Current issue

This is the fiftieth anniversary issue of Feminist Studies. We celebrate a half century of groundbreaking scholarship and research, creative expression, and political commentary. Since 1972, our founding year, women around the globe have gained considerably greater access to higher education, professional occupations, and political participation. But apparent advances for women have occurred in contradictory contexts to which we can too often be inattentive. In 1972, too many people in the United States had only begun to recognize its deeply entrenched heritage of racism, and the country was embroiled in a cruel and misguided imperialist war in Vietnam. Average wages were at an inflation-adjusted peak then, but increased inequality means that they have eroded since. And many technologies devised in past decades have contributed to a series of climate emergencies harming our planet. In other words, in celebrating the journal’s past, we also look somewhat soberly toward the future in this issue.
  As we write in 2022, Iranian women and men are heroically protesting a repressive theocratic state’s effort to strip them of their rights to education, work, and bodily autonomy. The Kurdish revolutionary slogan “Woman, life, freedom!”—is also an aspiration for others around the globe. For us in the United States, the terms “woman,” “life,” and “freedom” reverberate with questions. We now understand “women” as a vital but ambiguous category variously dissected by old debates about culture versus biology and more recently divided by changes in our categories and systems of gender and sexuality. What “life” means is very differently interpreted by “pro-life” crusaders, advocates for women’s reproductive choices, and again by those who decry humanity’s arrogance in usurping the claims and opportunities of non-human entities. And “freedom” confronts the devastating persistence of wars and the too-feeble institutions dedicated to peace and justice. In the face of such challenges, the essays published in this issue clarify our categories, illuminate the struggles we face, and interrogate our efforts toward solutions. [CONTINUE...]

  1. Contributors
  2. Clare Hemmings
  3. Robyn Wiegman
  4. Lila Abu-Lughod, Rema Hammami, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, and Laura Charney
  5. Bibiana Obler
  6. Jennifer C. Nash
  7. Hemangini Gupta and Carly Thomsen with Jennifer D. Ortegren, Karin Hanta, Jessyka Finley, Kristin Bright, Laurie Essig, Catharine Wright, Patricia Saldarriaga, and Fernando Rocha
  8. Anna Chatillon
  9. Cara K. Snyder
  10. Meg Wesling
  11. Matt Richardson, editor, with Eve Brown, Trystan Cotten, Che Gossett, LaVelle Ridley, and C. Riley Snorton
  12. Karen Weingarten
  13. Johanna Schoen
  14. Belinda Waller-Peterson
  15. Heather Latimer
  16. Melissa Huerta
  17. Leslie J. Reagan
  18. Amy Obermeyer
  19. Alexis Pauline Gumbs
  20. Minnie Bruce Pratt
  21. Evie Shockley
  22. Shirley Geok-lin Lim
  23. Rachel Blau DuPlessis
  24. Nazanin Shahrokni

Previous issue

“State violence is chronic,” writes Cynthia Wu in discussing institutionalized anti-Blackness and police killings. This issue of Feminist Studies brings together a range of essays that explore possibilities for challenging chronic forms of state-sponsored, institutionalized, sexual, intimate, and symbolic violence in a variety of transnational contexts. The first cluster of pieces in this issue responds to the current moment in US regulation of women’s reproduction, focusing on its chronic racialized, classed, and gendered aspects. Heather Latimer draws attention to how the US “slave episteme”—the system of thought that constructed enslaved women and their fetuses as competing commodities—enabled the rise of antiabortion attitudes in the nineteenth century and deeply informed the antiabortion rhetoric of early white feminists. Kenneth Carroll’s poem meditates on a twelve-year-old boy’s dawning awareness of such violence, and particularly a young woman’s unsuccessful and near-fatal abortion attempt. The second cluster of essays in this volume examines gender and sexual formation, foregrounding theoretical possibilities for reconceptualizing dominant gender and sexual subjectivities. Khanum Shaikh and Akanksha Misra both explore contexts in which children learn to comply with and to challenge gender and sexual scripts—Shaikh focuses on how intergenerational domestic spaces in Pakistan serve as sites of gender/sexual pedagogy and resistance, while Misra draws on her work as a middle-school teacher in Turkey and a child-sexual-abuse-prevention trainer in India to underscore the central role that schooling plays. Patricia de Santana Pinho elucidates how global commodity culture also shapes processes of gender and sexual formation, focusing on beauty products, services, and procedures marketed as “Brazilian” in the United States. The remaining two authors in this cluster of essays—Sally Robinson and Cassius Adair—analyze processes of gender formation that foster toxic masculinity and discipline those who, in Adair’s words, “take strange and unexpected and non-linear paths in pursuit of [them]selves.” Robinson reviews five recent books that explore how specific communities of men and boys understand their masculinity, while Adair considers the affordances and limitations of conceptualizing trans subjectivity as either a chronic or acute condition, proposing that we abandon temporal frameworks. The third and final cluster of essays in this volume engages with questions of violence and gendered embodiment in zones of political conflict: Sonal Khullar analyzes the work of two contemporary women artists who live and work in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and Ambika Satkunanathan provides a gendered analysis of the recent Sri Lankan protests that emerged in March 2022. Zainab Saleh reviews four recent books that explore state disciplining, recuperating, and/or disposing of raced and gendered bodies. [CONTINUE...]

  1. Contributors
  2. Heather Latimer
  3. Kenneth Carroll
  4. Khanum Shaikh
  5. Akanksha Misra
  6. Patricia de Santana Pinho
  7. Sally Robinson
  8. Cassius Adair
  9. Sonal Khullar
  10. Ambika Satkunanathan
  11. Zainab Saleh

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