Contamination from Above (Submissions Due February 2, 2015)
"What if there were, lodged within the heart of the law itself, a law of impurity or a principle of contamination?"
-Jacques Derrida, "The Law of Genre"
Unlawfulness, impurity, contamination: in the porous and scattered disciplines of gender, sexuality and diversity studies, these are the forces and strategies that impel our criticism and creation, the ethos of the fugitive journal Writing from Below.
When Carolyn D'Cruz gave the keynote at La Trobe University's Gender, Sexuality and Diversity Studies Symposium in December last year, she stated that "rendering legible a founding violence in the acquisition of meaning, including the meaning of experience, is one way of minimising the kind of violence that can occur when we maintain that the categories of a binary opposition, such as heterosexual and homosexual, are mutually exclusive, and naturally hierarchically ordered as it they were outside of history or metaphysics. In recognising that the 'groundless grounds' of metaphysics makes possible the historical foundation of an opposition, we learn that neither side of an opposition can function without its other".
Her challenge was direct. Binaries are tempting and neat, hierarchies so efficient and exact; the sense they offer for sense-making is almost inescapable. Presence/absence, speech/writing, self/other, homo/hetero, black/white, good/bad, well/sick, inside/outside, lawful/criminal, above/below: this is a list that could never end. When we write from below, staking out a discursive space for the voices or the marginalised and unheard (or just the very, very quiet), we are marking lines, looking for something that is not that thing. And as soon as we do that, as soon as the page accepts its mark, we are saying here, not there, and this, not that. And so when we write from below, or from the side, or from underneath, or from not quite where we are, we must always consider the strange and uncertain ways in which we are contaminated from above.
For our June 2015 issue, Writing from Below is calling for papers that address the broad theme of "Contamination from Above". We invite authors to think about:
§ Impurity, contamination, autoimmunity and infection
§ What comes up from below, and what comes down from above
§ Unbinaries, groundless grounds, positive difference and différance
§ Deconstruction as a place displacement, of newness, of beginnings, and of unlocatable origins
§ The tracings of meaning and its (dis)appearances
§ Genre-bending, gender-bending, academic queerness, rebellious textual configurations
§ Inter- and trans-disciplinarity
§ Occupying traditions and institutions as an act of insurrection, sedition, subversion or treason
Do not be limited. Be brave. Play with form. Send us ethnographies or art, sociology or sound files, philosophical treatises or poetic performances. We welcome submissions from across (and outside of, against and up against) the disciplinary spectrum: literary and cultural studies, journalism, media and cinema studies, game studies, art history, visual art, theatre and drama, performance studies, languages and linguistics, philosophy, theology, sociology, anthropology, history, politics, public policy, law, legal studies, criminology, education, the sciences and health sciences, public health, etc.
You will be peer reviewed. Your work will be respected.
Let us write from below about contamination from above and find out where it is that we meet.
We are open for submissions until February 2, 2015. Written submissions, whether critical or creative, should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words in length, and should adhere to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. All submissions (including creative works - we do not privilege one type of work over another) will be anonymously peer reviewed by at least two referees. All written submissions must be accompanied by a 200 word abstract and a brief biographical statement. All artworks must be accompanied by an artist's statement of approximately 500 words, and a brief biographical statement.
All submissions should be made online at http://www.writingfrombelow.org.au