate an intersectional approach? (Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist theory and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989). To what extent, by what means, and towards what ends does WGSS create cultural change? Does the study of women, gender, and sexuality offer cultural change towards greater justice? freedom? equity? love? (See Angela Y. Davis, Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, 2016; Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization, 2012; Robyn Wiegman, “The Possibility of Women’s Studies,” in Women’s Studies for the Future: Foundations, Interrogations, Politics, eds. Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Agatha Beins, 2005; Hélène Cixous, “Sorties,” in Newly Born Woman, 1975). Can WGSS create new worlds, new ways of knowing, being, and relating, both beyond the academy and within? (See Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, 2006; Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, 2007; Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd, “Critical Race Black Feminism: A ‘Jurisprudence of Resistance’ and the Transformation of the Academy,” Signs, 2010) What paradoxes do we encounter in WGSS engagements in cultural change and how best can these paradoxes be navigated? (See Wendy Brown, “The Impossibility of Women’s Studies,” in Women’s Studies on the Edge, ed. Joan Wallach Scott, 2008; Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure, 2011; Doreen Massey, “Ideology and Economics in the Present Moment,” in The Neoliberal Crisis, eds. Sally Davison and Katharine Harris, 2015). How do we, as scholars of WGSS, address responsibilities to provide a powerful and empowering discourse and praxis to address contemporary concerns in human life? (See Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, 1990; Cherríe Moraga, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000-2010, 2011; Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 2016). We invite contributions that expressly investigate such concerns that shape WGSS such as the following (though not exclusively):

  • Heteropatriarchy
  • Gender Violence
  • White Hegemony
  • Sexism
  • Misogyny
  • Homophobia
  • Transphobia
  • Reproductive Injustices
  • Neoliberalism
  • Settler Colonialism
  • Ableism
  • Xenophobia
  • Structural and Cultural Racism
  • Diaspora and migration
  • Militarism
  • Prisons
  • Poverty
  • State, Legal, and Administrative Violence
  • Structural inequities in political, legal, economic, and cultural life
  • Labor and Class Crises
  • Environmental Crises

Contributions should address concerns by way of the abundant and robust resources of WGSS to create interventions in public problems, to redirect attention through various theoretical, historical, critical, and performative means to more just, equitable, and humane ways of knowing, being, and doing, to create and deploy new ways of thinking about and acting in resistance to geo-political and cultural crises that seem without solution, to forge cultural change (See Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 1987; Dean Spade, “Intersectional Resistance and Law Reform,” Signs, 2013; Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, 2003). Such WGSS resources can be brought forward from a range of foci across multiple themes and approaches, such as:

  • Intersectionality
  • Theoretical Humanities
  • Histories of ideas, events, movements, and practices
  • Writing, Performance, and Cultural Production
  • Feminist New Materialisms
  • Transnational and Cross-Cultural Feminisms
  • Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Praxis
  • Political Theory and Praxis
  • Post-colonial Theory and De-Colonizing Praxis
  • Critical Race Theory and Praxis
  • Critical Legal Theory and Praxis
  • Digital Humanities
  • Public Humanities
  • Critical Studies of Science and Medicine
  • Pedagogies

In sum, this Special Issue’s focus can be expressed as “humanities in praxis” as it explores and advocates for WGSS interventions in and contributions to cultural change.

Prof. Dr. Mari Lee Mifsud
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality
  • Cultural Change
  • Humanities in Praxis
  • Intersectionality
  • Advocacy
  • Resistance
  • Justice
  • Equity
  • Creating New Worlds/New Ways

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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