Call for Papers: Entangled Inequalities in Historical Perspective

Call for Papers

Call for Papers by the Freiburger Zeitschrift für GeschlechterStudien.

Extended Deadline: 15th of April 2021

An intersectional view of the current situation clearly shows that the social consequences of the pandemic hit the weakest fastest and the most severely. This is nothing new; yet, social inequalities are now coming to the fore with particular vehemence. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #LeaveNoOneBehind and #ShutItAllDown have recently organized to counter this trend. Both these movements and the conditions they combat have (post/colonial) histories. From a historical perspective, categories of difference, including skin colour, ethnicity, class, religion, gender relations, sexual preferences and physical variations have often been examined independently from one another. Rather than investigating the constellations in combination, historical scholarship tends to overlook variations within and between groups and the effects of colonial racism – as applied to women of different race, religion, class, sexuality, and body, for instance – and the specific mechanisms of exclusion, discrimination, and privilege associated with these differences. Solidarity based on critical reflection is thus made more difficult.
This isolated approach was denounced as early as 1851 by Sojourner Truth in her famous speech “Ain't I a woman”. Since Kimberlé Crenshaw’s essay was published in 1989, if not before, the interlocking of categories of difference such as race, class and gender has been discussed under the label of intersectionality. As an analytical model, intersectionality advanced in the 1990s to become the new buzzword (Davis) of feminist theory and is now widely accepted in various academic fields. In historical research and other historically-oriented disciplines, however, there are hardly any studies that apply the concept theoretically or methodologically. The concept of intersectionality, which comes from Critical Race Theory, aims at inscribing all three categories race-class-gender into historiography. Contributions that focus on other categories of difference are covered by the heading “interlocking inequalities”.

Our call for papers broadly addresses two questions. Firstly, we invite proposals offering approaches to intersectional themes of a thoroughly historical nature that investigate the change and diversity of interlocking social inequalities. How are biographical and structural categories of difference conceptualized, contextualized and analysed? We welcome contributions that compare and discuss political, social, economic and cultural historical perspectives, as well as papers that examine different epochs and different regions of the world. Secondly, we are interested in the historicity of intersectional research itself, its beginnings in women's and gender history in the 1980s and subsequent development.

  • How and in what context does historical scholarship conduct research intersectionally?
  • What effects does the cautious application of the intersection-al approach have on our historical consciousness and current debates?
  • Do we need new methods to apply intersectionality to history?
  • Which historical fields would benefit particularly from an inter-sectional approach?
  • In what way do intersectional approaches challenge estab-lished narratives, turning points and epochs?

The guest editors of the Freiburger Zeitschrift für Geschlechter-Studien Issue 28|2022 are also looking forward to receiving manuscripts from various disciplines that historicize and contextualize the concept of intersectionality, explore the relevance, potentials, and lim-its of the application of the concept to historical questions, or propose further methodological developments.

Please submit your German or English text on the subject of Entangled Inequalities to fzg@zag.uni-freiburg.de by 15th of April 2021. Your article should not exceed 40,000 characters (incl. bibliography, with spaces): The article should be preceded by an abstract of max. 10 lines and five keywords according to the keyword index at Gender Open (German and English respectively). A review of a publication on the topic should be no longer than 12,000 characters and should be sent to the fzg by the end of July 2021.
The fzg only publishes original articles. We ask you to confirm this in writing when you submit your article. A form for this purpose as well as the guidelines for formatting the text can be found at our website.