Calls for Papers

Special Issue: "Gender & the Politics of Shame"

Volume 33, Issue 3, 2018

Guest Editor: Clara Fischer

Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy seeks contributions for a special issue on “Gender and the Politics of Shame.” Significant advances in recent years in the development of shame theory make this issue especially timely.  The issue will evince   unprecedented feminist scholarly interest in affect and the politics of emotion. Shame has been theorized as a particularly gendered emotion, given women’s frequent inability to act as authors of shaming narratives in patriarchal societies. This special issue on the gendered politics of shame interrogates the relationship between gender, shame, and power. It examines how the politics of shame comes to be enacted against a variety of normatively transgressive bodies and subjectivities, and how shame informs the construction, inter alia, of gendered, racialized, and classed Others. Inversely, “Gender and the Politics of Shame” asks how Others respond to their construction as shameful. How have feminists subverted shaming narratives, or indeed, performed a politics of shame in the service of liberatory projects? 

Just as shame itself is often contested as either a negative or productive experience, so the politics of shame may invoke a diversity of conceptualizations that conflict with each other. “Gender and the Politics of Shame” invites such competing and varied theorizations, and asks feminist scholars from philosophy, other disciplines, and those doing interdisciplinary work, to present new and promising ways of thinking about the gendered politics of shame. Contributions from disability studies, critical race theory, queer studies, transnational and postcolonial feminism are particularly welcomed. Articles may cover the following themes:


-          Shame and theories of emotion/affect: how can the recent “turn to affect” help us to reconceptualize or advance theorizations of shame? What contribution have canonical expositions of shame made to feminist scholarship and how might these relate to contemporary critical thought on the gendered politics of shame? Which theoretical models of shame are most convincing and conducive to feminist political projects?

-          Shame and subjectivity: what is the relationship between shame and subjectivity? Is shame necessarily debilitating or is it an emotion that contributes productively to human and/or animal development?

-          Shame and related emotions (disgust, embarrassment, guilt, pride): what is the relationship between shame and other emotions/affects, particularly the self-conscious emotions? How can we distinguish between closely related feeling-states such as guilt and shame or disgust and shame? How is shame best understood ontologically?

-          Body shame and disability: how are certain bodies constructed as shameful? How do norms of (gendered) embodiment and ablebodiedness inform the politics of shame? How have critical disability theorists conceptualized shame?

-          Racialized shame: how is the politics of shame racialized? Which racist and gendered tropes does the politics of shame engage? How has racialized shaming underpinned and sustained colonial and imperialist systems?

-          Queer shame: what is the relationship between heteronormativity and shame? What role have heteronormative state policies and cultural sanctions played in the performance of the politics of shame? How have queer theorists advanced theorizations of shame in recent years?

-          Classed shame: what is the relationship between economic inequality and shame? Has the shaming of classed Others intensified in light of the global financial crisis and related, recent events? How is poverty construed as shameful?

-          Shame and activism/subversion: how do shamed constituencies deal with shame? What strategies have been developed to counter shaming narratives? How do activists draw on shame to highlight and remedy injustices committed by the state?

-          Shame and political institutions/systems: what role does the state play in performing the gendered politics of shame? How do its institutions produce shaming narratives? Are institutionalized Others particularly subject to a politics of shame?

-          Shame and humiliation: what is the difference between shaming and humiliating? Are shamed Others also humiliated Others?

-          Shame and aesthetics: what role does the aesthetic countering of shame (evinced, for example, by ‘black is beautiful’) play in liberatory politics? How are shameful Others constructed in art? How do feminist artists engage shame and the gendered politic of shame?

Deadline for submission: December 1, 2016

Papers should be no more than 8000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. In addition to articles, submissions to the Musings section are encouraged. These should not exceed 3,000 words, including footnotes and references. All submissions will be externally reviewed. For details, please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines:

Please submit your paper to:

When you submit, make sure to select “Politics of Shame” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editor, Clara Fischer, at indicating the title of the paper you have submitted.


Special Issue "Contested Terrains: Women of Color and Third World Women, Feminisms, and Geopolitics"

Volume 32 Issue 3, 2017

Guest Editors: Ranjoo Herr (Bentley University) and Shelley Park (University of Central Florida)


Hypatia seeks papers for a special issue on “Contested Terrains” featuring feminist scholarship that explores the varied geopolitical landscapes on which contestations about feminist theories and practices regarding women of color and Third World women are situated. The experiences and perspectives of women of color and Third World women have been frequently erased, distorted and manipulated both by dominant feminist discourses and by dominant geopolitical discourses. Long after the proclaimed demise of second wave feminism in the academy, neoliberal feminist discourses continue to dominate within neocolonial geopolitical regimes.  Conventional geopolitical discourses flatten the complexity of the lives of women of color and Third World women and ignore their diversely embodied, material and psychic realities by emphasizing conflicts and alliances between nation-states. We invite feminist analyses that rescale geopolitical landscapes, shifting our attention from the macroscopic perspectives of international affairs and globalization to the smaller scale connections between space and politics that play out at the level of intimate lives, community practices, and everyday tactics of survival and resistance of women of color and Third World women.  Papers that explore the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, age and other forms of difference intersect with issues of geopolitical location are encouraged. 

This special issue starts from the premise that differences and disagreements among women have value. Thus, we encourage submissions that explore tensions among women—locally, regionally, nationally and globally—as a potential source of productive feminist questioning, reflection, knowledge and practice. At the same time, such tensions should not be romanticized; disagreements are experienced differently and disproportionately by diverse participants with varying issues at stake. Because the material and psychic consequences of disagreement are rarely distributed evenly across geopolitical terrains, contributors are encouraged to analyze the consequences—as well as the origins—of contestations between and among women of color and white women and/or Third World and First World women.

Identifiers “women of color” and “Third World women” are used here to center the perspectives of women of color who—whether living in the Third World or in the First World—contest the neocolonialism and cultural imperialism of the First World, including First World feminisms.  However, contributions critically examining the identifiers “women of color” or “Third World women” themselves, as well as geopolitical divisions of the globe into “First” and “Third” worlds (or other conventional geopolitical mappings) are welcome.  How best to describe the differing geopolitical contexts of different feminisms in the era of economic, political, and cultural globalization is—and should be—itself a site of contestation.

Possible topics may include:

·         Contested discursive terrains: For example, the contested geopolitical partitionings of West/East; North/South; or First World/Third World and competing feminist understandings of globalization as embedded in theories of “women of color feminism,” “Third World feminism,” “transnational feminism,” “postcolonial feminism,” and “global feminism.”

·         Contested epistemological terrains:  For example, inequitable access to publishing resources, the privileging of written over oral traditions, and different understandings of cultural intelligibility.

·         Contested political terrains:  For example, the geopolitics of war, military occupations, nationalism, patriotism, terrorism, migration, border patrols, detention, and deportation; differing experiences of trauma and violence, security and danger.

·         Contested economic terrains:  For example, resource conflicts between and among women (and girls) situated differently as owners, sellers, consumers, workers and commodities in various industries ranging from agriculture to technology to tourism. 

·         Contested terrains of kinship:  For example, local and global disagreements among women concerning the ethics of polygamy, arranged marriages, transnational adoptions, and other familial forms. 

·         Contested terrains of solidarity:  For example, the struggles that arise among women, locally and globally, with different ethico-political values or priorities; how allies often harm those they intend to help.

Submission deadline: December 1, 2015

Papers should be no more than 8000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. In addition to articles, we invite submissions for our Musings section. These should not exceed 3,000 words, including footnotes and references. All submissions will be subject to external review. For details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines.

Please submit your paper to: When you submit, make sure to select “Contested Terrains” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editor(s) indicating the title of the paper you have submitted:  Ranjoo S. Herr: and Shelley Park: