Asexuality Studies Interest Group
National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
November 13-16, 2014, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The NWSA Asexuality Studies Interest Group welcomes papers for the 2014 NWSA annual conference. These asexuality-related themes are orientated towards the full NWSA 2014 CFP which can be found here. If you are interested in being a part of the 2014 Asexuality Studies Interest Group panels at NWSA, please send the following information to the designated panel organizer (listed under each theme) by Thursday, February 6, 2014:
*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.
Sponsored Session: Asexualities and Issues of Race
For our sponsored session, we wish to think through the ways that race, ethnicity, and nation intersect with asexuality studies. We are interested in academic scholarship that focuses on these intersections, personal experiences of asexual people of color, as well as pedagogical approaches to teaching about asexuality through
the lens of critical race studies and women of color feminism. Some questions we want to raise are:
* What difference does race, ethnicity, and nation make in the lives of asexual-identified people?
* How does asexual-identification predicated on low levels of sexual attraction and/or desire interact with racist assumptions that people of color are hypersexual?
* In what ways does asexuality help us think through histories of race-making and racism?
* How is racism experienced in the asexual community?
* How do online asexual communities work to make asexual people of color visible or invisible?
* How can we make asexuality studies be more attentive to issues of race and white privilege?
Please submit materials for the sponsored session to organizer Regina Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Sponsored Session with NWSA: Fat Studies Interest Group
Fatness and asexuality provide useful frameworks for understanding how subjects are produced and disciplined within the context of the nation: positioned as unhealthy, deviant, pathological and unproductive–both fatness and asexuality are perceived as threats to the state’s normal functioning. While the growing activist and
academic movements pertaining to fatness and asexuality both expose and problematize the disciplinary techniques of the nation, fatness and asexuality are only ever positioned together negatively. Fat empowerment politics, for example, involves critiquing the dominant ideology that fat bodies are either hypersexualized, fetishized or
desexualized, and by this emphasis, can overlook the experiences of people who identify as both fat and asexual. This co-sponsored session wishes to place fat studies and asexuality studies in dialogue with
each other and seeks papers that address questions including, but not limited to:
* What are points of encounter between asexuality studies and fat studies?
* In what ways can the intersections of fat studies and asexuality studies serve as a productive platform from which to critique ideas about labor, the economy, and the nation-state?
* How do marginalized fat and asexual bodies continue to foil the nation-state’s desire for fixity?
* How can fat asexuality be re-imagined as a form of empowerment and not stigma?
* How might the increasing use of social media as a mode of resistance to oppressive state regimes present a useful point of departure within fat and asexual politics?
Please submit materials for the sponsored session to organizer Danielle Cooper at email@example.com
Theme 1: Rethinking the Nation
* In what ways does an avid investment in sex, sexuality, and the sexual imperative shape the formation of colonial nation-states and the making of empires?
* How does gender, race, class, ability, and sexuality interact with the sexual imperative to make mandatory certain ways of inhabiting and enacting national belonging and citizenship?
* Through what ways can we develop an asexual analytic to puncture the normativizing structures at work in the making of empires, nations, and neoliberal economies?
* In what ways does “asexuality” as an identification either collude with or challenge the grounding elements of nation-making, in and beyond the Occidental empires?
* Can asexual perspectives work in concord with critical race theories and feminist theories of race-making to demolish global hierarchies and the production of whiteness and white privilege?
* How is asexuality integral to the future of feminist critiques of the role of sexuality in nation-making?
Please submit materials to theme organizer Ela Przybylo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme 2: Trans- Feminisms
* What does it mean to be both trans* and asexual? How do trans* members of the asexual community negotiate these two identities?
* How might these intersecting identities help us redefine feminist and asexual politics and epistemologies?
* What is the intersection between the human and the non-human in asexual communities? How might the encounter between the human and non-human species be productive in terms of transspecies critiques and participation in ecofeminist or cyborgian narratives?
* In what ways do cultural and socio-political locations create space or challenge asexual identities? * Why are some ethnicities, nationalities, and races only minimally represented in online asexual communities?
* How do the hierarchical relationships among regions across North/South and other hegemonic borders figure into asexual studies?
* How might asexual communities and identities help generate transnational and transcultural feminist alliances?
* How might transgenerational feminist perspectives in asexual studies intersect with or challenge foundational concepts in women’s and gender studies? What are the dynamics among the members of the multi-generational asexual community?
Please submit materials to theme organizer LaChelle Schilling at email@example.com
Theme 3: Technologizing Futures
Contemporary asexual identities and communities have largely developed online (and in some cases have subsequently moved “off-line”). This theme will explore this relationship between contemporary asexualities
and the Internet and might address any of the following questions, or other relevant questions:
* What is the relationship between the Internet and contemporary asexual identities and communities? How has the fact that these identities and communities were first developed online shaped the form of these identities and communities?
* What forms of asexual activism have been enabled by the online nature of asexual identities and communities? Has the online nature of these identities and communities augmented and/or limited their ability to effect social change?
* What role do bodies play in online asexual communities? How has the online nature of these communities affected the ways in which other social categories have manifested in these communities (such as race, class, gender, and ability)?
* What happens when asexual communities and identities move “off-line”?
* Has the online nature of asexual communities enabled the formation of transnational connections? Do global inequalities remain unaddressed in asexual communities?
* What can the “case study” of asexual identities and communities contribute to scholarship on digital communities? To scholarship on sexual identity formation?
Please submit materials to theme organizer Kristina Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme 4: Love and Labor
One can look at the larger project of asexualities as a relatively recent series of actions by individuals, groups and disciplines laboring privately and publicly to come to terms with different approaches to our definitions of love. Through radically redefining sexuality, identity, bodies and desire in a heteronormative society, it becomes possible to further imagine an openness to contingency and experiments within and between communities. This panel addresses some of the ways in which feminist, queer and performance studies can
inform and build upon one another within the context of activating various perspectives on asexualities, through the following areas of inquiry:
* How do we construct new networks in innovative ways that link theoretical inquiries to the socioeconomic and racial realities of asexual communities?
* To what extent can we employ trust, creativity and imagination in the exploration and construction of asexual identities and space through an everyday performativity?
* How would shared social and cultural rituals of a small community translate into larger, networked activism?
* In what ways, do we enable and enrich the writing of future histories of asexualities within the context of this
Please submit materials to theme organizer Anna Lise Jensen at email@example.com
Theme 5: Creating Justice
* In what ways are asexual identities marginalized/oppressed? What structures, discourses, and modes of power refute, obstruct, and/or censor asexual legitimacy?
* In what ways does the struggle for legitimacy resemble prior movements toward justice, such as those for women’s rights, minority voices, and queer communities? What can a campaign for asexual justice
take and learn from those movements? In what ways is the asexual movement different?
* What can be learned from the proliferation of asexual spaces online and how can that knowledge be put into practice in a campaign for legitimacy and justice offline?
* What is asexual justice? How can it be achieved in theory and practice?
* In what discourses and institutions is asexuality currently allowed (wholly or partially) to operate?
* How do specific cultures and languages reshape, challenge, or aid the campaign for asexual justice?
* How does this campaign for justice change when considered outside of the dominant contexts of the United States and Europe?
Please submit materials to theme organizer Nathan Erro at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visiting Assistant Professor
Women’s and Gender Studies