Issue 2. Call for Contributions

2018-04-16
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.

The first issue of Whatever, which will soon be online at whatever.cirque.unipi.it, will include a selection of papers from the first CIRQUE conference, which took place in L’Aquila (Italy) in the spring of 2017.

We are now inviting submission for the second issue.

Each upcoming issue of Whatever will 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 second issue can be found below.

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: giovanni@battitoriliberi.it . 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. Submission checklist and guidelines are available at: https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/about/submissions. A detailed submission guide is found at the end of this document.

The deadline for all submissions for issue 2 (general and themed sections alike) is October, 31, 2018.
Whatever is peer-reviewed, online, open-access.

Themed Section: Mario Mieli

Guest editors: Silvia De Laude, Dario Accolla, Paolo Frascà.

This themed section of Whatever would like to explore the figure of Mario Mieli (1952-1983), whose thought operates through conceptual (un)categories that go beyond the comfortably manageable labels of “gay,” “lesbian,” or “same-sex” desire, and whose work can be viewed as an initial manifestation of Queer Theory. As Tim Dean notes, “if Mieli were writing today, he would certainly present himself as queer. A significant measure of the power of Elementi di critica omosessuale stems from Mieli’s explicit desire not to be normal, from the pleasure of living like a ‘crazy fag,’ outrageous and scandalous” (2002). Mieli’s Elementi (Einaudi, 1977) begins to uncover the efficacy of queerness as a critical tool and has been identified as a powerful text by the likes of Teresa de Lauretis, Tim Dean, and others, while Mieli’s meditations on gender performativity, hetero/homonormativity, queer futurity, and the universality of desire precede current conversations in Queer Theory. With that said, the figure of Mario Mieli remains largely unexplored, particularly in the Anglocentric universe of Queer Studies.

In an attempt to address the relative lack of critical and academic considerations on Mario Mieli’s life and works, we would like to focus on Mieli’s theoretical contributions to Queer Theory in connection with this figure’s activism and even more unexplored creative production.

Among the concerns contributions might address are the following:

  • To what extent is Mario Mieli, along with others such as Luciano Parinetto (1934-2001), a precursor of what is nowadays known as Queer Theory?
  • What does it mean and why is it important to decentralize Queer Theory from the English-speaking world by focusing on figures such as Mario Mieli?
  • Why does Mario Mieli remain largely unacknowledged by modern Queer Studies, particularly outside the Italian context?
  • How do Mario Mieli’s creative production and personal life narrative reflect –
    and even generate – queerness?
  • Why and how are Mario Mieli’s thought and sense of militancy against oppression relevant today?
Themed Section: The Intersection of Queer Theories-Actions, Performing Arts and Activism

Guest editors: Marco Pustianaz, Sara Azzarelli, Egon Botteghi.

This themed section is dedicated to the relevant spaces that are generated at the intersections between Queer theories and actions, performing arts and activism. Scholars from several academic fields – such as Gender and Queer Studies, Performance Studies, Theatre and Dance Anthropology - have highlighted the relevant role of performing arts as a locus to explore, express and question normative assumptions about sexed bodies and gendered behaviours. Furthermore, performers and activists themselves have shared their peculiar experiences of exploration, identity construction and deconstruction and – implicit or explicit - activist work throughout their performative activity. Aiming to give further relevance to the potential of performing arts both as a space of doing and undoing, and as a tool to create awareness about queer issues, we invite submissions from performers and activists as well as from scholars who would like to reflect on their experiences and/or propose investigations in this domain.

Among the concerns contributions might address are the following:

  • Queer possibilities for performing arts in different cultural contexts – their potential for social change and their social, cultural, economic limits;
  • Doing queer activism through performing arts in cultural contexts where non-normative behaviours are punished by the law;
  • Queer activism in niche circles vs mainstream art circles;
  • Queer activism through performance in private or public spaces;
  • Does being “queer artists” still allow artists to be recognised as “professional artists”?
  • How has queer activism in performing arts changed over the last two decades?
Themed Section: Queering the history of modern and contemporary Italian art (1800-2000)

Guest editors: Sergio Cortesini, Massimo Fusillo.

The history of modern and contemporary Italian art (1800-2000) is rarely addressed from a queer perspective. The field of art history in Italian universities is still largely dominated by nuanced combinations of historicism and formalism, philological and unproblematic archival research and documental archaeology, and has seldom encouraged deconstructionist approaches, including gender and queer theory. As a result, only very recently—and mostly from abroad—scholars venture into new research works that combine serious historical investigation and a focus on historical practices of deconstruction of gender, sexuality, or other social categorizations. Unlike in the United States, where a long-established queer approach to the field has revealed scores of artists who have questioned assumptions of sex and desire, either in coded manners or as activists, one may have the impression that the history of Italian art unveils just a vacuum. Were Italian artists uninterested in challenging social norms, especially as the issue of sexuality arises? Were they just too engaged in stylistic diatribes, or devoted to an idealistic conception of art-making? Or, we would argue, has a queer history of Italian art still to come to surface? This Focus aims at shaking this oblivion, and casting a light to a still untold story. We invite papers that attempt at queering two centuries of Italian art, 1800-2000.

Among the concerns contributions might address are the following:

  • Portraits or self-portraits that questioned the social categorizations of gender, sex, ethnicity, social status;
  • Queer themes in video-art and in performace;
  • Queer activism in art circles;
  • The artistic contribution to the burgeoning LGBT movement in the 1970s and 1980s;
  • Queer themes and iconography in the Ottocento
  • Queer subtexts in Novecento and during Fascism
  • Homosexuality vs homosociality in artistic representations
  • Futurism and queer subversion
Whatever registration guide
  1. Go to whatever.cirque.unipi.it 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. (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/user/register)
  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 (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/about/submissions)
  2. Click on “Make a submission” at the top of the frame (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/submission/wizard)
  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.