Powerful Pleasures: Embodied Knowledge and BDSM

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Susanne Schotanus

Call for Chapters Powerful Pleasures: Embodied Knowledge and BDSM

Over the past 40 years, much has been written about BDSM (Bondage, Dominance/Discipline, Submission/Sadism, Masochism) phenomena. Recently, this set of practices has increased in visibility in mainstream media (see for example the success of Fifty Shades of Grey; the BDSM imagery in music video’s like Pink’s Beautiful Trauma, Nicki Minaj’s Only and Rihanna’s S&M; and the representation of BDSM in popular tv shows like The Good Wife (2009-2016), Billions (2016 - ) and Riverdale (2016 - )). However, academic research on BDSM, which gained momentum during the sex wars in the early 1980s has been characterised by either psychological (e.g. Baumeister, 1988; Kleinplatz & Moser, 2006) or ethnographic (e.g., 2009; Rubin, 1981) angles. Though the cultural influence of BDSM appears to have increased and developed, the research on BDSM hardly has. This has resulted in a very limited understanding of this set of practices and lifestyles that have until recently been shrouded.

 For this volume, we are looking for authors who can join us in showing some of the diverse ways in which the study of alternative sexualities can be executed and made productive. Centred around the theme of Embodied Knowledge – to be understood in a similar way to when it was first explored by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenology of Perception, as a specific type of knowledge being tied to the body instead of logic – the contributors will be expected to explore through different media and a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods how the still developing field of critical BDSM research might evolve and how we can develop new knowledge and understanding of and in relation to BDSM. We are looking for a balance between theory and practice, personal experience and academia. At the same time we hope to contribute to debates taking place both in and outside of the field of BDSM. Coming together from different disciplines and points of view, what we hope to accomplish is that the interdisciplinary dialogue started by the authors will both explore the possibilities in this emerging field and show its value to other areas of research.

The aims for this volume are threefold:

  1. To explore critical disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the study of BDSM;
  2. To explore the concept of Embodied Knowledge in relation to BDSM practices;
  3. To show the value of BDSM research for ongoing (academic) debates.

 

Target audience

  • Students and scholars of:
    • Gender and Sexuality studies
    • Cultural Studies
    • Social Sciences
    • Phenomenology
    • Philopsophy
    • Sexology
    • Media Studies
    • Inter- and multidisciplinary
  • BDSM practitioners and lay people with an interest in theoretical perspectives

 

Submission Procedure

We will need you to send the following to powerfulpleasures@outlook.com before June 30th:

o   A general outline of the research you propose, including methodology, theoretical framework and topic. (1 page)

o   A short biography (100-200 words)

o   Your resumé

 

Important Dates

  • June 30, 2019: submission date for 1 page chapter proposals
  • July 15 2019: Definitive selection of authors
  • November 15, 2019: First draft chapters (8.000-10.000 words)
  • February 1st, 2020: submission deadline for your reflection on two other chapters by different authors
    All contributors will be expected to write a 500 word reflection on two other contributions, in order to start the discussion we hope to inspire.
  • March 1st, 2020: finish peer review
  • April 1st, 2020: finish editing process

 

Possible angles to explore:

  • Contextualizing the “field of BDSM research”
  • BDSM experience and narrative/narratology
  • Masochism/submission and embodied knowledge
  • Dominance/sadism and embodied knowledge
  • The relation between pain and pleasure
  • BDSM experience and disability
  • BDSM LGBTQIA+ experiences
  • Different experiences in different settings (e.g. private/performance/play parties)
  • The physical experience of BDSM for people from ethnic minorities
  • The cultural representation of BDSM experiences
  • The embodied experience of professional BDSM sex workers
  • The experience of specific “kinks” and fetishes

 

Possible methodologies to employ

  • Intersectionality and the physical experience of BDSM
  • The physical experience of specific kinks and fetishes
  • Perspectives from biological and medical sciences
  • Artistic contributions (photography/short stories etc.)
  • Inter- or multidisciplinary contributions on the physical experience of BDSM
  • Practitioners’ explorations of their experiences
  • Therapeutic perspectives