WSQ Special Issue: Ruin

full name / name of organization: 
Women's Studies Quarterly
contact email: 
wsqassociate@gmail.com

Call for Papers: Ruin
Guest Editors: Sarah Chinn and Rupal Oza

This issue of WSQ explores the multiple valences of ruin. While ruin clearly follows from disaster – from economic collapse to earthquakes to floods to volcanic eruptions to political and social unrest – it is also highly gendered: what is more easily ruined, after all, than a virtuous woman’s reputation?

Ruin can exist in the singular as a catastrophe and in the plural as an aesthetic, architectural, and historical pleasure. Mourning at a ruin can entail grief and also nostalgia for a world before disintegration and decay. Ruin suggests both temporal and spatial change, evoking a time and a place before as well as meditating on the here and now.

The specter of ruin generates strategies to forestall it: protectionism towards women and children, as well as other marginalized populations; economic bailouts to prevent the possibility of collapse; the closing down or limiting of borders; emergency warning systems; militarization and weaponization of society. And yet in this issue we also hope to pose a sometimes unthinkable question: what is so bad about ruin? Why do we fear the collapse of systems that might in fact be currently unworkable or even destructive?

We welcome academic papers from a variety of disciplinary approaches including theory, empirical research, literary and cultural studies, as well as creative prose, poetry, artwork, memoir and biography. Suggested topics may include but are not limited to:

• Monument, memorial, nostalgia
• Catastrophe and its aftermaths
• Deflowering, reputation, restitution
• “Natural” disasters: Katrina, Haiti, Chile, Iceland, etc.
• Ruins, ancient and modern from the Parthenon to the New York City piers
• The narrative of the degenerating family
• Eugenics and fears of “racial contamination”
• Economic collapse
• Environmental degradation and decay
• War, damage, havoc
• Walls, fences, and their dissolution: Berlin, Jerusalem, Mexico
• Nationalism as a defense mechanism against ruin
• Protecting women’s bodies, protecting the nation
• Literary and cinematic visits to/productions of ruins
• Forestalling the ravages of age: cosmetic surgery, Viagra, vaginal and hymen reconstruction

If submitting academic work, please send articles by October 2, 2010 to the guest editors, Sarah Chinn and Rupal Oza at WSQRuinIssue@gmail.com. Please send complete articles, not abstracts. Submission should not exceed 20 double spaced, 12 point font pages.

Poetry submissions should be sent to WSQ's poetry editor, Kathleen Ossip, kathleenossip@gmail.com by October 2, 2010 Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting poems. Please note that poetry submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the poetry editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please paste poetry submissions into the body of the e-mail along with all contact information.

Fiction, essay, and memoir submissions should be sent to WSQ's fiction/nonfiction editor at WSQCreativeProse@gmail.com by October 2, 2010. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting prose. Please note that prose submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the prose editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please provide all contact information in the body of the e-mail.

Art submissions should be sent to the guest editors, Sarah Chinn and Rupal Oza, at WSQRuinIssue@gmail.com by October 2, 2010. After art is reviewed and accepted, accepted art must be sent to the journal's managing editor on a CD that includes all artwork of 300 DPI or greater, saved as 4.25 inches wide or larger. These files should be saved as individual JPEGS or TIFFS.

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