Comparatively Speaking: Gender and Rhetoric
The International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) Gender Studies Committee is inviting contributions to a themed issue on the subject of gender and rhetoric. This volume aims to explore the dynamic relations between gender and rhetoric in a comparative perspective. Rhetoric, feminist scholars have argued for some time now, always inscribes relationships of language and power. On the one hand, given the social definition and inscription of gender, and the role of language in establishing heteronormative (hence fixed) gender specific identities and behaviors, it is important to examine how rhetorical practices are described and prescribed according to the gender of the speaking subject, as well as how those may change or differ over time or across geographical space. To what extent is the rhetoric of gender culturally specific? What is acceptable as masculine or feminine and under what circumstances? What styles, figures, forms of delivery are gender identified? How does gender shape intelligibility? What is expected of or ascribed to men and women? And how are these expectations and gender inscriptions contested? On the other hand, because of the linguistic genealogy of such notions as performativity in modern conceptions of, and resistance to, gender, rhetorical practices and theoretical choices are of major import in the production and representation of gender.
We therefore invite proposals for articles that look at the rhetoric of gender, focusing on the ways in which gender is constructed or enforced, as well as represented in public and private speech and literary and artistic works, across different time periods and/or cultures. We welcome proposals that help revising traditional perceptions of past historical contexts. In addition, we also invite submissions that explore rhetorical ways of queering gender or contribute to the development of a queer rhetoric as a rhetoric of dissident identities from comparative perspectives. In all cases, essays submitted need to bring together some aspect of rhetoric studies and a comparative approach.
Deadline for proposal submissions: December 1, 2011.
First drafts of full articles (6-7,000 words) will be due in the Spring of 2012.
Please submit your proposals of 250 words together with a short bio to: