Call for Papers

FRAME 32.2 – Feminist Bodies

One week after the Dutch ‘Week of the Book’, and in the year we celebrate one hundred years of women’s voting rights in the Netherlands, FRAME presents the theme of their new issue: “Feminist Bodies”. The chosen theme of the Week of the Book was The Mother the Woman, intended to coincide with a year of looking back on the women’s suffrage movement – a movement which led to landmark changes in Dutch voting laws. While the theme was presented as an ode to womanhood, it still drew criticism from various feminist voices and organisations, such as Utrecht’s own intersectional bookstore Savannah Bay. For the most part, the response pushed back against the theme’s narrow understanding of what constitutes a woman (i.e. motherhood), and actively questioned the fact that only male authors had been invited to write on the theme.

In the current cultural climate of social movements like #MeToo and #HeforShe, debates about feminism and the female body have been gaining visibility. Feminists from all walks of life are coming together in street protests (like the historic Women’s March in 2017). Online, too, activism has been finding new spaces for communication and resistance. In these digital spaces, people not only fight for equality, but also claim agency over their own intersectional bodies and experiences, thereby addressing a diverse range of issues from sexual harassment to abortion rights, from the spectrum of sexuality to the gender pay gap. Indeed, these movements also question the legal, political, and cultural definitions of what constitutes a feminine body – or femininity at large.

In the field of literary studies, we might wonder how these different bodily experiences and forms of activism become apparent through modes of contemporary writing. With a mind on recent novels and short stories (like, for example, the viral hit short story, “Cat Person”, by Kristen Roupenian), or blogs and digital magazines (like Bitch Media), for our next issue we welcome submissions that explore how feminists use these mediums to ‘write the body’.* Furthermore, following the work of Gayatri Spivak, one might ask how the digital age is allowing for new modes of using one’s voice, and how it has changed the rules on who has the right – and the means – to make themselves heard.

In this issue of FRAME, we invite you to consider the value and potentials of comparative literary studies, and related fields such as gender studies, (new) media studies, cultural studies, and philosophy, to address the ways in which these different bodily experiences and modes of activism are communicated through literature and language. How has the digital age changed the ways of communication and claiming one’s space, and how does this (re)shape our conceptualisations, and lead to new representations, of intersectional bodies?

Naturally, the questions and concerns raised above represent only some of the issues that could be tackled in our upcoming issue, and we welcome any submission related to the general theme of “Feminist Bodies”. If you are interested in writing for FRAME, please submit a brief proposal of 250 words max. before 20 May 2019. The deadline for the final version of your article is set on 15 August 2019. An article for FRAME consists of a maximum of 5400 words, including bibliography and footnotes. For our Masterclass section, graduate students are invited to write up to a maximum of 3500 words. Articles should be accompanied by an abstract in English of approximately 100 words and a short biography. Please feel free to contact us at frame.gw@uu.nl, should you have any questions. More information can be found on our website: frameliteraryjournal.com.

* For a good summary on writing the body as theorised by Hélène Cixous, see Amy S. Crawford, “Dis/Eruption: Hélène Cixous’s Écriture Féminine and the Rhetoric of Material Idealism”, Feminismo/s, vol. 7, 2006, pp. 41-56.