Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

AFIAfrican Feminist Initiative

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Feminist Formations

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Feminist Formations

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Feminist Formations

“Writing African Feminist Subjectivities”

Guest edited by Maha Marouan and Alicia C. Decker

African feminist subjectivities are complex, and often contradictory. They are always in flux and necessarily connected to transnational and global processes and movements, but also grounded in specific histories and locales. We seek essays that address subjectivity as an analytical category that troubles essentialist conceptions of belonging and raises critical questions about feminism as resistance politics. Specifically, we invite essays that explore how feminists of Africa write and articulate African feminist subjectivities (Cis, Queer and Transgender); how they negotiate power and build feminist communities; how they mobilize against domestic and sexual repression and violence; how they address politics of knowledge production and its embedded hierarchies of power (geographical, economic, cultural, racial and linguistic); and how they navigate essentialist renditions of African identity and what it means to be African and write feminisms in Africa.

The special issue will address the following themes and questions:

  • How do African feminist subjectivities critically engage with historical and institutional operations of power? What do micro-histories (of the individual) tell us about the larger philosophical possibilities of African feminisms as a worldview and as a political instrument of collective transformation?
  • Who narrates African feminist subjectivities both within and outside the continent? How has the continent’s colonial legacy and its ties to Western feminism impacted upon knowledge production of African feminist subjectivities? How are transnational collaborations among African feminist thinkers and activists cross-continently and across the Global South opening new sites for the articulation of African feminist subjectivities?
  • How do feminists of Africa write and experience home? How do they trouble the notion of ‘authenticity’ and challenge nationalist and territorial ideologies of belonging? How have mobility, migration, and transnational experiences challenged fixed notions of home and belonging?
  • How do feminists of Africa challenge misogynist violence and hate-crimes? What are the tools they use to challenge sexualized violence, from rape and domestic abuse, to hate crimes against those who identify as queer and/or transgender? 
How do they challenge Right Wing Religious Fundamentalisms and the persistence of feudal infrastructures that compound the isolation and vilification of non-binary people?
  • How do feminists of Africa articulate their experiences of COVID-19, from economic uncertainty, to social strife to racial violence? How do they re- imagine social safety, mobility and borders?
  • How do African ontologies and epistemologies inform African feminist subjectivities (cis, transgender, and queer)? How do they challenge normative understandings of gender identities and sexual difference?
  • How are African feminist lineages charted, sustained and celebrated? What is the role of collective memory in sustaining this lineage? Who are our feminist ancestors? How are they claimed? How are they remembered?
  • How do African feminists conceptualize spirituality and/or practices of self-Care? What are the ontological and epistemological frameworks they deploy to help them in carrying out their intellectual and activist work?


Submission Process: Manuscripts should be submitted to the Feminist Formations Submittable page by June 15th, 2022.


Following the deadline, guest editors will review the manuscripts and determine those to be sent for full review. Citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style. For more details, please see Feminist Formations submission guidelines. Manuscripts will be subject to anonymous review and must adhere to the publishing guidelines of Feminist Formations, found at: https://feministformations.org/. Scholarly essays should not exceed 10,000 words, including notes and references. Files must be in Word (.doc).

Submit your paper now!


Anticipated Publication Date: Winter 2023

For information on submission preparation, download a Feminist Formations style guidesubmission checklist, and anonymization guide.

Questions about the submission process may be sent to editorial assistant Miranda Findlay at feministformations@oregonstate.edu.   

Feminist Formations is a leading journal of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, published three times a year by the Johns Hopkins University Press. It is housed in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Oregon State University, under the editorship of Patti Duncan. For more information, see www.feministformations.org