CFP Issue 9 – State Killing: Queer and Women of Color Manifestas against U.S. Violence and Oppression

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Feral Feminisms
contact email: 


Feral Feminisms, an independent, inter-media, peer-reviewed, and open-access online journal, invites submissions from artists, activists, and scholars for a special issue titled, “State Killing: Queer and Women of Color Manifestas against U.S. Violence and Oppression,” guest edited by Annie Hill, Niq D. Johnson, and Ersula Ore. The issue will center the voices and anti-violence work of queer and women of color activist-intellectuals by providing a forum for provocative manifestas and manifestations of feminism. Submitted contributions may include full-length theoretical essays (5000 – 7000 words), shorter creative pieces, cultural commentaries, personal narratives or auto-ethnographies (500 – 2500 words), poetry, photo-essays, short films/video (uploaded to Vimeo), visual and sound art (jpeg Max 1MB), or a combination of forms. Please send inquiries and submissions to the guest editors: Annie Hill (anniehill[at]utexas[dot]edu); Niq D. Johnson (niq.djohnson[at]pitt[dot]edu); and Ersula Ore (ejore[at]asu[dot]edu); cc’ing Feral Feminisms in the email (feralfeminisms[at]gmail[dot]com).

In this moment, President Donald Trump’s administration is building on a long history of U.S. state violence, entrenching division and devaluing the peoples who have made “America” and who precede its founding. Surviving the state we’re in demands visionary plans for its demise: blueprints to create change and solidarity that do not rely on, or reproduce, the life (and death) worlds the state creates through systemic oppression. Living in a killing state requires strategies for defense, coalition, and community building. The question, then, is how to resist and kill this state by subverting its claims, refusing its orders, and rejecting its phobic fear of others. Rooted in resistance, the manifestas sought for this issue will offer passionate guides that unpack and attack state projects predicated on human devaluation and disposability within U.S. borders or transnationally due to U.S. influence and involvement.

As a feminist genre, manifestas typically make three moves: they chronicle oppression, outline objectives, and confront oppressors to catalyze audiences toward common action. Manifestas offer opportunities to answer Joy James’ call for activist-intellectuals to confront state violence and create visions of social justice, cooperative relations, and radical resistance. Manifestas are responsive to what Kate Eichhorn calls “dirty history”: history that does not follow the legacies and colonized traditions of “reason, meaning, or higher purpose” (2012, 17). Contributions to this issue may be committed to a wide range of queer and women of color (Q/WOC) public forums and expressions. Adela C. Licona observes how feminist zine culture offers occasions to envision an alternative “third-space” that “materialize[s] and reflect[s] borderlands rhetorics through the languages of resistance, opposition, and most importantly, coalition” (2013, 59). Manifestas also display disloyalty to disciplinary norms and deploy unorthodox methods. For instance, epistemic disruptions entangling auto-ethnography, visual rhetoric, and decolonized futurism can draw connections across past, present, and future rebellions and reconstructions. In these ways, manifestas offer to make “meaningful and relevant knowledges, practices, and relations that first imagine and then reconstruct, promote, and represent antiracist agendas and models of social justice and egalitarian social discourses” (Licona, 60).

Working in and outside of the academy, scholars have sought new mediums for contending with the systemic violence of state institutions, including universities. Some of their projects produce scholarship as study, struggle, and play, expanding the boundaries of criticism to the interactive praxis of radical world-making.

This special issue thus calls for manifestas in multiple forms that speak to the complexity of their subjects. For example, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ (2016) Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity jettisons traditional literary criticism and offers a rich, experimental engagement with Hortense Spillers’ (2003) Black, White, and in Color. Similarly, in Electric Arches (2017), Eve L. Ewing combines prose, poetry, and visual art to explore black girlhood as something other than a symptom of violence and trauma. In our view, these texts are fully-fleshed manifestas and manifestations of feminism that defy formality while drawing on black feminist discursive and oral traditions. As a feral form of Q/WOC rhetoric and resistance, we seek manifestas that move between the formal and innovative and will move audiences to act against state violence.

We welcome submissions that take up the ideas above and the manifesta form in relation to the following themes, including but not limited to:

  • Drawing from diverse experience and expertise—such as literary analysis, activism, Afrofuturism, etc.—to produce blueprints for alternative formations and futures that confound state violence within and beyond U.S. borders
  • Examining psychological, embodied, spiritual, and generational trauma, stress, healing, and liberation in relation to state violence in the United States or transnationally due to U.S. military, economic, and/or policy interventions and influence
  • Reimagining resistance that has been co-opted or consumed by the state (e.g., carceral feminism, nonprofit industrial complex, politics as a brand or consumer good, etc.)
  • Analyzing traditional avenues of interacting with the state (e.g., voting, petitioning, protesting, lobbying, etc.) to interrogate how they open and/or limit opportunities for resistance, redress, and redirection
  • Creating performances and praxis to foment ethical politics and political engagement
  • Offering feminist responses to “cancel” culture, rape culture, white supremacy, Native dispossession, xenophobia, heteronormativity, homonormativity, and other practices of exclusion/inclusion
  • Disrupting U.S. state projects of devaluation and disposability
  • Exploring disciplinary intersections and activist modes for resisting, reimagining, and eradicating the state

Submission Instructions: Please send submissions with a 60-word author biography and 100-word abstract to the three guest editors, Annie Hill (anniehill[at]utexas[dot]edu), Niq D. Johnson (niq.djohnson[at]pitt[dot]edu), Ersula Ore (ejore[at]asu[dot]edu), and Feral Feminismsat (feralfeminisms[at]gmail[dot]com) by 31 August 2018. For detailed submission guidelines, please visit:

*Photograph from Para-Production art installation  by Haifeng Ni at Manifesta 9. Photo credited to Yohan Creemers.