THE PLEASURES OF IDENTITY: LIVING QUEER (Edited Collection; 12/15 proposal deadline)

full name / name of organization: 
Ellen M. Gil-Goméz, Jacqueline Rhodes

As evidenced by recent work such as the Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture (2007); LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia (2008); Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (2009); and Queer America: A People's GLBT History of the United States (2011), our field has taken an encyclopedic and historical turn. While we applaud these works and see their value, we are less interested in the canonization of LGBTQ voices throughout history than in taking the temperature of old and new activists, artists, and scholars of LGBTQ Studies--what choices have you made (freely or by coercion?), how has the landscape changed since your work began?

We are interested in original analytical and/or creative work or interviews for a collection tentatively titled The Pleasures of Identity: Living Queer. Our theme derives from our conversations with queer faculty and community as well as our own experiences teaching LGBTQ and Feminist Studies in these post-identity times. We have two key premises: (1) that LGBTQ scholarship "arrived" a long time ago, and there are many hallmarks of the embeddedness of queer work in the academy; and (2) that, at the same time, rank and file teachers, students, and community members must still struggle with overt and covert hostility towards their work, their professional decisions, and, yes, their identities. We are interested in both success stories and tales of continuing challenges, in order to represent broadly the narratives of scholars/artists/activists in the "trenches" of LGBTQ cultures.

The Pleasures of Identity will provide personal and reflective encounters with issues such as LGBTQ history, bodies of LGBTQ theory, major figures, or influential texts or icons. It will focus on personal, reflective, and critical perspectives on LGBTQ lives—activists, scholars, explorers, visionaries, and troublemakers. We ask authors to innovate and create thoughtful work accessible to an audience composed of people both in and out of the academy. We welcome scholarly submissions; poetry, prose, and visual essays; comics; work that draws upon personal experience and contextualizes/theorizes that experience (how does your experience reflect or refract key issues in LGBTQ studies?); brave, frank work even if it's written pseudonymously; and collaborative work.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
• LGBTQ activism (including narratives of the author's own activism)
• Questions of identity, (in)visibility, and LGBTQ lived experience
• The move to "queer" and back
• Intergenerational tensions
• Institutionalized queerness (academic, political)
• Sexuality and embodiment
• How is sexuality configured in different (cultural/ethnic/historical) situations?
• Intersections (feminist theory, disability studies, critical race theory, postcolonial studies)
• Uneasy relationships (theory vs. individual pleasures, the pornography debate)
• The politics of naming (queer vs. LGBT, women's studies vs. gender studies, etc.)
• Transgressions (drag, assimilation vs. resistance)

Please email a 500-word proposal and a brief biographical statement to both Ellen M. Gil-Gómez ( and Jacqueline Rhodes ( by December 15, 2012.