GENDERED CONSTRUCTIONS / CONSTRUCTIONS GENRÉES
Guest Editors: Zuzanna Szatanik and Michał Krzykawski
They are seen as black therefore they are black; they are seen as women, therefore, they are women. But before being seen that way, they first had to be made that way.
Within Anglo-American academia, gender studies and feminist theory are recognized to be creditible, fully institutionalized fields of knowledge. In France, however, their standing appears to be considerably lower. One could risk the statement that while in Anglo-American academic world, gender studies have developed into a valid and independent critical theory, the French academe is wary of any discourse that subverts traditional universalism and humanism. A notable example of this suspiciousness is the fact that Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and a Subversion of Identity, whose publication in 1990 marked a breakthrough moment for the development of both gender studies and feminist theory, was not translated into French until 2005. It seems then that in this respect not much has changed in French literary studies since 1981, when Jean d’Ormesson welcomed the first woman, Marguerite Yourcenar, to the French Academy with a speech which stressed that the Academy “was not changing with the times, redefining itself in the light of the forces of feminism. Yourcenar just happened to be a woman.”
Even though, however, the resistance of the French academia towards gender studies and feminist theory is one of the central topics of our interest, we are also interested in how this resistance has at times been overcome. After all, the so-called “French Feminism” has been a significant point of reference for Anglo-American feminisms, and the dialectic between them has shaped dominant Western discourses of gender. We are also curious to explore how both the discrepancies and the dialogs work within the Canadian context, between the academes and literatures of the Anglophone Canada and Quebec, as well as in other Romance cultures. With this in mind, we would like to welcome papers whose topics might include, but in no way are limited to, the following:
1) The (problematic) place of feminist theory, gender studies, and queer studies in Romance academia.
2) Canadian feminism vs. Quebec feminism.
3) Literary constructions of femininity and masculinity in Romance and Canadian literatures.
4) “Woman” as a metaphor. The mechanisms of power in literary texts.
5) Sex and gender in public discourses. Gender vs. national identity.
6) The politics of sex and gender vs. literature.
7) Queer identities in Romance literatures.
Brief article abstracts of c. 350-400 words, together with a short biographical note, should be e-mailed to Zuzanna Szatanik (PhD) at email@example.com by November 30, 2012. After the selection process is completed (by December 15, 2012), the editors will invite authors to submit completed articles by February 15, 2013.
We also welcome reviews / summaries (3-4 page-long) of recently published theoretical works related to the issues in question.
 Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman”. In: The Straight Mind and Other Essays. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992, p. 12.
 Faith E. Beasley, Salons, History, and the Creation of 17th Century France. Mastering Memory. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006, p. 2. [my italics]
—–Source: IASA Newsletter, 19 Nov. 2012