Event: Central and Eastern European Sexualities “in Transition” – call for papers (april)

Deadline: 8 April 2012

This is a call For papers for a special issue of Lambda Nordica, under the guest editorship of Joanna Mizielinska and Robert Kulpa


Transition from what? And to what? These must be the very first questions we ask ourselves when we read this CFP’s title. We all are well familiar with the over-dominant discourse around “Central and Eastern Europe” (“CEE”) framing it as some sort of a “poor brother” of the “West”. After years of being kept in the history’s refrigerator (a.k.a. “communism”), “CEE” is now, supposedly, catching up with the normality (a.k.a. the “West”), after coming out of the history’s closet in 1989. Such framing of relations between the two geo-temporal “destinations” poses a series of problems and questions that we should be suspicious about.


This special issue of Lambda Nordica is dedicated to exploration of the relation(ship)s between the “West” and the “CEE” in the context of sexual politics, sexual cultures, sexual practices, and sexual discourses. Some of the questions we would like to ask are:

What are the relations of power between the “West” and the “CEE”?

Does “Western” always necessarily mean “better”?

Does “CEE” has to look up only to the “West” in search of the “role models”?

Or are there other historical, geographical, cultural and political inspirations available to people in the “CEE”?

What are the relations of the “CEE” to the “Nordic” region?

What are the local narratives and reflections on the so-called “post-communist transition”?

Are the relations between the two geo-temporal locations always hegemonic and one directional?

What inspirations for sexual politics and queer theory could the “West” draw from the experiences and practices of the “CEE”?

What are the strategies of subversion and resistance to various discursive framings?

What is the role of material conditions of living (and by implication, of neoliberal capitalism) in shaping the relations between the “West” and the “CEE”?

What was the queer life like under state socialism? How has it become forgotten/excluded from the present narratives?

What remnants of history are there present in a modern day sexual politics in the “CEE”?

And do queer theories/politics have any potential to address these issues in a more inclusive and comprehensive manner?


We would like to invite authors to contribute to this special volume by sharing their research in the area of gender and sexuality that operates at the backdrop of geo-temporal categories of the “West” and “CEE”.

Please respond by sending us an abstract (300 words) and your biographical note to: rkulpa01@mail.bbk.ac.uk


08.04.2012 – deadline for abstracts

22.04.2012 – notifications about the acceptance of the proposals

30.08.2012 – deadline for articles

Sept-Oct 2012 – peer review decisions

Nov-Dec 2012 – final drafts by authors

The issue is scheduled to be published in the 2013.

About Lambda Nordica:

Lambda Nordica is a Nordic scientific peer-reviewed journal presenting research in Humanities and Social Sciences with relation to LGBT and Queer Studies. We strive to support the dialogue between established and younger scholars to inspire to more LGBT research in the Nordic area and support the initiative to new research areas in the field. The journal also introduces and reviews international LGBT literature.

About the guest editors:

Robert Kulpa has completed his Ph.D. at the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London. His thesis explores discourses of nationhood and homosexuality in the context of “post-communist transformations” in Poland. He is now engaged in the study of local and global politics of sexuality, nationhood and identity as interlaced with discourses of the geography and temporality, concepts of the “West” and the “Rest”, “modernity” and “progress”.

In particular, he is interested in examining the use of post-colonial theories and methodologies to the study of “post-communism” and the idea of “Europe”. For the list of publications and details of his research, please visit: http://www.robertkulpa.com, or write to: roberto@kulpa.org.uk

Joanna Mizielinska is the Associate Professor and the Director of the Institute of Sociology at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities. She also teaches gender and queer at Gender Studies, Warsaw University. In 2001 she was a Fulbright scholar at the Princeton University, working under auspices of prof. Judith Butler.

In 2004 she hold a CIMO fellowship at the Christina Institute, Helsinki University. She published two monographs: (De)Constructions of Femininity (2004), and Gender/Body/Sexuality Form Feminism To Queer Theory (2007). Her articles were published in, among others, The European Journal of Women’s Studies, Respublica Nova, Krytyka Polityczna, and in many edited books. Her current interests and research projects concern “families of choice” in Poland.

Both Joanna and Robert are editors of the book De-Centring Western Sexualities: Central and Eastern European Perspectives (Ashgate, 2011).


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