Call for contributions: Whatever – A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, Issue 4 (2021)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Whatever – A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies/CIRQUE (Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca Queer/Inter-university Centre for Queer Research)

Call for contributions

Whatever – A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies

Issue 4


Introducing Whatever

Scholars working in queer studies, both in and out of academia, are still often marginalized; one of the aspects of this marginalization is the lack of publishing venues, which discourages potentially original and creative researchers from pursuing their interest in queer studies, and from contributing to the development of the field. This has a negative impact on both the queer studies community, and on scholarly, social, and political discourse in general.

Whatever exists to facilitate a dialogue among researchers who work in any field related to queer studies. We are excited that scholars the world over are spinning queer outwards in a range of new and promising directions, such as neuroqueer, animal queer, queer economies, queer pedadogies, the queer politics of migration, and many more. Their daring and original work is a powerful testimonial to the productivity and vitality of a cluster of theories which deserve to be more widely known and applied, both in scholarship, teaching, and research, and in activism, advocacy, and policy-making.

The purpose of Whatever is to offer scholars working in queer studies, in and out of academia, a place to share their work, to reach like-minded readers, to initiate collaborations, to make things happen. We aim to foster a diverse and mutually respectful community among scholars of different backgrounds, research interests, methodological allegiances and disciplinary affiliations.

Whatever is indexed in the following databases: ROAD, ERIH plus, DOAJ.

Applications for the following databases are pending:

EBSCO: Philosopher’s Index, LGBT&Gender studies database; ProQuest; Sherpa/ROMEO; OpenAIRE.

Whatever is published once a year; the first three issues are online at

We are now inviting submission for the fourth issue.

Even-numbered issues, like the upcoming one, include a general section, which will host papers dealing with any and all aspects of queer theories and studies, and several themed sections, each curated by an independent editorial team. A list of the themed sections for this fourth issue can be found below.

Whatever is double-blind peer-reviewed, online, open-access.


Deadlines and relevant dates

  • The deadline for all submissions for issue 4 (general and themed sections alike) is October, 31, 2020.
  • Revised versions of accepted papers will be due on February, 28, 2021.
  • Last proofs will be sent on May, 21, 2021 and corrections are due on May 25, 2021.
  • The issue will be published on June, 20, 2021.


General section

The general section will welcome papers dealing with any and all aspects of queer theories and studies, and of any of their possible intersections with other disciplines and theories: if you believe that the theoretical productivity, intellectual relevance, and political thrust of queer can be extended and expanded, if you are working at the crossroads between queer and other methods and issues, we want to hear from you!

Contributions are accepted in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Papers should be between 30.000 and 80.000 characters in length; authors wishing to submit longer works are invited to contact us first explaining their reasons; please write to the managing editor, Giovanni Campolo: . Authors are welcome to include a variety of media, such as images, sound files, and audiovisuals.

Papers should be submitted anonymously through the journal website following a guided five-step submission process. A submission checklist and guidelines are available at: A detailed submission guide is found at the end of this document.


Themed Section 1 of 4: Performance, subversion, relation: tracing queer in BDSM

Guest Editors: Massimo Fusillo, Serena Guarracino, Luca Zenobi

This thematic section for issue 4 of Whatever seeks contributions investigating the hermeneutic potential of this complex and diverse universe of sexual practices, all sharing a specific attention to performance, and to the transformation of power relationships into consensual play. At the same time, it intends to explore, through a comparative approach, representations of sadomasochism, fetishism, and other anti-normative sexual behaviours in literature, arts and the media, in order to map how BDSM may contribute to identify sexual and affective practices subverting the heteropatriarchal norm.

BDSM is here considered as a methodological framework staging and subverting the dynamics of power in heteronormative relationships, and as a thematic core which can be traced in very different narratives, from martyrdom in Catholic culture to romantic love as the founding mythology of the heterosexual couple. We therefore intend to solicit contributions that explore BDSM through multiple textualities, focusing on interdisciplinary lines of research such as, for example:

  • Representation of BDSM practices in literature and the arts
  • Ecstasy, martyrdom and the aestheticization of suffering
  • Anti-normative relationalities: BDSM and the ethics of care
  • BDSM, feminism and bodily politics
  • Subversion and parody of heteronormativity


Bauer R., 2014, Queer BDSM Intimacies. Critical Consent and Pushing Boundaries, Palgrave MacMillan, London and New York.

Cruz, A., 2016, The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography, NYU Press, NY.Freeman, E., 2010, “Turn the Beat Around. Sadomasochism, Temporality, History”, in Time Binds. Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories, Duke University Press, Durham and London.

Fusillo, M., 2012, Feticci. Letteratura, cinema, arti visive, Il Mulino, Bologna, engl. Transl The Fetish. Literature, Cinema, Visual Art, Bloomsbury, New York 2017.

Holmes D., Murray S. J., Knack N., Mercier M., Fedoroff P., 2018, “Degenitalizing the Sexual: BDSM practices and the deterritorialization of bodies and pleasures”, in Holmes D., Murray S.J., Foth T. eds., Radical Sex Between Men. Assembling Desire-Machines, Routledge, London and New York: 117‑141.

Jenkins H., Gibson P.C., 2003, eds., More Dirty Looks. Gender, Pornography and Power, Palgrave BFI, London.

Kien, G., 2011, BDSM and Transgression 2.0. The Case of, in Transgression 2.0: Media, Culture, and the Politics of a Digital Age, ed. by T. Gournelos, D. J. Gunkel, Continuum, NY.

Langdridge D., Barker M., eds., 2007, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Palgrave MacMillan, New York.

Levi, C., 2019 [1979], New kamasutra: Didattica sadomasochistica, intr. L. Bernini, Asterisco, Milano.

McClintock A., 1993, “Maid to Order: Commercial Fetishism and Gender Power”, in Social Text 37: 87-116.

Ortmann, D., Sprott, R., ed., 2012, Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, Rowman & Littlefield, Washington DC.

Reti I. ed., Unleashing Feminism. Critiquing Lesbian Sadomasochism in the Gay Nineties, HerBooks, Santa Cruz.

Scott, C., 2015, Thinking Kink. The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture, McFarland, Jefferson.

Weiss, M., 2011, Techniques of Pleasure. BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality, Duke University Press, Durham and London.


Themed Section 2 of 4: Languages, Aesthetics, Bodies: The Queer Within Cinema and Audiovisual Media

Guest Editors: Massimo Fusillo, Andrea Inzerillo, Mirko Lino

This section aims to collect contributions investigating and reflecting the ways cinema and other audiovisual texts can be configured through/by a queer perspective.

The term "queer cinema" refers to a heterogeneous series of film texts addressing the deconstruction of the paths of sexuality structured by a dense and lasting cultural rhetoric focused on patriarchal and heteronormative logics. Cinema and audiovisual media seen in their "queerness" offer opportunities of self-representation and cultural self-determination for sexual orientations and non-normative bodies. Tracing a queer perspective means opening the meshes of languages and cinematographic images to bodies conceived in a plurality of genders (transgender, intersex, etc.), and to the transversal routes of fluid sexual orientations (e.g. bisexuality and pansexuality), through an irreverent and unpredictable aesthetics. This suggest that queer cinema cannot be solely reduced to homosexual and lesbian issues (not all gay and lesbian narratives respond to queer aesthetics and logics) but to broaden the field of investigation by including those desire pathways and bodily practices (e.g. transvestism, virtual gendershift, role-playing games, videogame avatars, etc.) which historically and culturally escape reductive gender taxonomies, and which find in the filmic text a cultural space of opposition.

This section aims to seize the overwhelming complexity and expressive richness of queer cinema. For this reason, alongside the attention on the bodies framed in their performative dimension, we want to extend the discursive field to further and converging perspectives. To this end, we would appreciate papers trying to widen the concept of queerness in the cinema and in the media, for example taking into account the following topics:

  • Aesthetics, Historical Paths, Styles, Rhetorics;
  • Queer World Cinema;
  • Interrelations between Queer and Mainstream Cinema;
  • Queering the Languages and Genres: Appropriations, Experimentantions and Parodies;
  • Queering Digital Media: Videogame, Webseries, Digital Storytelling;
  • Queer and Media Art;
  • Queer and Tv Series;
  • Visions, Representations and Politics


Themed Section 3 of 4: Meet the queer families: A roadmap towards legal recognition

Guest Editor: Nausica Palazzo

We are now to enter a ‘post-same-sex-marriage’ world. This form of marriage is either recognized or on its way to being recognized nearly everywhere in Western lands. Yet, the struggle for the recognition of non-traditional families is far from over. Many individuals are investing in relationships falling outside the model of the marital family: a nuclear, preferably heterosexual, exclusive and romantic. Think of nonconjugal relationships, polyamorous relationships, nomadic families, and various religious-based normativities.

These relationships are ‘queer’ to the extent they live ‘familyhood’ in ways that challenge traditional notions of family. In so doing, they expose the cracks of a seemingly coherent system of ordering and are subversive to a pre-arranged state- approved way of being family. Yet, this aspect might illuminate why Western states do not recognize them from a legal perspective.

This special issue has the double-barreled ambition to introduce queer families and offer reflections on why a state should legally recognize them. Notably, it will look at the problem from various angles: historical, expounding where and on which bases sub-sets of queer families have been recognized; comparative, especially looking at the rich European and North-American debate on the issue; interdisciplinary, establishing a sustained dialogue among legal research and disciplines within social sciences and humanities, notably social philosophy, sociology of the family, social movement studies, gender studies.

The ultimate aim is to offer theoretical tools to reconceive the current approach to the problem of the legal recognition of queer families. If not addressed, the current misalignment between law and the reality of modern families will impose high personal costs, affecting the way people live a central aspect of their life, family relationships.


Themed Section 4 of 4: Queer Thanatologies

Guest editors: Anna Chiara Corradino, Carmen Dell’Aversano, Roberta Langhi, Mattia Petricola

The expression ‘queer death’ could be said to describe two distinct yet deeply interrelated fields of inquiry. The first one is built around the study of the cultural performances related to death, the end of life, grief, and disposal from the perspective of peripheral, non-normative, and anti-normative identities —among which are those identities that fall within the LGBT+ spectrum. The second field of inquiry is devoted to the theoretical deconstruction of the polarity life/death itself, considered as one of the most fundamental constructs for the creation of all social entities, no matter how small or simple.

Our themed section seeks to explore both these declinations of queer death, taking into account real-life social constructs and practices as well as the representation of death/dying/grieving/disposal in fiction and the arts. How can queer theories and studies contribute to destabilise the polarity life/death and reshape the endless set of social practices that derive from it? In what sense can life and death be described as performances? How can queer help us deconstruct classical thanatological notions like that, among others, of ‘death denial’ or the Freudian idea of grief as the ‘overcoming’ of death?

Raising such questions implies adopting an extremely open, wide-ranging approach to queer death, spanning from the study of eroticised corpses in Renaissance and Baroque painting to the analysis of grief practices in 21st-century LGBT+ communities.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Queering the life/death polarity
  • Queering death in fiction (literature, film, comics, theatre, etc.) and the arts
  • Queering death in psychology, medical humanities, and the social sciences
  • Queering the anthropology of death
  • Queer approaches to bereavement and mourning
  • Queer death and the post-/non-/a-human
  • Queering the corpse
  • Death-related forms of desire and aesthetic contemplation


Whatever registration guide

1. Go to and click on “Register” or (in case you have already registered) on “Login”, the pink buttons on the top right-hand corner.

2. Register to Whatever — we would much appreciate if you also registered as a Reviewer and listed your reviewing interests. (

3. Check your email for a message asking you to confirm your registration (please also check your spam folder). Then confirm, log in and customise your password.


Whatever submission guide

1. On the Whatever website, click the “Make a submission” button on the right and read the checklist and guidelines (

2. Click on “Make a submission” at the top of the frame (

3. Step 1 — Choose your role (Author), the Section you wish to submit to (see the call for papers above), check the Requirement boxes (the checklist is the same as in “Make a submission”; only this time you must check all boxes yourself ); then click “Save and continue”.

4. Step 2 — Upload your file: a) select the file type (usually it’s “Article”, but you can upload more than one file); b) check the filename, just in case you uploaded the wrong file; c) confirm or add more stuff d) click “Complete” e) click “Save and continue”.

5. Step 3 — Enter metadata: title, abstract, languages, keywords... Your co-authors must be listed in the “List of contributors” box; they do not have to register. Click Save and continue

6. Step 4 — Click on “Finish submission”.

7. Step 5 — Sit back and relax or do what you please while your reviewers do their job.