Gender & Embodiment in Narratives of Displacement: Special Issue of Feminist Encounters

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Katrina Powell, Virginia Tech
contact email: 

According to the United Nations, more than 70 million people have been displaced worldwide. The UN monitors statistics on internally displaced persons, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and within those groups there are nuanced experiences of displacement based on gender, race, sexual expression, class, religion, and ability. Experience of forced displacement—whether because of civil unrest, natural disaster, government-induced development, or climate change—is more and more a shared experience, and the narratives of these experiences can both bring together and challenge us. The recent global Coronavirus pandemic affects us all, and yet it exacerbates the inequities in medical care, services, and ability to adhere to stay-at-home mandates. Forced in-placement is another form of bodily control highlighting the ways vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by crises.

For this special issue of Feminist Encounters, we focus on interdisciplinary approaches to displacement, mobility, migration, and resettlement, and the embodied narratives produced around these issues. The body often serves as the site where discourses of identity and discourses of power overlap and intersect. With an understanding that displacement involves the movement of actual bodies across space, place, and time, we seek essays and other creative works that address the complexities of embodied displacement from interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches. We welcome submissions from scholars and artists using innovative methodological and reporting approaches, to understand the variety of ways that narratives of embodied displacement are composed and disseminated.

Questions to address could include but are not limited to:


  • What are the untold challenges of displacement inscribed on the body?
  • How are bodies represented and archived in these little known stories?
  • How do gendered, racialized, or queer representations of the body disrupt or alter dominant narratives of migration, resettlement, or displacement?
  • How do stay-at-home restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic impact communities and bodies differently? Can one be displaced in place?


Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 250-350 words and a brief biography to by September 15, 2020.  Full essay deadline will be June 1, 2021. Send queries to Katrina Powell at