Issue 5 (2022). Call for paper


Call for contributions
Whatever – A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies
Issue 5 (2022)

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.
Whatever is indexed in the following databases: Scopus; DOAJ; ROAD; ERIH plus; openAIRE. Applications for the following databases are pending: EBSCO: Philosopher’s Index, LGBT&Gender studies database; ProQuest; Sherpa/ROMEO.
We are now inviting submission for the fifth issue.
The issue will include a general section, which will host papers dealing with any and all aspects of queer theories and studies, a permanent themed section on BDSM, and several other themed sections; each themed section will be curated by an independent editorial team. A list of the themed sections for this fifth issue can be found below.

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: . 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. A submission checklist and guidelines are available at: A detailed submission guide is found at the end of this document.
The deadline for all submissions for issue 5 (general and themed sections alike) is October, 31, 2021.
Revised versions of accepted papers will be due on February, 28, 2022.
Last proofs will be due on May 25, 2022.
The issue will be published on June, 20, 2022.
Whatever is double-blind peer-reviewed, online, open-access.

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!

Permanent Themed Section: Performance, subversion, relation: tracing queer in BDSM
Editors: Massimo Fusillo, Serena Guarracino, Luca Zenobi

This permanent thematic section seeks contributions investigating the hermeneutic potential of this complex and diverse universe of sexual practices, all sharing a specific attention to performance, and to the transformation of power relationships into consensual play. At the same time, it intends to explore, through a comparative approach, representations of sadomasochism, fetishism, and other anti- normative sexual behaviours in literature, arts and the media, in order to map how BDSM may contribute to identify sexual and affective practices subverting the heteropatriarchal norm.
BDSM is here considered as a methodological framework staging and subverting the dynamics of power in heteronormative relationships, and as a thematic core which can be traced in very different narratives, from martyrdom in Catholic culture to romantic love as the founding mythology of the heterosexual couple. We therefore intend to solicit contributions that explore BDSM through multiple textualities, focusing on interdisciplinary lines of research such as, for example:
- Representation of BDSM practices in literature and the arts - Ecstasy, martyrdom and the aestheticization of suffering
- Anti-normative relationalities: BDSM and the ethics of care - BDSM, feminism and bodily politics
- Subversion and parody of heteronormativity


Bauer R., 2014, Queer BDSM Intimacies. Critical Consent and Pushing Boundaries, Palgrave MacMillan, London and New York.
Cruz, A., 2016, The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography, NYU Press, NY.Freeman, E., 2010, “Turn the Beat Around. Sadomasochism, Temporality, History”, in Time Binds. Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories, Duke University Press, Durham and London.
Fusillo, M., 2012, Feticci. Letteratura, cinema, arti visive, Il Mulino, Bologna, engl. Transl The Fetish. Literature, Cinema, Visual Art, Bloomsbury, New York 2017.
Holmes D., Murray S. J., Knack N., Mercier M., Fedoroff P., 2018, “Degenitalizing the Sexual: BDSM practices and the deterritorialization of bodies and pleasures”, in Holmes D., Murray S.J., Foth T. eds., Radical Sex Between Men. Assembling Desire-Machines, Routledge, London and New York: 117‐141.
Jenkins H., Gibson P.C., 2003, eds., More Dirty Looks. Gender, Pornography and Power, Palgrave BFI, London.
Kien, G., 2011, BDSM and Transgression 2.0. The Case of, in Transgression 2.0: Media, Culture, and the Politics of a Digital Age, ed. by T. Gournelos, D. J. Gunkel, Continuum, NY. Langdridge D., Barker M., eds., 2007, Safe, Sane and Consensual, Palgrave MacMillan, New York.
Levi, C., 2019 [1979], New kamasutra: Didattica sadomasochistica, intr. L. Bernini, Asterisco, Milano.
McClintock A., 1993, “Maid to Order: Commercial Fetishism and Gender Power”, in Social Text 37: 87-116.
Ortmann, D., Sprott, R., ed., 2012, Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, Rowman & Littlefield, Washington DC.
Reti I. ed., Unleashing Feminism. Critiquing Lesbian Sadomasochism in the Gay Nineties, HerBooks, Santa Cruz.
Scott, C., 2015, Thinking Kink. The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture, McFarland, Jefferson.
Weiss, M., 2011, Techniques of Pleasure. BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality, Duke University Press, Durham and London.

Themed section: Performando el género, la raza, la nación: el giro queer en la literatura latinoamericana contemporánea (1990-2020)
Editor: Gabriele Bizzarri

La presencia cada vez más significativa de motivos queer en la literatura latinoamericana de los últimos treinta años no puede dejar de llamar la atención. Si no se puede dar por descontada la asunción tercermundista del enésimo membrete importado, traficado desde el ‘Norte’ geográfico, económico y académico, y será preciso avizorar las modalidades y circunstancias de un aterrizaje teórico que tendrá que negociar sus ambiguas conquistas con la especificidad del contexto periférico tal y como señalan los intentos de transculturación tercamente latinos y reivindicativamente ‘analfabetos’ de lo cuir/cuy(r), es preciso señalar como el potencial antinormativo y desestabilizador de la teoría parece encontrar su territorio ‘natural’ de expresión en un Continente que, desde muchos puntos de vista, con sus muchas variables enloquecidas, nace a la historia de la Modernidad sin encajar en ninguna de sus categorías: de Pedro Lemebel en adelante, para llegar a la notable producción narrativa de escritor*s como como Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Giuseppe Caputo, Ena Lucía Portela, Mayra Santos-Febres, Claudia Hernández, Félix Bruzzone, Camila Sosa Villada…, lo queer se vuelve catalizador emblemático de la diferencia localmente activa en todas sus declinaciones posibles, es el detonador de versiones diversamente apócrifas de la historia, aparentemente ya escrita, de las relaciones posibles entre los cuerpos y los territorios, versiones que se activan no sólo desde la inconformidad del género y la sexualidad sino también desde la discontinuidad étnica, sociopolítica y epistémica inscrita con letra de sangre en la alucinante crónica de estas tierras, convirtiéndose, de paso, en un poderoso mecanismo de re-convocación contemporánea de la vieja y embustera historia de la ‘identidad latinoamericana’.
Se recibirán propuestas que se acerquen al texto literario latinoamericano contemporáneo (sin excluir el cine y los artes performativos) explorando, entre otros, los siguientes ejes temáticos:

• Disturbios e incongruencias sexo-genéricas.
• Articulaciones inconformes de la pertenencia étnica (queering lo indígena, lo afrodescendiente, lo mestizo…).
• Ciudadanías diferentes y pactos comunitarios alternativos en América Latina (queering el paradigma de la Nación).
• “Moda y pueblo”: amariconando ¡La Revolución!
• “Una forma no imprudente de recordar”: dictaduras y memoria queer.
• Intersecciones queer/postcolonial: reabrir los archivos de ‘lo latinoamericano’.
• Kitsch y camp latino: habitar el canon desde sus márgenes.

Themed Section Performing gender, race, nation: the queer turn in contemporary Latin American literature (1990-2020)
Guest Editor: Gabriele Bizzarri
The constant and significant presence of queer motifs in Latin American literature of the last thirty years should not be glossed over. Of course, the recruiting of yet another imported label, trafficked from the geographical, economic and academic “North” into a third-world context should not be taken for granted; and it will also be important to vigilate over the modes and circumstances of a theoretical landing which will have to negotiate its ambiguous conquests with the specificities of a peripheral context, as witnessed by the stubbornly latino and assertively illiterate attempts at transculturation summarized in the cuir/cuy(r) bid. However, it is just as important to signal that the theory’s antinormative and destabilizing potential seems to find the “natural” context in which to unfold in a continent which, from a number of viewpoints, in the overlapping of its manifold wildcards, emerges into the history of Modernity without being able to fully dwell in any of its categories: from Pedro Lemebel onwards, touching on the narrative fictions of writers like Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Giuseppe Caputo, Ena Lucía Portela, Mayra Santos-Febres, Claudia Hernández, Félix Bruzzone, Camila Sosa Villada... In Latin America queer becomes the emblematic catalyst of the locally active difference in all possible inflections, the ideal trigger of the apocryphal versions of the apparently already written story of the plausible relationships between bodies and territories, versions which pour forth not only from the incongruencies of gender and sexuality, but also from the ethnic, sociopolitical, and epistemic discontinuity which is written in characters of blood in the mind-blowing chronicle of these lands. So that it comes to work as a powerful mechanism of contemporary interpellation of the old and deceitful story of “Latin American identity”.
Contributions will be considered which approach the contemporary Latin American literary text (while not disregarding the cinema and performing arts) through an exploration of, among other possibilities, the following thematic directions:
– Troubling and disobediences related to sex and gender;
– Incongruous conformations and representations of ethnic belonging (queering indigenousness, afrodescencence, “the new mestiz*”...);
– Diverse citizenships and alternative community agreements in Latin America (queering the Nation paradigm);
– “Fashion and pueblo”: queering ¡La Revolución!
– “A not reckless form of memorizing”: dictatorships and queer memory;
– Queer/postcolonial intersections: reopening the “Latin American identity” archives;
– Latin Kitsch and camp: inhabiting the canon from its margins.

Themed section Visual Arts through a Queer Lens (1800-2000)
Guest Editors: Sergio Cortesini, Giulia Simi, Ladislav Zikmundlender

We invite to submit papers investigating visual works in any media (from painting and sculpture to experimental cinema and digital media, illustrations, amateur works, posters, fanzines, etc.) that contributed to questioning social categorizations and fostered emancipatory discursive formations, over two centuries (1800-2000 ca). We take queer critique in its broader sense addressing not only sexuality and gender, but also race, age, ability, class. We shall consider all relevant proposals relating any context, but we would be particularly eager to read new research works that combine serious historical investigation in artistic creativity from areas understudied—either historically or geographically. While international art experiences from the 1970s on have often availed themselves of performative languages or new media that are structurally conducive to destabilizing meanings—or were inflected by the burgeoning discourses of Feminism, LGBT movements, de-colonialism and post-colonial narratives —instances of queer resilience are less obvious in earlier times, especially in the classicist or realist styles dominant before the avant-gardes. Therefore, papers that uncovered queer instances during the 19th century, or encoded in traditional realistic styles, would be particularly interesting. On the other hand, visual expressions that challenge the dominant Anglo-American narrative and which engage periphery, both in geographical, social and political meaning, would be promising fields of inquiry.

We welcome papers addressing (but not limited to) these topics:

• (Self)-Representation practices that questioned the social categorizations of gender, sex, ethnicity, social status;
• Queer meanings in experimental cinema, video-art and in performance;
• Artists on the move: migration, antiracism and post-colonial gaze;
• The relationship with feminist theories and movements;
• The artistic contribution to the burgeoning LGBT movement in the 1970s and 1980s;
• Queer subtexts in 19th century;
• Queer experiences within the dictatorships and oppressive regimes: oppression and negotiation with;
• Queer practices challenging the Center narrative from a peripherical context: Southern and Central-Eastern Europe; Non-Western artists working both in Western context and in Latin-America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, non-metropolitan groups.
• Queer spaces and places; queer collections, curating, criticism, and art historiography.

Themed section Beyond the gender binary. New languages and new practices towards a recognition of non-binary people
Guest Editors: Carmen Ferrara, Alain Giami, Paolo Valerio

The procedures for the recognition of transgender people’s identities are continually evolving, and make a dialogue among the various disciplines and with the queer communities' needs.
Linguistic solutions for the inclusion of individuals who do not recognize themselves as masculine or feminine include singling out new pronouns and terminations, depending on the language, just as bureaucratic pathways to the official recognition of the above identities must be rethought in accordance with the evolution of society and of the demands of the people involved.

We, therefore, welcome theoretical and methodological considerations, empirical enquiries, and transdisciplinary reviews about the needs of people with a non binary gender identity and about the needed adjustments of health systems, health practices, research, and other fields. More specifically, contributions can address, among others, the following issues:

• Comparative inquiries on the norms for the legal recognition of non binary people;
• Case studies of experiences where the “non binary” option was included in demographic polls;
• Representation of non binary people in the media;
• Linguistic options to include non-binary people in neo-Latin languages;
• Gender medicine and non binary people, access to health services;
• The condition of non binary people in prisons;
• Non binary gender from an anthropological perspective;
• Non binary people in public spaces. How to plan inclusive cities;
• Enbyphobia in the LGBTI community;
• Forced migration of non binary people, asylum requests and immigration policies.

Contributions will be evaluated according to their originality and innovation with regard to both content and method.


Sezione tematica: Performando il genere, la razza, la nazione: la svolta queer nella letteratura latinoamericana contemporanea (1990-2020)
A cura di Gabriele Bizzarri
La presenza costante e significativa di motivi queer nella letteratura latinoamericana dell’ultimo trentennio è un fenomeno che non può rischiare di passare sotto silenzio. Se non si deve dare per scontata l’assunzione terzomondista dell’ennesima etichetta importata, trafficata dal ‘Nord’ geografico, economico e accademico, e sarà importante vigilare sulle modalità e le circostanze di un atterraggio teorico che dovrà negoziare le sue ambigue conquiste con le specificità del contesto periferico, come indicano i tentativi di transculturazione testardamente latinos e rivendicativamente ‘analfabeti’ che fanno capo alla proposta cuir/cuy(r), appare altresì importante segnalare che il potenziale antinormativo e destabilizzante della teoria sembra trovare il proprio terreno d’espressione ‘naturale’ in un Continente che, da molti punti di vista, nell’intreccio delle sue plurime variabili impazzite, nasce alla storia della Modernità senza riuscire ad abitare a pieno nessuna delle sue categorie: da Pedro Lemebel in avanti, fino a toccare la produzione narrativa di scrittori come Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Giuseppe Caputo, Ena Lucía Portela, Mayra Santos-Febres, Claudia Hernández, Félix Bruzzone, Camila Sosa Villada…, il queer, in America Latina, si fa catalizzatore emblematico della differenza localmente attiva in tutte le sue declinazioni possibili, diviene il detonatore ideale delle versioni apocrife della storia, apparentemente già scritta, delle relazioni plausibili tra i corpi e i territori, versioni che scaturiscono non solo dall’incongruenza del genere e della sessualità, bensì anche dalla discontinuità etnica, sociopolitica ed epistemica che è iscritta con lettere di sangue nell’allucinante cronaca di queste terre, venendo dunque a coincidere con un poderoso meccanismo di riconvocazione contemporanea della vecchia e ingannevole storia dell’‘identità latinoamericana’.
Si accetteranno contributi che si accosteranno al testo letterario latinoamericano contemporaneo (senza escludere in cinema e le arti performative) esplorando, tra le altre possibili, le seguenti linee tematiche:

• Perturbazioni e disobbedienze sesso-generiche.
• Conformazioni e rappresentazioni incongrue dell’appartenenza etnica (queering l’indigenismo, l’afrodiscendenza, “the new mestiz*”…).
• Cittadinanze diverse e patti comunitari alternativi in America Latina (queering il paradigma della Nazione).
• “Moda e pueblo”: queering ¡La Revolución!
• “Un modo non imprudente de ricordare”: dittature e memoria queer.
• Intersezioni queer/poscoloniale: riaprire gli archivi dell’‘identità latinoamericana’.
• Kitsch e camp latino: abitare il canone dai suoi margini.

Oltre il binarismo di genere. Nuovi linguaggi e nuove prassi per il riconoscimento delle persone non binary 
A cura di Carmen Ferrara, Alain Giami, Paolo Valerio

Le procedure per il riconoscimento dell’identità delle persone transgender sono in continua evoluzione e necessitano di un dialogo tra le varie discipline e con le comunità queer. 
Le soluzioni linguistiche per l’inclusione di soggettività che non si riconoscono nel maschile e nel femminile comprendono l’individuazione di nuovi pronomi e nuove desinenze, a seconda degli idiomi, così come le prassi burocratiche per il riconoscimento anagrafico di suddette identità necessitano di essere ripensate in virtù dell’evoluzione delle società e delle rivendicazioni da parte dei soggetti coinvolti. 
Pertanto sono ben accolte riflessioni teoriche e metodologiche, ricerche empiriche e reviews transdisciplinari sui bisogni delle persone con identità di genere non binaria e sulle indispensabili trasformazioni dei sistemi sanitari, delle pratiche sanitarie, della ricerca e di altre aree. In particolare gli articoli possono riguardare, tra le altre questioni: 
• Studi comparativi sulle norme per il riconoscimento giuridico delle persone non binary; 
• Casi studio di esperienze che hanno incluso la modalità “non binary” nelle rilevazioni demografiche; 
• Rappresentazione delle persone non binary nei media; 
• L’inclusione delle persone non binary nelle lingue neolatine; 
• Medicina di genere e persone non binarie, accesso ai servizi sanitari; 
• La condizione penitenziaria delle persone non binarie; 
• Il genere non binario da una prospettiva antropologica; 
• Le persone non binarie nello spazio pubblico. Come pianificare città inclusive; 
• Enbyphobia nella comunità LGBTI; 
• Migrazioni forzate di persone non binarie, richieste di asilo e sistema di accoglienza. 
Gli articoli saranno selezionati sulla base dell’originalità e dell’innovatività rispetto ai contenuti e ai metodi.