CfP: Unbearable Beings (Women’s Studies Quarterly); by: 15.09.2023

Women’s Studies Quarterly (Fall 2024 Issue); Guest Editors: Debarati Biswas (New Coll. of Florida), and Laura Westengard (New York City Coll. of Technology) (Web)

Proposals by: 15.09.2023

This special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly invites submissions that explore the literary, theoretical, and cultural lifeworlds created by and about unbearable being(s). “Unbearable being(s)” functions on multiple valences. “Unbearable being” is an affective state of being and becoming that indexes the intolerableness of existence within the normative. On the other hand, “unbearable beings” are the subjects who inhabit abject and/or revolutionary positions in relation to the sociopolitical apparatus and offer alternate possibilities of living and being in this world.
This special issue explores the unbearableness of that which cannot be contained within the category of what Sylvia Wynter defines as the “Man-as-human.” Infrastructures of oppression—the nation-state and its borders, citizenship, the unequal distribution of material resources deemed essential for survival such as healthcare, housing, education, and other human rights—police the borders of the category of the “Man-as-human” and cast out Black, Indigenous, people of color, impoverished, disabled, and LGBTQIA+ people differently. The COVID19 pandemic and accelerating climate change have further dismantled the fictions of liberal humanism and laid bare the exploitative and extractive designs of capitalist white supremacy that create the category of “Man-as-human.” Treated as the refuse of urban renewal and gentrification, and/or displaced by environmental crises, wars, and ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and capitalist exploitation, marginalized subjects have, however, effected enormous sociopolitical changes over time, and have fostered socialities in spaces deemed unhomely and unclean. Such abject spaces include prisons, hospitals, segregated housing projects, war-torn zones, disaster sites, nightclubs, single room occupancy hotels, digital spaces, and other similar sites. Read more … (Web)