CFP: Special issue on Women and Gender: Looking Toward “Caribbeanness”


Call for Papers

Journal of International Women’s Studies

Special issue on Women and Gender: Looking Toward “Caribbeanness”

Deadline for full papers: July 31, 2015

This special issue of the JIWS explores notions of “Caribbeanness” and how they are manifested within the geographical region and beyond into the diaspora, through literature, transnational activism, and constructions of: feminism, identity, femininity, masculinity, and sexuality. Édouard Glissant’s work theorizes that while the notion of a Caribbean unity through diversity is capable of empowering its people to “possess their world and their lived experience” it is a dream “forever denied, often deferred… vital but not obvious” (Caribbean Discourse 221). How can Caribbeanness function beyond the imaginary as multiple, plastic and porous, shared and contested, bound and liberating? Given its possibilities for continued division and exclusion by way of language, race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation, once Caribbeanness takes form and expression, how can it be actualized as agency? Is the fragile reality of Caribbeanness still a dream to work towards?

We welcome work from across the disciplines, particularly literature and the social sciences, to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue about what connects women and gender identities via the lens of Caribbeanness, across its many internal divisions? This special issue will explore the complexities of gender identity, performance, community and activism with varied analyses and interpretations of Caribbeanness. Additionally, we will ask if Caribbeanness is only accessible to those who are economically and physically mobile or for those who speak Creole, and thus serves as a marker of privilege? Can Caribbeanness ever materialize as an anti-structure or must it always be reduced to simply a new structure of exclusion and hierarchy?

We invite articles that speak to this theme of gender/sexuality and Caribbeanness and its various iterations via:

  • Transnational gender studies
  • Syncretism, multiplicity, counterpoint
  • Navigating/moving through disciplinary conditions and hierarchical structures of power—tensions between the structural lived experience/agency
  • Explorations and manifestations through literary/artistic forms and transnational social movements incorporating artistry
  • Actualizing Caribbeanness as agency and the poetics of transformation
  • How technology, particularly social media, facilitates the expression of gendered Caribbean identities, linking self-expression via literary forms—poetry, short stories, blogs, commentary, with activism/social change?
  • Diaspora and migration: How do individuals engage structural systems and with their creativity find voice and space to liberate themselves? Connect themselves to others across national boundaries?
  • The nature of inclusion-exclusion: how does unity emerge through fractions of language, race, identity, color, and class? Alternatively, how can those who do not have opportunities for travel, but see themselves as firmly rooted in Caribbean community, occupation, and economy access bridges toward Caribbeanness from local rootedness and deprivation?

Please send your submissions via email either to Allyson S. Ferrante at or Diana J. Fox or by July 31, 2015. Submission guidelines can be found on the journal website at:

For more information go to

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