Call for Papers about Asexuality

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by Lauren Gutterman
 1 comment  
National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
November 7-10, 2013, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

The NWSA Asexuality Interest Group welcomes papers for the 2013 NWSA
annual conference. These asexuality-related themes are orientated
towards the full NWSA 2013 CFP which can be found here:

If you are interested in being a part of the 2013 Asexuality Studies
panels at NWSA, please send the following info to the designated panel
organizer (listed under each theme) by Monday, February 11, 2013:

*Name, Institutional Affiliation, Mailing Address, Email, Phone
*NWSA Theme your paper fits under
*Title for your talk
*50-100 word abstract

We will try to accommodate as many qualified papers as possible, but
panels are limited to 3-4 presenters. NWSA will make the final
decision about which panels are accepted.  Presenters accepted into
the conference program must become members of NWSA in addition to
registering for the conference.

Theme 1: The Sacred and the Profane

• What is secular?  Spiritual?  Religious?  Sacred?  How do these
terms work as we begin to open a dialogue between asexual communities
and celibate communities?  What are the challenges asexual people face
from religious communities; what are the challenges celibate people
face from asexual communities?  Where do we understand the place or
non-place of the sacred, religious, or secular in these conversations?
• How do the sacred and religious inform identity in a global context?
What paradigms deemed
central to asexuality or celibacy shift when these terms are
incorporated?  How does the common assertion of celibacy as choice and
asexuality as inherent become troubled when we move the terms to a
global context, or between religious and spiritual connotations?
• Is feminist critique inherently secular?  Can feminist frameworks
provide key insights into religious beliefs, affects, and practices
that go beyond secular versions of insight and knowledge?  Can
feminist frameworks enhance how we understand celibacy and asexuality
both within and without religious beliefs and practices?
• Is there more overlap or disconnect between celibacy and asexuality
when understood from perspectives of indigenous studies, queer
studies, and/or trans studies?  And how does this tension between the
terms challenge the meaning of sex, desire, sexuality, the sacred and

Please submit materials to theme organizer Karli June Cerankowski at

Theme 2: Borders and Margins

• How are the borders and the margins of asexuality studies being
constructed over time?
• In what ways does asexuality studies “traffic” in the objects,
knowledges, preoccupations, desires, and/or body of disciplines of
study, identities or movements?
• How has the field of asexuality studies been shaped by or enhanced
by utilizing women’s and gender studies methodological approaches or
pedagogical perspectives?  How does this relationship and its converse
exist or manifest (or not) in the visibility of asexual interests?
• How have shifting geographies of technology, labor, economy, and
migration impacted study of asexuality?  How might these new forms of
“encounters” be studied and enacted through asexual movements in the
• How do the actual geographies of women’s and gender studies
locations—in institutions of higher education, in surrounding
neighborhoods, communities, cities, towns, and other
spaces—renegotiate the borders and margins of the discipline?

Please submit materials to theme organizer Aasha Foster at

Theme 3: Futures of the Feminist Past

• What are the visible and invisible feminist and queer histories of asexuality?
• What are asexuality’s archives and how do they bear on the present
asexuality movement and community?
• Given the difficulty of tracing asexuality historically, what
strategies of historiography can we undertake to render asexual
histories? How might feminist and queer historiography help us in
telling asexual stories?
• How might the definitional parameters of asexuality be questioned,
complicated, and rethought when searching for asexuality historically?
What possible overlaps might there be between asexuality, celibacy,
frigidity, and singlehood?
• How could we account for moments of anti-feminist asexuality and
what are the points of encounter between feminist and non-feminist
modes and moments of asexuality?
• In what ways does asexuality complicate our relations to the past,
to history, and to temporality?  • What new categories, methods, and
strategies might an asexual history call for?
• Who and what are the subjects of asexual histories and feminist &
queer asexual histories?  How might various affects, including loss,
mourning, desire, and hope be mobilized by these histories?
• Finally, what is at stake in telling asexual stories and seeking
asexual histories?  How does the past bear on asexualities’ presents
and futures?

Please submit materials to theme organizer Ela Pryzbylo at

Theme 4: Body Politics

• What role does the body play in communal articulations of asexual
identity? How do members of asexual communities understand the
relationship between embodiment and asexual identity?
• Given that asexual identities have primarily been articulated in
online spaces, to what extent are communal articulations of asexual
identity detached from the body?  At the same time, how have bodies
remained relevant and/or present in online asexual communities?
• What is the relationship between asexuality and medical/psychiatric
categories like hypoactive sexual desire disorder?
• What is the relationship between asexuality and disability rights
politics and/or disability studies?
• Does asexuality facilitate particular types of bodily practices,
such as types of bodily comportment or bodily presentation?  Does
asexuality facilitate particular ways of relating to the bodies of
• What does theorizing about asexuality have to offer theories of
embodiment in general?

Please submit materials to theme organizer Kristina Gupta at

Theme 5: Practices of Effecting Change

• What does it mean to create visibility about asexuality?  What are
the strengths and limitations of identity politics surrounding
• How do we teach about asexual identities, communities, and movements
in women’s and gender studies classrooms?
• How do social movements–such as antiracist, feminist, and LGBT
movements–relate to asexual movements?  How do asexual activists and
scholars take inspiration from and work with other social movements?
• What do asexual communities have to learn from radical queer and
trans communities? From polyamorous communities?
• What are the interpersonal, contextual, institutional, and
ideological factors that constrain and/or nurture the legibility of
asexuality as an identity and social movement?
• How might we harness new technologies and media in our efforts to
create visibility and awareness about asexuality?

Please submit materials to theme organizer Regina M. Wright at



One comment

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