Call for Papers: Guest edited issue of Ennen ja nyt, “Historicising queer theory in the time of ‘gender ideology’ and ‘gay propaganda'"

Over the past decade, scholars from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have been critical of the dominant narratives in LGBTQ histories. Critiques have targeted the perception that there were no forms of LGBT community before the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of the Cold War; and, dominant narratives that depict flows of knowledge and subjectivity which place Western Europe and North America as the place of production and CEE as the place of passive consumption. This dynamic, as sociologists Robert Kulpa and Joanna Mizielińska note, places the countries of CEE as permanently behind, in a sort of temporal lag where they are required to “catch up” to the west, but never quite make it as the west continues to progress (Kulpa and Mizielińska, 2011).

This thematic issue looks at this temporal lag in comparison to contemporary scholarship examining the instrumentalization of “gender ideology” and “gay propaganda” by conservative political and religious actors in the region. In particular, queer scholars such as theorist Judith Butler have been positioned as “the mother of ‘gender ideology’” (Paternotte and Kuhar, 2017), linking LGBTQ scholarship to a longer list of existential threats to the nation-state. This issue will examine how this scholarship is being actively undermined by conservative organizations, both through political interventions in academia – for example, the de-accreditation of gender studies programs in Hungary – and in the active misrepresentation of historical and theoretical discourses in LGBTQ studies.

Potential topics to be covered in this issue include (and are not limited to):

  • Historiographical responses to “gender ideology” and national futurity
  • LGBTQ narratives and narrative approaches to nationalism, national belonging
  • Historical examinations of transnational concepts of gender and sexuality
  • Circulations of queer and feminist theory and their uptake in CEE
  • Appropriations and reconfigurations of queer and feminist histories by far-right populist parties and political actors

Please submit abstracts of 250 words and a 100-word bibliography as well as your contact details and institutional affiliation to Clinton Glenn (clinton.glenn@mail.mcgill.ca). Abstracts will be accepted until 22 September 2020, with acceptance of proposals to be sent to authors by 30 September 2020. Final drafts of accepted papers will be due 30 November. This guest edited volume of Ennen ja nyt is set for publication in May 2021.

Contact Info:

Questions and comments may be directed to guest editor Clinton Glenn.

Contact Email: clinton.glenn@mail.mcgill.ca