Public/Sex: Connecting Sexuality and Service Learning--A Special Issue of Reflections

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Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy
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The spring 2010 issue of Reflections will explore the interplay between sexuality and literacy, asking us to reconsider the normative structures that position us as particular kinds of sexed/sexualized/gendered people, with certain trajectories of desire and intimacy. We invite authors and artists to reflect with us on community work (broadly conceived) that challenges our normative understanding of "service," "learning," "community," and "citizenship," particularly with regard to the multiple and intersecting discourses of gender and sexuality. What are the different ways in which we approach these issues? What are different ways in which these issues are already gendered, already sexualized?

We also ask that you consider the political implications of these discourses, as these often unrecognized literacy events open spaces for discrimination. How can service-learning and community engagement actively work towards positive social change and securing rights for individuals who may be denied them on the basis of sex/uality? What roles do academic/community partnerships play in current political battles over sexual issues such as battles over sex education, marriage initiatives, emergency contraceptives, funding for clinics, and others?

Essays should offer rich descriptions of actual practices, theoretical explorations of the nature of such work, or examples of project generated community-based materials. We are particularly interested in work that bring these various elements
together. We invite manuscripts that consider questions currently important to those engaged with sex/uality in their pedagogies and partnerships:

* What are the different ways in which sexuality impacts academic/community partnerships?
* What is "sexual literacy," and what does it look like in practice?
* What types of local partnerships and classroom pedagogies are required to establish service-learning courses connected to sexuality?
* What types of projects are being taken up that deal with sexuality directly?
* How have current political events affected your community partnerships or pedagogical strategies?
* What is the significance of discourses of sexuality to your own community engagement projects?
* How are desires and identities positioned by local, national, or academic discourses? How can we challenge, problematize, or queer these positionings?
* How can queer theory, which deals specifically with issues of sex, desire, gender, and the body, inform and complicate community work?
* To what extent do different "stakeholders"--the university, our colleagues, students, community groups--police or discipline discourses of sexuality?

We invite projects that consider how university/community partnerships can actively engage with questions of sexuality/sexual literacy. Explorations could range from
examinations of service-learning projects embedded in LGBT service organizations, Planned Parenthood, or AIDS service organizations to experimental accounts of shifting perceptions of our bodies/identities as we engage in community-based work. We encourage textual experimentation. Send us not only your scholarly essays, but your narratives, comics, artwork, student work, manifestos, and poetry.

Please send inquiries by September 30 to