Feminism. Historical Legacies and Current Challenges

deadline for submissions: 
January 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Special Issue of Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, edited by Rossella Ghigi (University of Bologna) and Catherine Rottenberg (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev).
contact email: 

FEMINISM: Historical Legacies and Current Challenges
Call for papers, Special Issue of Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, edited by Rossella Ghigi (University of Bologna) and Catherine Rottenberg (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Feminism, conceived as both a political movement and a theoretical perspective, is currently facing new challenges across the globe. On the one hand, its goals have been partly incorporated as part of institutional governance in Western democracies. Equality and attempts to eradicate discrimination have, today, become crucial aspects of many international and national agendas. This has meant, according to some scholars, that feminism has been appropriated by so-called gender mainstreaming, while feminist knowledge has been converted into de-politicized technical expertise (Mukhopadhyay 2004; De Jong and Kimm 2017). Other scholars have argued that as neoliberalism becomes ever more dominant, feminist ideals of solidarity and social justice are being reformulated through the language of the market (See Fraser, Eisenstein 2009, Prugl 2014, and Rottenberg 2014). Still other scholars have described the focus on individual women’s success, financial satisfaction and (hetero) sexual realization, as part of a posfeminist sensibility (Gill 2007; McRobbie 2009; Lewis 2017). Given all of these processes – the mainstreaming, individualizing and neoliberalization of feminist themes – it is not surprising that notions such as gender parity or equality have been taken up by a wide range of actors for a variety of purposes: from right-wing political parties mobilizing them against immigrants and refugees (Farris 2017), through proponents of military intervention in countries of the Global South brandishing “violence against women” as justification (Ayotte and Husain, 2005; Norton 2013) to popular discourses inciting women to be confidence and resilient (Gill and Orgad 2017), which then help justify the dismantling of the welfare state.

On the other hand, in the past few years we have also witnessed the resurgence of mass feminist mobilization, sometimes with new names and new forms and sometimes in quite militant forms. We see this with the #Metoo and Ni Una Menos movements, the resurgence of mass women’s movements in the Global South, the Global Women’s Strike, and new forms of digital feminist activism. Moreover, if just a decade ago, the vast majority of high profile Western women refused the feminist label, today many famous actresses, singers, and politicians are publicly coming out as feminists, denouncing the widespread gender discrimination and sexual exploitation in Hollywood, the entertainment business, and the political sphere. Simultaneously, academic feminism continues to engage with new challenges to feminism’s traditional boundaries, whether in the form of religious feminism, trans theory, or contentious discussions around commercial surrogacy, particularly when advocates come from within the LGBTQI community.
At the same time, however, we are also seeing the flourishing of virulent chauvinisms, such as the revival of extreme right movements and political parties, the undermining of hard-won reproductive rights in many countries, and renewed attacks on LGBTQI recognition and/or rights.

This bewildering landscape suggests that we may well need to think anew about how we can continue reclaiming feminism as a transnational social justice movement. This Special Issue hopes to contribute to this “thinking anew” by addressing the multi-dimensional aspects of these problematics: the contradictions of current popular, mainstream and/or right-wing feminism(s), the challenges that new theories and/or movements pose for traditional radical feminism(s), as well as the possibility of reclaiming feminism as a social justice movement dedicated to equalitarianism and creating conditions that facilitate livable lives for the greatest number of living things on the planet.
Theoretical and theoretically grounded empirical papers are welcome on the following (but not exclusive) topics:

 New interpretations of Feminism as political movement and/or theoretical perspective;
 Feminism in organizations in neoliberal times;
 The representation of second wave feminism in public discourse, in the media or the arts;
 New forms of feminist resistance and activism in the social media;
 Globalisation, transnationalism, intersectionality as these inform/challenge feminism;
 Feminism and new discourses of exploitation of sexuality;
 Gender and poverty in a neoliberal world-order;
 Feminism(s) and political culture;
 Feminism and LGBTQI;
 Religious fundamentalism and environmental protection as feminist issues;
 Feminism and new technologies (from cyborgs to reproductive technologies);
 The cross-national anti-gender movements;
 Feminist approaches to economic, psychologic and physical violence;
 Gender and the care economy;
 Feminist understanding of interactions and relations in the workplace, in the domestic space, in the public spaces.
 Men’s involvement in feminism(s) and feminist understanding of men and masculinities;
 Migration and the mobility of labor under feminist lenses;
 The "feminization" of work;
 Family life under neoliberalism.

Deadlines and guidelines
Abstracts are due by January 15, 2019. All abstracts (500 words), with 5 keywords in English, should be sent as e-mail attachments (Word Format) to: rottenbe@bgu.ac.il and rossella.ghigi@unibo.it.

Decisions concerning the selection of articles will be given by February, 15, 2019.

Submission of first versions of articles to be refereed should be sent to the editor by May 15, 2019.
Articles – written in English – should follow the journal guidelines and sent to:
rottenbe@bgu.ac.il and rossella.ghigi@unibo.it.
Communication from the Editor concerning the peer-review process will take place by July 15, 2019.
Revised versions sent to the editors by September 15, 2019.
Publication on Issue 4/2019.