Call for Papers: Feminism, Activism, Education

Call for Papers

If not now, when? Feminism in contemporary activist, social and educational contexts

Political and socio-economic developments in recent years have created new opportunities and new battlegrounds for feminism, with women taking to the streets and demonstrating against the status quo, corruption, sexism, austerity and capitalism. On February 13th2011,

demonstrations took place in various Italian cities, with over a million participants in total. They were coordinated by the feminist coalition Se Non Ora Quando? (If not now, when?). The demonstrations voiced the urgent need to reassert women’s dignity and renewed faith in the effectiveness of a popular feminist movement.

There seems to be a pervasive optimism that feminism is now entering a new era, as evidence from different countries seems to suggest. At the same time, it is said that the advance of neoliberalism and the indisputable gains of feminism in the last thirty years have resulted in de-politicisation and a decline of interest in feminism. The mainstreaming of feminism has also raised concerns about its independent and autonomous existence.

‘If not now, when?’ invites potential contributors to consider the present moment of feminism and the presence of feminism on the streets and in mainstream society. It is seeking both theoretically informed and more empirical contributions on feminist endeavours, the strategies they employ and the values they uphold, the lessons learnt, and the new or emerging debates and challenges. In the context of a broadly defined feminist education, ‘If not now, when?’ also wishes to explore the pedagogical aspect of contemporary feminism, as well as testimonies of politicisation and mobilisation relevant to the formation of a feminist consciousness, especially in higher education.

Further, and focusing on the present, it invites contributions on the theoretical ideas that are most relevant for feminism today. We are particularly interested in the notion of timeliness or kairos, the right time for something to happen as opposed to chronos or linear time. This temporal aspect of the contemporary feminism needs to be analysed and fully understood in the light of debates over the future of democracy, the welfare state, neoliberalism and globalisation. As evidence from the ‘periphery’ of Europe and the Mediterranean show that feminists decide to take to the streets again, we particularly welcome contributions that speak about the present and recent past of feminism in that part of the world, especially in the light of the significant political, social and economic changes in the region.

Contributions might address the following topics:

  • Feminist alternatives to patriarchy and neoliberalism: contemporary strategies, theoretical ideas and practices;
  • Feminism in the academia and beyond: reflections on the past, emerging issues in the present, pedagogical prospects;
  • Contemporary feminist activism in the South of Europe and beyond: what do know, what do we learn?
  • Feminism, ethical values and the role of the individual;
  • Feminism and the idea time and timeliness (Kairos);
  • Is feminism still transformative or has it become too mainstream and confluent with dominant politics?
  • How could the insight, issues and strategies of popular movements be transformed into permanent advantages for feminism?
  • How does academic feminism respond to ideological, political and cultural demands outside the academia?

350-500 word abstracts are due by 1st December 2014.

Proposals should be for original works not previously published (including in conference proceedings) and that are not currently under consideration for another journal or edited collection. If your proposal is accepted for the special issue, a full draft (5000-7000 words) will be required by June 2015. Editors are happy to discuss ideas prior to the deadline.

Proposals should be sent to:

Olivia Guaraldo, University of Verona, Italy olivia.guaraldo@univr.it and

Angela Voela, University of East London, UK  a.voela@uel.ac.uk


Categories: Higher Education

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