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CFP Journal of Lesbian Studies: Special Issue on Biology/Embodiment/Desire

Special Issue Editors: Jennifer Terry (University of California Irvine) and Angela Willey (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Explorations of the sexological roots of `lesbianism’ dwell in productive tension with`queer’ interrogations of biological phenomena concerning embodiment, desire, and radical potentialities of many sorts. This issue offers a space to explore what is at stake in discourses, practices, and narratives of biology in the zones of proximity/experimentation/solidarity occupied by lesbian, queer, and trans subjects. Rather than seeing these figures and approaches as necessarily at odds, we want to insist on the importance of an under-theorized dyke legacy for thinking the at-once material and political nature of sexuality. Donna Haraway reminds us that "Biology is a discourse, not the living world itself." Twenty-Five years ago, Sandra Harding offered the provocation that a science starting from "lesbian lives" would challenge not only the naturalness of heterosexuality, but many of our most sacred assumptions about relationality, coupling, and kinship. In Uses of the Erotic, Audre Lorde writes, "Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives." In Are the Lips a Grave: A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex, Lynne Huffer suggests the importance of the figure of the lesbian to theorizing queer feminism. Here we hope to generate dykey queer feminist thinking on biology, embodiment, and desire. So we hope thinking with, from, and about "the lesbian" will inform papers that take as their objects many ways of knowing and many bodies of body-knowledge.

Some possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Queer feminist critiques of and other engagements with sciences of sexuality

  • Histories of inversion that connect queer genders and sexualities

  • Trans and Intersex approaches to theorizing with or about the lesbian

  • Analyses of transforming and competing disciplinary and extra-disciplinary understandings of what sexuality is

  • What is a lesbian? What are/do lesbians like?

  • Explorations of the lesbian non-human

  • Dyke science / dyke approaches to theorizing embodiment

  • Lesbian, queer, and trans health activism

  • Attachments to "nature"

  • Biological imaginaries and/in/of queer/dyke sex play

  • Dyke, queer, and trans* feminist theories of desire and belonging

Queries and Submissions should be sent to the editors at editors at: biology.embodiment.desire@gmail.com

Titles and 1-page abstracts are due by June 1, 2016

Full papers of 6,000-9,000 words should be received by August 15, 2016.