Special Issue: Post-Normative?

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Review
contact email: 

South Atlantic Review Special Issue: “Post-Normative?”

Guest Editors: Horacio Sierra, Bowie State University & Austin Svedjan, Louisiana State University

What is queerness’s relation to normativity today? In the nearly thirty years since Michael Warner’s seminal definition of “queer” as a “more thorough resistance to regimes of the normal,” queerness has come to bear a plethora of political uses and identitarian definitions. Popularly, queerness encompasses the broad swath of gender and sexual minorities seeking solace in those same regimes, motivated by what David Halperin has called the “drive to social acceptance and integration into society as a whole.” This special issue of South Atlantic Review, the journal of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA), seeks to explore the possibilities of going “post-normative” as a method of radical queer theorizing and practice. Our preference for the “post” prefix gives queerness a number of potential definitions in relation to Warner’s “regimes of the normal.” Is queerness in excess of or somehow beyond whatever is deemed “normal”? Does queerness, to think with José Esteban Muñoz, come after the normal “here and now”? Is “normativity” as a term of socially routine behavior becoming—as a Vice article (https://www.vice.com/en/article/avy9vz/can-straight-people-be-queer-435) asks—something of the past? Through the investigating of these (and more) questions, this issue attempts to theorize what queerness offers (what forms it takes, what types of being it makes possible) in the wake of normativity.

The question mark in the title of this special issue additionally signals our attentiveness to critiques of “normative” as a coherent object of analysis, such as Robyn Wiegman and Elizabeth A. Wilson’s claim that queerness’s fundamental rivalry with normativity has become so accepted that it limits our understanding of queerness, as well as Cathy Cohen’s assertion that what might be initially considered “normative” can still be an aspect of marginalization (i.e., the heterosexuality of Black women). Therefore, we also welcome contributions exploring the doubts of going “post-normative.” How might “queer” identities need “norms” to define themselves against? Can we ever be “post-normative”? Are there “post-normative” recreations of normativity?

This special issue seeks to reflect on the intellectual history of queer studies, taking “normativity” (that which has arguably remained its disciplinary foundation) as its primary object. Prospective contributions may be from any textual archive, discipline, or historical period. We also welcome interrogations of various cultural and historical artifacts, ranging from literary texts, films, albums, and video games to social media networks, legal codes, and performance art.

Possible topics may include but are by no means limited to:
-temporal/spatial normativities vs queer times/queer spaces (i.e. Jack Halberstam’s “metronormativity”)
-the South in/as/against normativity (i.e. E. Patrick Johnson and John Howard)
-queer anarchism
-queer theory/studies in the normative university
-Hispanic/Latino cultures’ negotiation of queer identity and normativity
-Black/African diaspora/pan-African cultures’ negotiation of queer identity and normativity
-Asian/South Asian/Pacific Ocean cultures’ negotiation of queer identity and normativity
-disability and conceptions of queerness/normativity
-crip theory and normativity
-queer of color critique/queer theory’s normativity
-queer normativities
-normative queerness (i.e. Lisa Duggan’s “homonormativity”)
-trans* studies and antinormativity/gender “trouble”
-“blackness” in/as/against “queerness”
-queerness and anti-colonialism
-queer futures/queer futurity/utopianism
-queer theory’s “antisocial thesis”
-“Failure” and queerness

Prospective contributors should submit <500-word abstracts to Horacio Sierra (hsierra@bowiestate.edu) & Austin Svedjan (asvedj1@lsu.edu) with “Post-Normative Submission” in the subject line by June 15, 2021. Contributors will need to have an active SAMLA membership at the time of publication.

Prospective contributors may email general inquiries about the issue as well.