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WSQ, Spring 2016 : WSQ Special Issue: SURVIVAL


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Mar 1, 2015
Final Version Due Mar 1, 2015
Categories    humanities   literature   philosophy   interdisciplinary

Call For Papers

WSQ Survival Issue [Due March 1, 2015]
(WSQ at the Feminist Press)

Contact Email:

Call for Papers, Poetry and Prose

WSQ Special Issue Spring 2016: Survival
Guest Editors: Frances Bartowski, Elena Glasberg, and Taylor Black

To survive is messy, elaborate, layered. The metaphysics of deferral are entwined in the root and the prefix sur (over) vive (life): to live beyond. Survival conjures hills alive with survivalists, such misconstrued terms as “survival of the fittest,” the defiance reflected in Gloria Gaynor’s 1980s disco anthem “I Will Survive,” as well as states of being “a survivor” of incest, war, or rape. Survival’s topicality extends beyond controversies around life/death expectancy, planned life termination, as well as the continuing fascination of suicide and now ecocide. Posing “Survival” invites the question: What didn’t survive? As life (or living) is a strategic, representable mode of survival over time, the biopolitics of control and management have made both politics and representation always already invested in surviving and in survival. As Jacques Derrida (1995) has made explicit, the archive (of the past) relies for its value, or its survivability, on a promised futurity. Lee Edelmen’s No Future (2004) is a frustrated calling out of the biopolitics of normalization under edicts to live, to be healthy, to reproduce (a future). Sarah Lochlan-Jain’s concept of “prognosis time” (“Cancer Butch” 2007) reveals the anxious disciplining of those living with cancer (or with certain disabilities or age that places them in a zone of limited survivability) through the enforcement of a future as strictly coterminus with survival. What happens when survival is no longer suppressed or assumed, taken as inevitable or as the condition of possibility of both temporality and disciplinary knowledge, or periodization?

Much of survival’s force and promise stems from its unpredictable attachments across the biological and social sciences, where it long ago escaped the box of mechanism to become a metaphor. Orphaned traditions are survivals of bygone cultures. Legal regimes sometimes remain in force beyond the period of their initiating circumstances; the Antarctic Treaty, for example, is a Cold War survival. Survival signifies as actuarial differential in Ruth Wilson-Gilmore’s work on racialized survival within the US prison system (2007), or what Lauren Berlant has named “slow death” (2007); it is revived in controversy around medical practices, most obviously with organ transplants, but also on the level of the cellular, as in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), about the exploitation of a North Carolina woman’s cellular property after her death from cancer. Jodi Byrd in Transit of Empire (2011) offers “Survivance” as a counter to the notion of a serviceable Native disappearance as it continues to limit Native sovereignty under various regimes of settler occupation. Elizabeth Grosz (2011) revives the disruptive potential of female-driven sexual selection as an aesthetic, willful, irrational force—an anthropogenic factor not necessarily coordinate with environmental management as an untrustworthy guarantor of human survival.

We invite submissions that explore classic, contemporary and subterranean feminist texts that think through the politics of surviving and explore untimely ethics of survival. In the introduction for this issue, we revisit Valerie Solanas’s classic SCUM Manifesto (1967). Although hardly in need of rediscovery, SCUM Manifesto has not been understood for its hilarious invocation of a specifically biological rationale for the r/evolutionary (and environmentally salutary) extinction of the male sex. Its language of male mutation and its invitation to enlightened men to “relax” and enjoy the ride to their “demise” casts the war of the sexes as inevitable. Solanas’s radical vision of feminist essentialism presents the extinction of man as an apocalyptic rendering of the near future. Her commitment to the death of all men invites a range of response across disciplines, media, and time frames and represents the contrary spirit supporting this present feminist meditation on survival.

Topics and themes we are interested in exploring include but are not limited to:

R/evolution: Evolution, Capital, and Neo-Darwinism
Ethics of suicide and gender
Un/natural Selection
Ecocide, death drive as slow death
Cancer and Women, Feminist Cancer Journals
Ecology and intuition
Extinction as Survival through the other end of the telescope
Biopolitics and Population Management
Indigeneity and Sovereignty in the Anthropocene
Reproduction: sexual, viral, and social
Environmental Management's unintended effects
The Feminist “Anthropo/s/cene”
The Feminist Untimely
The art of Survival
Survivalism and gender
Environmentalism and unequal sacrifice
Apocalypse, climate and otherwise
Legal vestiges, protectionism’s afterlives
Holdouts and forgotten remains/relics
Precarity, disease, women
The violence of the social production of gender/sexuality
Genetic property and feminized “body” parts
Feminist generations/genealogies
Living fossils
Sleeping Beauties, Old Boys, and Rip Van Winkles
Utopias, feminist or otherwise
Aging Feminism, Old Feminists
Contemporary Plagues: Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Ebola
Genetics, species, and gender essentialism
Environmental management as Disaster/ Capitalism

Scholarly articles and inquiries should be sent to guest issue editors Frances Bartowski, Elena Glasberg, and Taylor Black at WSQsurvivalissue [at] We will give priority consideration to submissions received by March 1, 2015. Please send complete articles, not abstracts. Submissions should not exceed 6,000 words (including un-embedded notes and works cited) and should comply with the formatting guidelines at

Poetry submissions should be sent to WSQ's poetry editor, Kathleen Ossip, at WSQpoetry [at] by March 1, 2015. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting poems. Please note that poetry submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the poetry editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please paste poetry submissions into the body of the e-mail along with all contact information.

Fiction, essay, and memoir submissions should be sent to WSQ's fiction/nonfiction editor, Asali Solomon, at WSQCreativeProse [at] by March 1, 2015. Please review previous issues of WSQ to see what type of submissions we prefer before submitting prose. Please note that prose submissions may be held for six months or longer. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if the prose editor is notified immediately of acceptance elsewhere. We do not accept work that has been previously published. Please provide all contact information in the body of the e-mail.

cfp categories:
modernist studies

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