Sexualities and Social Justice in the Caribbean – CFP

Special Collection by the Caribbean IRN & Sargasso

Title: Love | Hope | Community: Sexualities and Social Justice in the Caribbean

MuralShot AVN

“Sexualities in the Tent, Wall Mural at Bohemia, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, July 2013” photo credit: Angelique V. Nixon.

CFP deadline: A variety of text and multimedia submissions are sought for this special collection. Please send text submissions via email to sargassojournal@gmail.com by 15 January 2015. Please send multi-media submissions via email to caribbeanirn@gmail.com by 15 January 2015. Full submission details below.

Call for Submissions

Movements for sexual citizenship and equal rights for sexual minorities across the region (particularly in the Anglophone and Hispanophone Caribbean) are growing and have garnered local and international media attention. With recent court cases challenging discriminatory laws and the backlash and frenzy over a so-called “gay lobby” in the region, we are at a crucial juncture of visibility, misrepresentation, anti-sexual minority violence, increased activism, lawsuits, and ongoing survival. It is a vital time to respond to recent events critically and from myriad perspectives, as well as to reflect on these movements, make interventions, fight against misrepresentation and violence, and share strategies for community building and solidarity. What is the landscape of sexual minority activism across the region? Who are the regional activists and what are the most recent developments? How are these issues being represented in the media, popular culture, and cultural productions in the English-, Spanish-, French-, Creole- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean? How do we build community, forge resistance to violence and discrimination, and at the same time, demand equal rights and treatment under the law? Where is our hope and love in building community?

We propose a diverse collection of critical essays, activist reports, interviews and profiles, creative writing, poetry, book reviews, visual and performance art, music, film, and other works that will reflect on the struggle/movements for sexual justice in the Caribbean (including all islands, Central and South American coastal areas, and their diasporas). As with the Caribbean IRN’s first collection, we seek to disrupt the divide between academia and community, while locating theories and knowledge in multiple sites and discourses. And we value and privilege local voices in these conversations. This collection will be edited collaboratively by representatives of the Caribbean IRN (Rosamond S. King & Angelique V. Nixon) and two Sargasso issue editors (Katherine Miranda and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes).

Background: Caribbean IRN &

Sargasso Collaboration

Sargasso

is a peer-reviewed journal of literature, language, and culture edited at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, which features critical essays, interviews, reviews, as well as poems and short stories from across the Caribbean. Published from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras for thirty years, Sargasso is affiliated with the PhD program in the Department of English of the College of Humanities.Sargasso is a print journal that also features open online access through Digital Library of the Caribbean. Visit:http://humanidades.uprrp.edu/ingles/pubs/sargasso.htm

The Caribbean Region of the International Resource Network (Caribbean IRN) connects academic and community-based researchers, artists, and activists around the Caribbean and its diasporic communities in areas related to diverse sexualities and genders. The IRN is housed at CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the City University of New York, originally funded through the Ford Foundation and located on the web at www.irnweb.org. The Caribbean IRN’s projects and archive can be found at www.irnweb.org/regions/caribbean/. Its monthly updates can be found at http://caribbeanirn.blogspot.com/.

The Caribbean IRN published its first collection Theorizing Homophobias in the Caribbean: Complexities of Place, Desire and Belonging – atwww.caribbeanhomophobias.org – in June 2012. This online multimedia collection of activist reports, creative writing, critical essays, film, interviews, music, and visual and performance art offered ways to define and reflect on the complexities of homophobias in the Caribbean, while also expanding awareness about Caribbean sexual minority lives, experiences, and activism in the region and its diaspora. The collection received strong attention and positive feedback, and it remains a great resource for artists, activists, teachers, scholars, and community-based researchers.

For our second collection, titled “Love | Hope | Community: Sexualities and Social Justice in the Caribbean,”

the Caribbean IRN and Sargasso are partnering in order to have both a printed and online regional journal space as well as a multimedia online space to continue and expand the conversations about sexual minorities in the region (including English-, Spanish-, French- and Dutch- speaking countries and territories).

Topics that may be addressed include:

  • Strategies for community building from regional activists
  • Challenges and successes of sexual minority organising in the region
  • Caribbean transgender activism — visibility, violence, and sex work
  • Activist reports and/or essays on recent developments – i.e., status updates or critical perspectives on court cases within the region (e.g., Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago); or comparisons among these cases and recent decisions in Argentina, India, Uganda, Nigeria, or elsewhere in the Global South regarding discriminatory laws and/or buggery laws
  • Comparisons between different countries in the region, or between those that are independent and those that are part of the EU or the USA — regarding sexuality, buggery laws, cultural norms, religion, post/neocolonial issues, race, gender & class politics, etc. as it relates to sexual minorities and rights
  • At the margins: race, class, and gender politics in the movements for sexual justice, women’s rights, and/or policy reform
  • Strategies for organizing against religious conservatism and powerful religious discourse – from outside or within the Caribbean
  • Responding to the “Speaking Truth is not Homophobia” campaign in Jamaica
  • Reviews of relevant books, films, albums, or blogs
  • Interviews with (or profiles of) Caribbean sexual minority activists, artists, elected officials, and other newsmakers
  • Pedagogy of Caribbean sexualities; the state of sexuality studies at regional universities; the state of sex education in national school systems
  • Caribbean sexual minorities, citizenship, and the State (Island-Nation)
  • Politics of visibility and sexual minorities in public spaces
  • Caribbean sexual minority anti-violence work: community organizing and human rights or other discourses
  • Migration and diaspora: the politics of asylum inside and outside the Caribbean
  • LGBTQ Caribbean diaspora(s) and their relationship to home and movements for sexual citizenship and social justice
  • Caribbean sexualities as represented in media, the arts, education, policies, etc.

Submission Details:

Text submissions (essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, profiles, activist reports, reviews) should follow the Sargasso Contributor Guidelines: Essays and critical studies should conform to the style of the MLA Handbook. Short stories should be kept to no more than 2,500 words in length, and poems should be kept to 30 lines or less. For further details see guidelines on the journal’s website. Submissions can be written in Spanish, English, French, or Creole languages of the region. Please contact the journal’s editors with any questions about languages used for publication. Include a short author bio of 55 words or less. Please send text submissions via email to sargassojournal@gmail.com by 15 January 2015.

Multimedia works (audio, video, visual) can be accepted in digital audio (mp3 or avi format), digital image format or digital video via email attachments. If the file(s) are too large for email attachment, please use sendbigfiles, dropbox, or wetransfer (free services) to send your submission. Submissions can be accepted in Spanish, English, French, Dutch, or Creole languages of the region. Include a short description of the work or artist statement (150-200 words) and a short bio of 55 words or less with the complete submission. Please send multi-media submissions via email to caribbeanirn@gmail.com by 15 January 2015.

Accepted text works will be published in print and online through Sargasso. And all multimedia works will be featured online through the Caribbean IRN. We would like to represent as much of the Caribbean region as possible. We seek to be inclusive and hope to include work in various languages of the region. In addition, we hope to offer translation for selected works. Multimedia works will be shared in the language(s) in which they are submitted.

Above adapted from email announcement.