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Contributors are invited to submit manuscripts on the above topic from the point of view either of researchers or activists. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience. Please submit abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
No later than 22 nd November 2019
Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 30 years and raises debate around women’s rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed journal.
GUEST EDITORS: Professors Dr. Lliane Loots and Ms. Ongezwa Mbele
Drama and Performance Studies Programme
School of the Arts, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
In one of her seminal works, “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Centre” (1984), cultural theorist and feminist bell hooks began to initiate debates around what it means for women, for people of colour, for feminists, to read and to think from the margins as a space of power and as a claiming of identity. This issue of AGENDA takes on hooks’s notion of speaking from the margin, and is calling for all cultural producers, contemporary cultural theorists, artists and arts practitioners of the geographical South, to take this space to articulate, write and speak about creative practices that advance debates around increasingly complex notions of intersectional identity (Collins, 1998; Crenshaw 1989). This is supported by Raewyn Connell’s ideas of “Southern Theory” (2007) and what we identify as the necessity of pushing contemporary feminists of the South writing themselves.
Working with the ethnographic notion that theory comes from lived experiences and from the body as both corporeal and as imagined (see, for example; Holman-Jones (2005) and Clandin and Connelly (1990)), this issue of AGENDA wishes to engage cultural feminist dialogues that allow for an interrogation and navigation of feminist creativity that opens comment on intersectional identities which, as Budge on (2003:50) further offers, should be seen as “events that are continually in the process of becoming – as multiplicities that are never just found but are made and remade”.
Cultural identity, as Stuart Hall (1990) has argued, is not something which is innate, and which thus transcends time, history, location and context. It is, in fact, subject to a continuous interplay between culture and history and these, for Hall, are themselves always discourses that negotiate power relations. As he states: “Identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by and position ourselves within the narratives of the past” (1990:225). In light of this, this focused edition of AGENDA, unapologetically looks to interrogate, evaluate, celebrate and reflect upon feminist contemporary cultural production of the geographical South. With references to the axis of tradition and contemporality, this journal offers feminists an opportunity to negotiate how our art and cultural production is used (and can be used) to interrogate the growing intersectionalities of our shifting identities; identity not being a thing to be acquired, but understood as a living and experiential state of being that is constantly in flux. Within the very large ambit of feminist cultural production, this issue aims to give voice to cultural and creative activists and practitioners whose creative voices are often marginalised.
This issue would like to invite dialogue and critical interrogations from artists, scholars and various feminist practitioners/writers who live and work in the geographical South, to add to the growing lexicon of how art and art making (in all its myriad manifestations – fine art, digital art, film and filmmaking, live performance, poetry, writing, dance, music, applied theatre practices, museums and curation, contributes to increasingly complex notions of identity, belonging and citizenship. We wish, among other avenues, to build on the writings done, in the African literature arena, by cultural theorists like Desiree Lewis, Grace Musila and Danai Mupotsa. Opening up the concept of citizenship to find emancipatory practices for feminist creativity is also the articulated need for this issue of AGENDA to re-think the concept of ‘space’ from being only physical (land, housing etc.), to include political, ideological, social, and economic space as well.
While spaces for feminist dialogue and indeed creative, feminist dialogue are limited, we seek to celebrate how art and cultural productions have indeed found room for manoeuvre for liberatory practices and thinking.
We are interested in who speaks and who listens, who creates and who watches, who curates, who is included and excluded, who are the gatekeepers … whose gaze is privileged, the white gaze, the colonial gaze, the male gaze, the heteronormative gaze. Ultimately, the question posed is, is it possible to find an inclusive feminist cultural and artistic pedagogy and practice?
We welcome contribution that, among other things:
1. Analyse and interrogate specific geographically Southern feminist artists and cultural practitioners who have a body of artistic/cultural work that has significantly shifted intersectional feminist debates around identity, belonging and citizenship.
2. Celebrate feminist cultural production in the form of poetry, photographic essays, etc.
3. Interrogate how art and cultural production offer a feminist voice – with reference to understanding a contemporary feminist zeitgeist around art and cultural productions in the geographical South. What dialogues are possible?
4. Negotiate, analyse and interrogate arts and cultural festival and curated spaces.
5. Look at spaces and practices of cultural and artistic resistance for feminist art makers.
- Budgeon, S. 2003 ‘Identity as embodied event’ Body and Society, Vol 9 35-55.
- Clandinin, D. & Connelly, F. 1990 ‘Stories of Narrative Inquiry’ Educational Researcher, 19 (5), 2-14.
- Collins, P.H. 1998 ‘It's all in the family: Intersections of gender, race, and nation’ Hypatia, 13(3), 62-82.
- Conell, R. 2007 Southern Theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Crenshaw, K., 1989 ‘Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics’ U. Chi. Legal f., 139.
- Hall, S. 1990 ‘Cultural identity and Diaspora’ in Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. J. Rutherford (ed) UK:
Lawrence & Wishart 222-237.
- hooks, b. 1984 Feminist Theory: From Margin to Centre Boston: South End Press.
- Holman Jones, S. 2005. ‘Auto ethnography: Making the Personal Political’ in N.K. Denzin & Y.S.Lincoln (eds)
The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research SAGE Publications 3 rd ed 763-791.
- Holt, N. 2003 ‘Representations, Legitimation and Auto ethnography: an Autoethonographic Writing Story’
International Journal of Qualitative Research Methods 2 (winter) 18-28.
Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal
The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.
Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of womxn’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.
Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.
Writers need to:
- Write in an accessible and understandable style;
- Inform, educate or raise debate;
- Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
- Provide an analysis and an argument;
- Be logical;
- Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
- Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s
attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight
into the subject;
- Utilize a gender or feminist lens.
We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.
Formats of Contributions
- Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
- Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
- Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
- Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
- Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc.
- (1 500 – 4 000 words)
- Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
- Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the
writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
- Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and
difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
- Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective,
narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)
Contributions should be submitted in the following format:
File type: Microsoft Word
Size: 10 pt
Line spacing: single
Referencing: Harvard style
All submissions should have the following:
Abstract: 200 – 300 words
Keywords: approx 5 keywords
Bio: 100 – word author biography, including email address
Bio picture: head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format
Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission
Selection and Editing Process
All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory
Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.
On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal. Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.
Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.
Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.