September 25, 2007

Women and Performance: Call for Papers

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Special Issue: The Performance of Mass Rape: War, Trauma, and Limit Phenomena

Guest Editor: Sel Julian Hwahng

From World War II to the present, the vast majority of armed conflicts have been fought in developing countries. During the period from 1985 to 1996, the proportion of armed conflicts in Latin America remained constant, those in Asia and Europe declined, and the proportion of conflicts in Africa greatly increased. Currently 44% of armed conflicts occur in Africa. Women and children are often disproportionately affected by armed conflict and mass rape is often systematically used as a weapon of war.

To consider mass rape systems in the context of “performance”, however, may give one pause. Yet human rights discourse often refers to “actors”, i.e. participants, in crises or emergencies within specific situated “theaters”, i.e. places of enactment of significant events or actions. And according to Norma Field, “limit phenomena” are catastrophes situated at the limits of comprehension, yet they demonstrate the urgency of confronting reality.

This special issue will therefore interrogate how mass rape systems from World War II to the present have been executed, acknowledged, and addressed through actors performing within theaters of particular armed conflicts, genocides, massacres, and complex emergencies. Mass rape systems from World War II to the present in regions such as Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe during armed conflict will be examined. Traumatic effects of mass rape systems in both individuals and groups will also be interrogated. How can focused attention on these limit phenomena also reveal new insights on gender, race, ethnicity, political economy, social formations, and human agency?

Submission Guidelines

Please submit manuscripts electronically as email attachments in Microsoft Word. All emails should be addressed to Sel Julian Hwahng ( and Jeanne Vaccaro at ( Please write “Women & Performance: Special Issue Call for Papers” in the subject line.

Essays should be double-spaced, with 1 inch margins; articles should not exceed 10,000 words. Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. All manuscripts should be submitted with a 500 word abstract.

Deadline for submissions: December 1, 2007.

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