Call for Proposals for Special Issue 2024: Responding to Dobbs: The Reproductive Justice Issue

Call for Proposals for a special issue of American Studies
Responding to Dobbs: The Reproductive Justice Issue

American Studies, an interdisciplinary humanities journal, seeks proposals for a special issue that examines the challenges of securing reproductive justice in the twenty-first century, broadly construed to recognize the blending of fundamental reproductive rights and social justice movements and to encompass an array of transnational and biopolitical issues. As an analytical framework, reproductive justice originates from Black feminist thought, drawing from and advancing critical legal theory, disability studies, immigration rights, trans rights, and studies of white and male supremacism, to name but a few critical associations. This issue will address the new reproductive injustices emerging due to recent political and judicial developments within the context of historical injustices and successes.

After thirty years of reproductive justice work that expanded the scope of scholarship and decentered abortion in social theory and activism, the Dobbs decision threatens to return our focus to the single-issue politics of abortion. And while the overturning of Roe versus Wade emerged amid a resurgence of conspiracism and white nationalism, the post-Roe landscape does not return us to a pre-Roe era. The legal, medical, and carceral quagmires that result from Dobbs are profoundly twenty-first century. Old theories and practices of fighting for reproductive rights will not work. We must develop new discussions built on established lessons of reproductive justice – that the inalienable human right to parent or not to parent is available to all and enabled by economic and environmentally sustainable communities – and current realities, including the global rise of authoritarianism on one hand and a national call for abolition feminism on the other.

American Studies publishes articles that are insightful and engaging to scholars and social activists, as well as articles that can be sources for teaching university students. Possible topics for this special issue include but are not limited to:

● Legacies of reproductive injustices, such as eugenics & coerced sterilization
● Past, future, or imagined visions of reproductive justice
● Transnational reproductive politics

Interested contributors are asked to submit a 500-word abstract and a brief biography (250 words) no later than June 15 2023 for consideration. All submissions should be emailed to Abstracts will be reviewed by the special issue editors, Drs. Jennifer Nelson and Felicity M. Turner, and successful authors will submit full papers for peer review no later than October 1 2023.