Call for Papers: Unsettling Gender, Sexuality, and the European East/West Divisions

Posted Date: 2023-01-16
Expiry Date: 2023-02-20

Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) invites original research papers for its thematic issue Unsettling Gender, Sexuality, and the European East/West Divisions (edited by Maria Mayerchyk, Greifswald University and Jennifer Ramme, European University Viadrina).

It is remarkable how often gender and sexuality are used to mark distinctions between Eastern and Western Europe, and how little attention is given to these differentials as markers of power relations embedded in and constitutive of this division. The thematic issue aims to explore the entanglements of gender, sexuality, and power, scrutinizing how gender and sexuality are negotiated in Eastern Europe, and participate in the construction of European East-West distinctions. Drawing on this analysis, we intend to decenter, historicize, and pluralize Eastern Europe.

Scholars from various fields are welcome to address the question of what the specific contributions to gender equality or gender and sexual emancipation were in the communist countries of Europe, and what has lingering effects today. After all, communism had taken up the banner of equal rights for women. Today, by contrast, what is called ‘Eastern Europe’ tends to be associated with conservative, anti-LGBTQ* or anti-gender-equality policies in light of legislative changes such as the restriction of abortion rights in Poland or the curtailment of freedoms and rights of non-heterosexual people in Russia. It is also claimed that there never was a sexual revolution or genuine grassroots feminism under state socialism in the first place, and that gender equality is a ‘Western import.’

In the thematic issue, we also would like to question homogenizing imaginary of the region and explore a variety of ‘Eastern Europes’ formed by the geography of difference. Indeed, one may speak of a CEE of the EU, but also of Eastern Europe outside of the EU, constituting margins of this CEE. How do multiple imperialisms inform gender and sexuality politics in the region, and what implications do they have for local politics, knowledge production, and activism? How are gender and sexuality designed as hegemonic or colonial domains of power, instrumentalized by global capitalism or other frameworks, and, at the same time, become sites of political resistance?

Finally, we invite contributions that focus on theoretical and methodological dimensions and discuss how the meanings of what constitutes ‘Eastern Europes’ and their borders are subject to change and how these intersect with gender and sexuality. Amongst other critical interventions that were initiated in the field during the last decades, we look forward to contributions offering new imaginaries of Eastern Europe(s) and identifying alternative genealogies. How does an Eastern European positionality change perspectives on gender and sexuality politics, and what specific theories and methodologies from European peripheries are possible?

We invite scholars to submit an abstract of 600–800 words, including the description of the research question(s) and finding(s) of the paper, along with the methodology applied, by 20 February 2023 to both editors (; Please add a short bibliography and a CV of up to 100 words.

Authors will receive feedback from the editorial team by 15 March 2023. The deadline for submitting final papers is 15 August 2023. The issue is scheduled for publication in the second half of 2024.

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Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) is a peer-reviewed journal promoting multidisciplinary and comparative thinking on Eastern and Central European societies in a global context. IEEJSP publishes research with international relevance and encourages comparative analysis both within the region and with other parts of the world. Founded by the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, IEEJSP provides an international forum for scholars coming from and/or working on the region. The journal is indexed by Web of Science (ESCI), Scopus, Index Copernicus, CEEOL, ERIH, and Google Scholar.