Saturday, February 03, 2007

Call for Submissions:
The Journal of Lesbian Studies

Special Volume of The Journal of Lesbian Studies
The Lesbian Image in International Popular Culture
Guest Editor Sara E. Cooper, California State University Chico

This special volume of The Journal of Lesbian Studies is seeking essays that explore a wide variety of lesbian images in a global context. Essays may address the lesbian image as it appears in literature, art, film, music, television, Internet, the news media, marketing, or any other venue of International Popular Culture. Essays may concentrate on one particular culture or be comparative in nature. Although no one specific theoretical approach is preferred, essays should critically and carefully examine the images discussed, including a commentary on the cultural or national context in which they appear, as well as discussion of related issues (e.g. intended audience, reception, political or commercial agenda, and the implications thereof). We also welcome creative contributions, including personal accounts, oral histories, feminist theory, research, fiction, poetry, etc. Authors may use a pseudonym if they prefer. Please let your friends, colleagues, and members of your community know about this project.

The concept of “lesbian” increasingly has been theorized, debated, and studied in the last four decades. Images marked as “lesbian” create desire in men and women alike, sell commercial products and services, and stir up controversy on many levels. Despite enormous international interest in the idea and image of lesbian, however, I believe that most people have only a limited understanding of what it is to be lesbian in a global context. In part, this limited perspective is due to the unavailability of images of the broad diversity of real women-centered women. For instance, in United States mainstream popular culture, images often portray a middle to upper class, thin, fashionable “lipstick lesbian,” as is the case in the television series The L Word and the predominantly gay male series Queer As Folk. Even some first-rate imported films such as Fire and Aimee and Jaguar show a lesbian image that conforms to the Western concept of beauty, although they complicate the paradigm of what is “normative” in terms of lesbian life and community in other places and eras. Japanese manga and anime, on the other hand, frequently contextualize girl-girl love within the High School arena, a fact which demonstrates a cultural reality in which such romances are considered “safer” (compared to opposite-sex attractions) and less likely to be consummated at that age. Some portrayals of female-female desire go even further to challenge commonly held views as to what is lesbian, such as the excellent Internet sites maintained by Male to Female and Female to Male transgender lesbians across the globe.

All thematic issues of the Journal of Lesbian Studies are simultaneously reprinted in book form by Harrington Park Press, the book affiliate of Haworth Press. We hope that the resulting book will be used in women’s studies courses and will be available in feminist bookstores.

Please send a one-page overview of your proposed contribution to Sara E. Cooper at by February 28. 2007. Proposals will be evaluated for originality and writing style, as well as how all the contributions fit together.
Essays of 15-30 pages (including bibliography), maximum word count 9000, as well as creative submissions (flexible page and word limit) as Microsoft Word attachment will be due by August 31, 2007.

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