Calls for Papers

Special Issue “Feminist Love Studies in the 21st Century”

Volume 32 Issue 1, 2017

Guest Editors: Ann Ferguson (University of Massachusetts Amherst, U.S.) and

Margaret E. Toye (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy is seeking contributions for a special issue on “Feminist Love Studies in the 21st Century.” “Love Studies” marks a significant interdisciplinary interest over the last two decades in rethinking the concept of “love” as a distinct and important area of study. Thinkers across many disciplines are studying love as “love” rather than in terms of connected concepts such as “care” or “sexual desire,” and claiming love as an important ethical, social, and/or political force. But how much are these studies being led by male and non-feminist scholars? Love in Western thought is often associated with women/the feminine, but has this rhetorical ploy made it more difficult for female and feminist thinkers to theorize love? Certainly, love played an important role in the work of early feminist thinkers, such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir, and in some of the first radical feminist work of Shulamith Firestone and Ti-Grace Atkinson. But have feminist thinkers responded to recent love studies either by theorizing love as a negative and harmful part of women’s lives or by focusing on the importance of one kind of feminized love, that is, care? What other aspects of love are important to examine from a feminist perspective?

This special issue, “Feminist Love Studies in the 21st Century,” will feature feminist scholarship that contributes to the development of the newly claimed area of “Feminist Love Studies.” While continuing to assess the harmful effects of patriarchal/colonial conceptions of love, Feminist Love Studies stresses the consideration of love as a productive and creative force/connecting energy/ capacity, and while it does not abandon the consideration of “care,” it emphasizes the consideration of love in its many other aspects. 

Thinking about love is tied to thinking about connected concepts including, but not limited, to: identity, kinship relations, political solidarity/coalitions, bodies, sensation, matter, private/public, reason/emotion, and space/time. Rethinking feminist conceptions of love is therefore tied to 21st Century feminist rethinking of these concepts.

We welcome essays addressed to feminist philosophers as well as work across the disciplines. We particularly encourage contributions that are working in critical race, postcolonial, transnational, disability, queer, trans and animal studies.  Questions authors may want to consider:

·      Ontological questions: love as a thing vs. an action; ideal vs. non-ideal love; love and the posthuman; love in and across social locations, including gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality and ability; “love” vs. kinds of intersubjective love (e.g., romantic, erotic, parental, kinship love; love as friendship); love of the specific vs. the general (including love and political solidarity,  love of the commons,  love of nature, compassion, agape)

·      Epistemological questions: love of/as theory (philos + Sophia =“love of wisdom”), methodologies for studying love, the centrality of love to feminist methods, love and feminist cartographies

·      Political questions: a biopolitics/bioethics of love; love and labor/love as labor; love power; love in advanced capitalism; Western philosophy’s borrowing from Eastern philosophies of love;  the privileging of philosophies of love in Western/Northern nations v. non-Western/Southern nations

·      Ethical questions:  love as gift; love as reciprocity; love mediated through social media and electronic technologies v. face-to-face love; love as energy/creative capacity

·      Aesthetic questions: love as the unrepresentable v. love as representation/ discourse; love as sensation

·      Feminist studies of love and the new materialism: intersubjective human love vs. love of/by the nonhuman: e.g. animals, objects, the environment, matter; bios, zoë, and entanglement as theories of love; love as creative energy

·      Feminist love studies in relation to feminist affect studies: love as affect, emotion, feeling, sensation, force; love’s relationship to other affects/emotions.

Submission deadline: August 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. For details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines: http://www.hypatiaphilosophy.org/Editorial/submission_guidelines.html  Please submit your paper to: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hypa When you submit, make sure to select “Special Issue Feminist Love Studies” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editors Ann Ferguson and Margaret Toye at femlovestudies@gmail.com indicating the title of the paper you have submitted.