Queer Theory: something to say?

Call for Contributions

“Bisexuality and Queer Theory: Intersections, Diversions, and Connections”
A special double issue of The Journal of Bisexuality
Edited by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, University of Puerto Rico, and Jonathan Alexander, PhD, University of California, Irvine

This special double issue of The Journal of Bisexuality invites scholarly and research-oriented essays that explore potential theoretically or empirically understood connections and intersections between bisexuality and queer theory.

Queer Theory has emerged in the West as one of the most provocative analytical tools in the humanities and social sciences. Scholars in fields as diverse as literary studies and anthropology to women’s studies, gender studies, and legal studies have benefited greatly from queer theory’s call to scrutinize identity and social structures as they are organized by heteronormative relations and suppositions. At the same time, queer theory has its own blindspots in its examination of sexualities, sexual cultures,
and the movement of the erotic between and among people. In particular, queer theory has been quite silent about bisexuality. This elision strikes us as odd given the many ways in which bisexuality has been mobilized in literature, popular culture, communities, and subcultures to query heteronormativity, as well as monosexual expectations and constructions of sexual identity and amorous practices.

This special issue seeks to explore this elided territory by bringing together a variety of scholarly articles, drawing on multiple disciplinary methodologies and research practices, including approaches based in the social, political, and psychological sciences, in literary and cultural theory, in economics, philosophy, the arts, and other broadly humanist endeavors.

It is also our hope that contributors will connect their scholarly work to the lived experiences of sexual beings, and reflections thereof, intellectual or otherwise. To that end, we also invite essays that take a rigorous, theoretically nuanced approach to understanding and exploring intersections among queer theory and bisexuality in terms of the lived experiences of individuals, communities, subcultures, and other agents of cultural formation. For instance, we know that on today’s university campuses, LGBTI activists call themselves queer and by and large consider occasional sex between queers quite ok, regardless of gender. This also largely applies to many progressive milieus in todays’s post-modern, transcultural, and largely globalized societies. But for the women and men who were students on these same campuses even as late as the 1980s and 1990s, confessing that one had “slept with the enemy” in a lesbian or gay man’s discursive context was anathema, and could get one bashed. How did this change occur? What are its theoretical, historical, and cultural underpinnings? And why is this change significant? What is the epistemology of bisexuality and how can it help to theorize a new politics of love? What can bisexuality teach us about inclusive practices of love beyond Oedipal traps? Navigating the cultural, theoretical, embodied, and energetic space between bisexuality and queer theory, is, we believe, a productive way to sort out these complex and interlocking thematics.

In its special-topics issue on “Queer Theory and Bisexuality,” The Journal of Bisexuality will host this debate. Queries can be directed to Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio and/or Jonathan Alexander. They should be sent to Jonathan at [email protected] and to Serena at [email protected]
Proposals and abstracts for articles should be submitted by February 18th, 2008. Complete though revisable drafts for articles will be needed for review by July 21st, 2008.