Call for Papers – New Feminisms A Call for Manuscripts for a Special Issue of postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies

New Feminisms
A Call for Manuscripts for a Special Issue of postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies
Edited by Samantha Katz Seal and Nicole Nolan Sidhu

Every so often, every other medieval studies conference or so, we come together to bury feminism.  That is not to say that we do not praise it first; we eulogize its triumphs, its activism, its publications and practitioners.  But, our praise is offered only in so far as we may declare an end to what has come before; we will laud feminist theory as pivotal, but only if it is past.   As Elizabeth Robertson has noted, feminism is a word that medievalists increasingly do not say, and as Nicole Nolan Sidhu has concluded from an analysis of journal and university statistics, feminist inquiry is now rewarded with neither publication nor career promotion.[1]  Even as the community of medievalists who identify as feminists grows, swelling the ranks of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, the “myth” of feminist medieval studies and its intellectual impact upon the field at large has been increasingly restricted and retrospective.

This special issue of postmedieval calls for manuscripts that fight against such rituals of silence and silencing.  We hope to bring together pieces from all disciplines of medieval studies that testify to the vitality, transformations, and innovations of a 21st century feminist approach to the Middle Ages.  In particular, we look for scholarship that embraces an intersectional view of feminism, and which are alive to the possibilities for overlap and collaboration with race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and class studies, among others.  We also welcome articles that employ some of the “cutting-edge” theories of contemporary medievalist scholarship (such as ecocriticism, digital projects, disability theory, or affect theory), while also asking authors to reflect on how such analytic methodologies can coexist rather than compete with feminism.  Another possible approach to the cfp would be to consider how a feminist approach to medieval studies might inform contemporary activism or social justice initiatives.  We hope for a range of articles on this wide diversity of topics.

Articles may be collaborative pieces or single-authored and should be between 5000-7000 words (including notes and bibliography).  Deadlines for final versions of articles will be staggered between August 1 of 2018 and January 1, 2019. Please indicate your preferred deadline (August 1, Sept. 1, Oct. 1, etc.) in the abstract. Please email submissions to Samantha Katz Seal (  Postmedieval welcomes articles that are written in lively prose, use language creatively, avoid jargon, and utilize historicist, materialist, comparatist, and theoretical methods.

[1] Elizabeth Robertson, “Medieval Feminism in Middle English Studies: A Retrospective,” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 26. 1 (Spring, 2007), 67-79; Nicole Nolan Sidhu, “Love in a Cold Climate: The Future of Feminism and Gender Studies in Middle English Scholarship,” Literature Compass 6.4 (July, 2009), 864-85.

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