CFP: Radical History Review: Queer Futures (8/15/06; journal issue)

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Issue #100 Queer Futures: The Homonormativity Issue

Much has changed since the Radical History Review's special "Queer" issue
(No. 62, Spring 1995), in which historians and their allies explored "new visions of America's
gay and lesbian past." Queers now unabashedly eye straight guys on cable television;
films featuring gay characters and themes are celebrated by mainstream audiences,
breaking box office records and winning major industry awards; "gay marriage"
has emerged as the central civil rights cause for powerful organizations like the
Human Rights Campaign; urban activists and civic boosters promote "gay business
districts" as a means for achieving visibility and equality; and multibillion-dollar
markets targeting gay and lesbian tourist dollars are booming.

For many, such articulations of gay and lesbian identity in the public sphere provide
evidence of true social and political progress. Yet in the past decade, some radical
activists and scholars have cited such developments not as progressive signs of
liberation but as reactionary responses linked directly to the privatizing imperatives
of a powerful, ascendant brand of neoliberal politics that coalesced in the 1990s.
Lisa Duggan, for example, has identified this trend as evidence of "the new
homonormativity--a politics that does not contest dominant heteronormative assumptions
and institutions but upholds and sustains them." In accordance with this new
homonormativity, prominent lesbian and gay rights organizations increasingly embrace
agendas that vie for acceptance within contemporary economic and political systems,
thereby abandoning their earlier commitments to economic redistribution and protecting
sexual freedoms. This shift has made strange bedfellows out of lesbian and gay rights
organizations and social conservatives: both endorse normative and family-oriented
formations associated with domestic partnership, adoption, and gender-normative
social roles; both tend to marginalize those who challenge serial monogamy and those
-- including transgender, bisexual, pansexual, and intersex constituencies -- who
feel oppressed by a binary gender or sex system. Moreover, because of its economic
base in the neoliberal philosophy of consumer rights rather than that of citizen
rights, the politics of homonormativity exercises an influence beyond U.S. borders,
through gay and lesbian tourism, the global proliferation of gay and lesbian-themed
U.S. cultural productions, and economic and political interventions that claim to
make "gay rights" a global issue.

Many queer and/or sex-positive radicals fear such neoliberal strategies, not only
because they undermine citizens' rights but because they threaten to erase the historic
alliance between radical politics and lesbian and gay politics, at the core of which
has been a struggle for sexual freedom. In order to counter the long-term consequences
of historical amnesia, we need new analytical frameworks for talking about lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history that expand and challenge current
models of identity and community formation as well as models of political and cultural

The RHR seeks submissions that explore the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
and queer past in relation to contemporary conceptions of homonormativity, neoliberalism,
and globalization in North America and beyond.

Some suggested topical fields include:

- Genealogies of homonormativities
- Homonormativity and racial formations
- Historical analyses of the politics of marriage and procreation in relation to
gay and lesbian political and community formations
- Historical studies of the "domestic partner" in relation to law, corporate
policy, privatization, and/or cultural production
- Studies of how homonormativities travel across borders, including histories of
gay and lesbian tourism and organized interventions into issues in the name of "gay
- Homonormativities in relation to transgender studies and politics
- Urban models of "gay gentrification" and contemporary configurations
of LGBT identity
- Histories of gay and lesbian markets and consumption
- Analyses of academic culture and its disciplining of glbt studies, institutional
development, and academic investments in homonormativity
- Critiques of homonormativity from queer of color and feminist of color perspectives
- AIDS activism and the politics of sex(uality) in transnational frameworks
- Globalization, gay/lesbian identities, and cultural hegemonies
- State investments in the production and sustenance of gay and lesbian identities
- Homonormativity, government policy, and social provision (including the impact
of homonormative politics on such issues as health insurance provision, social services,
and "disaster relief")
- Genealogies of gay and lesbian conservative political movements
- Sexual politics and history of the "right to privacy"
- Histories and critiques of identity and queer migrations
- Resistance to politics of homonormativity in U.S. and globally

The editors of this special edition invite contributions that explore these or any
themes that relate to homonormativity, queer pasts, or queer futures. We welcome
short reports and reflections, documents, photo essays, art and illustrations, interviews
with activists or intellectuals, teaching resources -- including syllabi, original
documents, and exhibit and book reviews. RHR solicits contributions from activists
and academics.

Procedures for submission of proposals and articles:

By August 15, 2006, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing the article you
wish to submit to By September 30, 2006 authors will be notified whether
they should submit their article in full. The due date for solicited, complete articles
for blind peer review is January 1, 2007. Articles that are selected for publication
after the peer review process will appear in volume 100 of Radical History Review,
scheduled to appear in Winter 2008.

To be considered manuscripts should be submitted electronically, preferably in Microsoft
Word or rich text format, with "Issue 100 submission" in the subject line.

Abstract Deadline: August 15, 2006

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Received on Tue Mar 28 2006 - 09:30:30 EST