Please note that our journal is entirely thematic. We only accept submissions that pertain to particular themes that correspond with the Calls for Papers below.
Issue number 123 (Fall/Winter 2015)
Abstract Deadline: February 1, 2014
Special issue editors:
Ben Cowan, George Mason University
Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández, The University of Texas at Austin
Jason Ruiz, University of Notre Dame
This special issue will contemplate empire as a global process involving sexualized subjects and objects. Contributions from across several disciplines will reconsider the history of sex and (or in) empire, critically engaging scholars’ recounting of those pasts in recent decades. From steam ships to steam rooms and sweat lodges to sweat shops, processes of pleasures and desire shaped the regulation and classification of bodies. On beaches, in boardrooms, from temples to taverns, sexual practices have always shaped imperial power relations. And in the many places and relationships where colonialism still shapes economics (slavery, debt peonage, underemployment, and their legacies), sex and sexuality remain a driving—if sometimes compounding or hidden—force in power relations.
A feminist point of departure for investigation of these processes as both economic and cultural, Anne McClintock’s 1995 Imperial Leather argued that there are three key areas to which scholars of empire should attend: “intimate relations between imperial power and resistance; money and sexuality; race and gender” (5). Nearly two decades later, Nayan Shah’s work in Stranger Intimacy on mass migration, male intimacy, and state desires for gendered order tracks “struggles over companionship, domesticity, and public life” as these pertained to contested notions of legitimacy in tenancy, property-holding, work, citizenship, and the tenure of capital (3). Shah demonstrates how economic empires in North America were built and brokered through “strange” ethnic and gendered intimacies; how these very intimacies were treated as threats to race and sex hierarchies deemed essential to national viability; how money and sexuality determined individual and collective fates; and how intimate practices blurred the distinctions between imperial subjects and imperial subjection.
Given the direction historical scholarship has taken at the crossroads of sexuality and empire—and given the broad historiographical space between Anne McClintock and Nayan Shah—what kind of questions is it now possible to ask? How do we speak across disciplinary, regional, temporal, national, methodological boundaries? Can we determine a “state of the field” in histories of empire and sexuality—and how might such a determination help us reassess local, regional, national, and transnational phenomena?
We use the gerund form—“Sexing Empire”—to indicate fluidity and continuity in the relationships between sex and imperialism, across traditional periodizations and geographies. Moreover, we wish to invite essays that speak to the sexual violence of empire--a violence implicated in a second, unspoken gerundic phrase: “fucking empire.” This phrase serves as a double-edged point of departure, suggesting the ways in which imperial fuckings could simultaneously facilitate, incarnate, and/or destabilize uneven power relations, as—for example—imperialist states sought to fuck and be fucked by their colonized subjects. One need only look at how ancient armies like those of Alexander the Great, who through conscription or voluntary service displaced masses of men, sometimes resulting in rape and intermarriage as a tactic of conquest and/or empire. Such intermarriage and sexual violence were official policy, making notions of diaspora complex and necessary to the expansion of empires, ancient and contemporary. Given the experimental format that RHR offers, we wish to include traditional academic essays, visual images, and activist perspectives on, about, and against “Fucking Empire.”
This special issue will combine transhistorical, transregional, and local-level case studies to provide macro-level perspective on the work of sexuality in imperial processes. In the various iterations of empires and colonial formations, how can we account for the technologies of desire? How does settler colonialism, as a transhistorical phenomenon, create categories of rapability, expendability, and social death as forms of sexualized violence? How have historical actors mobilized on behalf of the state or against the state based on politics of sexuality and/or conquest? Can we revisit the historicization of the contact zone as a site from which to study sexuality and sex? How might we track the physical, embodied, or affective symptoms of empire across time and space? We seek innovative case studies that answer these questions from a variety of disciplinary, periodic, regional, national, and transnational perspectives. Themes we wish to consider include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Colonial imaginaries, representations, voyeurism/surveillance, and fantasies of sex and race
- Diasporic convergences and continuities in sexuality, sexual identity, religion, and gender (Southeast Asian, African, Armenian, Indigenous/First Nations, Middle Eastern, Jewish, Latino/a, etc.)
- Queer formations, communities, migration, and diasporas
- Sex and economic exchange or sexuality grounded in material realities
- The violence and pleasure of racialized erotics
- Pleasure, play, and the erotics of domestic space and communal space
- Enslaved sexualities and kinships
- Carceral spaces and the erotics of punishment and violence
- Empire producing ecstasies, erotics and the religious
- The erotics of tourism and travel
- Sexual publics and counter-publics in the Americas
- Pornographies of Empire
- Cultural Productions and Media representations of sexualized empire
- Colonial regimes of sexual hygiene and health policy
Procedures for submission of articles: At this time we are requesting abstracts that are no longer than 300 words; these are due by February 1, 2014 and should be submitted electronically as an attachment to email@example.com with “Issue 123 submission” in the subject line. By March 15, 2014, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article to undergo the peer review process. The due date for completed drafts of articles is July 1, 2014. An invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee publication; publication depends on the peer review process and the overall shape the journal issue will take.
Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to send high-resolution image files (jpg or tif files at a minimum of 300 dpi), and secure written permission to reprint all images, meeting all minimum requirements set by Duke University Press for images.
Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 123 of Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in Fall/Winter, 2015.
For preliminary e-mail inquiries, please include “Issue 123” in the subject line.
Abstract Deadline: February 1, 2014
Historicizing the Politics and Pleasure of Sport
Issue number 125 (Spring 2016)
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2014
The global reach of football (soccer), basketball, cricket, and Olympic sports in the contemporary world can be traced back to European and U.S. imperial and commercial expansion. The agents of that imperialism—teachers, soldiers, traders, and colonial officials— believed sport to be an important part of their “civilizing mission.” Military interventions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, often accompanied by “soft power” cultural programs and private business ventures, fueled the popularity of Western sports. Reform movements tied eugenics and racism to their dissemination. But local elites and subalterns were not simply duped; they enjoyed the games on their own terms. As more communities participated, sport came to represent and constitute broader processes of social change. In the stands, sports pages, and clubhouses, fans rendered sport a place to debate racial and gender hierarchies. In the late twentieth century, international sport became part of a new global capitalist network of sport institutions (e.g. FIFA, International Olympic Committee, International Cricket Council), private corporations, mass media, and migrant athletes and coaches. In this process, sport came to symbolize and intensify unequal social and economic relations.
Histories of sport reveal a paradox: sport generates empowerment and disempowerment; inclusion and exclusion; unity and division. Sports have provided spaces for pleasure, freedom, solidarity, and resistance, but they have also reproduced class privilege, patriarchy, and racism. The performance of masculinities, creation of ideal body types, and the ongoing marginalization of women in sport illustrate these tensions. Recent events in Brazil, where controversy over contemporary mega sporting events merged with massive demonstrations for a range of social justice issues, highlight the unusual capacity of sport both to crystallize inequalities and to trigger civic activism. Reports of labor abuses in Qatar and censorship and environmental damage in Russia cast a dark shadow on the human and material costs of hosting “mega” sports events.
The editors invite submissions from scholars working on any period and world region. We are especially interested in studies that build upon the rich historiography about the nature of agency, identity, and embodiment as a way to explore sport’s contradictory past and present. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Sport, nationalism, and internationalism
- Sport, the public sphere, and citizenship
- Sport and radical protest
- Race, ethnicity, and “color lines” in sport
- Sport, reactionary politics, and racism
- Fan cultures, youth, consumption, and solidarity (including fan violence)
- Historicizing playing styles, aesthetics, and physical movement
- Histories of bodies, gender, and sexuality (including women’s athletics, masculinities, heteronormativity, queering of sports)
- Sport and the Global South (including sport migration, neocolonialism)
- Histories of Disability/Ability in sports
- Histories of illicit sport, gambling, and doping
- Revisiting landmark works, such as C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary (1963)
- Sport and the Cold War
- The Sporting Press
- Sport-Media-Tourism Complex and mega events
- Stadiums as sites of political struggle, urban geopolitics, and the spaces of sport
- Processes of professionalization and relationships to amateurism
- Historiographies, methodologies, and sourcing of sport studies
The RHR seeks scholarly, monographic research articles, but we also encourage such non-traditional contributions as photo essays, film and book review essays, interviews, brief interventions, “conversations” between scholars and/or activists, and teaching notes and annotated course syllabi for our Teaching Radical History section. Preliminary inquiries can be sent to Peter Alegi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Brenda Elsey (Brenda.email@example.com), and Amy Chazkel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Procedures for submission of articles: At this time we are requesting abstracts that are no longer than 400 words; these are due by September 1, 2014 and should be submitted electronically as an attachment to email@example.com with “Issue 125 submission” in the subject line. By October 15, 2014, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article to undergo the peer review process. The due date for completed drafts of articles is February 1, 2015. An invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee publication; publication depends on the peer review process and the overall shape the journal issue will take.
Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to send high-resolution image files (jpg or tif files at a minimum of 300 dpi), and secure written permission to reprint all images. Authors must also secure permissions for sound clips that they may wish to include with their articles in the online version of the journal. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 125 of Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in Spring 2016.
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2014