Sexual Difference and Cultural Difference_ACLA 2020 Session_ March 18th-22nd, Chicago

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Tina Yitian Zhai/ University at Buffalo
contact email: 

In the trajectory of neoliberalism and an increasingly global marketplace, the necessity of undercutting the Western subsumption of the world is urgent. As Jean-Luc Nancy has argued, however, such a saturation of Western meaning, though potentially catastrophic, is not a forgone conclusion. On the contrary, it is precisely at the limit of the Western notions of telos and subjective agency that a new conception of the world can be collectively understood and created. It is also against such a limit that feminist discourses challenge the universal subject in the name of sexual difference and theories of intersectionality.

If sexual difference itself calls for a new culture, as Irigaray contends, is it possible for us to re-envision sexual difference through cultural differences? Moreover, how does this intersection between sexual difference and non-Western cultures, especially Eastern cultures, enrich feminist theories of intersectionality? Do either of these possibilities—redefining cultural difference in light of universal sexual difference, or redefining sexual difference in light of non-Western cultures, especially Eastern cultures—allow us to construct new models of global politics? 

The session invites the papers to explore the possibilities of a shared world in the context of sexual and cultural differences. How might we negotiate the universal subject that Western culture presupposes in our relation with others?  How can we strategically borrow from feminist discourse in an inquiry into the other without presuming a locus of experience?  Moreover, how does sexual difference interact with cultural difference and vice versa? What can we expect from their mutual effect and how do they help us create a new understanding of the universal or the world?


(Please see the original CFP here:; Please follow the link to submit your abstract:


Abstract Submission Deadline is September 23rd. Paper Submission Deadline is September 30th, 2019.