Call for Papers: Big Feminism: The Fiftieth Anniversary Issue of Signs
Signs was founded in 1975 as part of an emergent tradition of feminist scholarship and has been publishing continuously ever since, establishing itself as a preeminent journal in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. At the time of the journal’s conception, Signs’s founding editorial staff sought not only to raise consciousness and develop theories of women’s oppression but also to challenge the taken-for-granted and to strive for theoretical nuance and interdisciplinarity. To honor half a century of publication, our fiftieth anniversary issue aims to generate new questions and critical discussion about “Big Feminism” – about the role and power of feminist theory – today and into the future.
These fifty years have witnessed consequential feminist debates (over sexuality, over the category “woman,” over approaches to difference, over representations of “third-world” women) and the emergence of new analytical and theoretical frames (to analyze experience, identity, agency, desire, the body, violence, inequality, coalition, work, family, and relationships between self and other, and more). The Signs archive stands as a testament to the creativity, vitality, reach, and impact of feminists and feminist thinkers. Virtually no area of social life and no academic discipline has been untouched or unchanged by those who have contributed their work to the journal.
And yet, as the editors of a recent special issue have written: “The work in this field has never been richer, the future of our field never more imperiled.” From the standpoint of 1975, 2025 may appear to be a feminist pipe dream. Rights that were once aspirational have been codified into law; there are women heads of state the world over; women have not only entered but have transformed the professions; LGBTQ rights, while very much a work in progress, have been achieved to a degree that even recently seemed unimaginable. At precisely the same time, the ground beneath our feet is collapsing. As we write this, we are facing the end of abortion rights and a global upsurge of fascism in which misogyny figures centrally. And, #MeToo notwithstanding, violence against women continues unabated. From this moment of profound triumph and profound precarity, how do we, as feminists, imagine the next fifty years? What are our feminist visions (utopias and dystopias) for 2075? What work will it take to bend the arc toward gender justice?
This special anniversary issue of Signs seeks to engage with the big feminist questions that remain outstanding after all these years.
Signs particularly encourages transdisciplinary and transnational essays that address substantive feminist questions, debates, and controversies without employing disciplinary or academic jargon. We seek essays that are passionate, strongly argued, and willing to take risks.
The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2023.
Please submit full manuscripts electronically through Signs’s Editorial Manager system at http://signs.edmgr.com. Manuscripts must conform to the guidelines for submission available at http://signsjournal.org/for-