CFP: [Postcolonial]

full name / name of organization: 
Susan Comfort
contact email: 

Works and Days
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
110 Leonard Hall
Indiana, PA 15705-1094
phone: (724) 357-6486

Works & Days

Special Issue Call For Papers:
Invisible Battlegrounds: Feminist Resistance in the Global Age of War and

In the contemporary global era of capitalism, as imperialism and war have
emerged as dominant geopolitical forces, feminist analysis is, more than
ever, urgently needed. Women's lives are affected disproportionately by
violently imposed global restructuring, even as feminist attempts to
create alternatives to exploitative and environmentally destructive forms
of capitalist accumulation are largely neglected by dominant institutions
and representations. Feminist critique of contemporary capitalism has, in
fact, developed diverse approaches and strategies, among which notably
include feminist theorizing within the areas of postcolonial,
transnational, Marxist, and environmental thought. Feminist writers and
thinkers working in these areas provide an invaluable analysis of the
inherent connections among capitalism, war, and imperialism, and of the
repressions of race, class, and gender that are required by capitalism to
maintain unjust divisions of labor and resources. Also, their work
provides vital oppositional images, identities, and narratives, ones
attuned to mutual interdependency and the principles of social justice,
sustainability, and radical democracy. This issue of Works & Days seeks to
bring together theoretical work and cultural critique of anti-war feminist
scholars and activists from across social locations and disciplines. This
Special Issue invites papers that will:

•Explore how contemporary feminist theory and literature construct
critique and opposition to prevailing patriarchal formations of race,
gender, and class, particularly in connection with escalating violence
against women and exploitation of labor and land.

•Investigate the ways civil wars and conflicts can be traced to earlier
eras of capitalist and imperialist restructuring that reinforced, if not
created, reifying divisions and hierarchies of race, ethnicity, and

•Reflect on the ways that capitalism and imperialism reinforced, and often
reinvented, patriarchal formations of the family and state. Now often
referred to as client or peripheral states of imperialist centers, state
power also sometimes relies on paternalistic forms of nationalism that
imply polarized patriarchal gender identities, class power, and often
elite claims of ethnicity and religion. This state power has taken the
form of extreme militarism as well.

•Examine the profound changes in patriarchal orders as a result of war and
occupation that organize the meanings of gender, especially of heavily
gendered spaces, objects, or processes, such as the boundaries between
home and street, private and public, friend and stranger, nature and

•Consider how many contemporary social contradictions coalesce around
heavily loaded metaphors, images, narratives, or signs of gender in
transnational contextsâ€"such as the veil, female genital mutilation, and so

•Theorize intensified commodification and privatization which aggravate
contradictions between classes and locations and, especially, between
women in different classes.

•Critique theories of imperialism, especially the powerfully influential
Leninist notion that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” but
also Hardt & Negri's theory of Empire and David Harvey's of New

It is hoped that this Special Issue will generate insight into the “mine-
field” of overlapping, sometimes reinforcing, sometimes contradictory,
patriarchal formations of the family, state, and imperialism under
contemporary capitalism.

Please send abstracts or proposals of 250-500 words for articles by August
1, 2008 via email to or by regular mail to Susan Comfort,
Department of English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
15705. Notification of acceptance will be forthcoming no later than
October 1, 2008. The deadline for completion of articles is June 30, 2009.

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Received on Thu Feb 14 2008 - 13:15:52 EST