Deadline for Proposal Submission:
August 15, 2022

Call for Papers: Asian American Abolition Feminisms

Special Issue Editors: Diane Wong (Rutgers University-Newark) and Rachel Kuo (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)

Time zones apart, we listened to the news unfold — learning and grieving the names of the eight victims of the March 2021 Atlanta shootings at massage parlors that sounded intimately familiar to the names of our sisters, aunties, mothers, lovers. In the aftermath, we saw children, dependents, and loved ones of those killed rely on crowdfunding platforms to afford rent and groceries and pay funeral costs because there were no care and safety provisions. A week later, we saw each other at a virtual vigil, reminded of the strength of our communities.

How do we care for each other before it becomes too late? This interdisciplinary special issue of Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies  invites contributions of scholarly, creative, movement, and visual works that speak to the historical, theoretical, methodological, experimental, and pedagogical possibilities of Asian American Abolition Feminisms. We invite submissions from scholars, activists and organizers, cultural workers, archivists, and artists, with different orientations to abolitionist feminist politics that center visions of community care, safety, healing, wellbeing, wholeness, and liberation.

We locate our collaborative work as rupture to contemporary responses to anti-Asian violence that have expanded the carceral system through the proliferation of hate crimes legislation and reliance on law enforcement.This special issue also responds to the harms caused by carceral feminisms, such as the uses of police and prison responses to sexual and gendered violence which have contributed to expansions of mass incarceration and other forms of state violence. State investments in carceral infrastructures work in tandem with state neglect and collapse of social safety nets, including when resources for survivors are tethered to prosecution and arrest. Abolition feminisms draw our attention to addressing slower, everyday forms of violence. Our special issue is an invitation to conceive alternative possibilities for liberation and to offer a space for transformation.

The transnational legacies of Asian and Asian American feminist movement-building and solidarities with Black liberation and Third World movements has always sought to theorize and practice radical possibilities as alternatives to empire, militarism, capitalism, and state violence. Asian American abolition feminism calls for us to move beyond the individual recognition of difference towards collective membership in political struggle against multiple state violences. Taken together, this special issue contributes to a renewed framework for thinking about contemporary Asian American abolition feminisms and emergent infrastructures of care that help us to imagine and dream otherwise.

We invite submissions from those scholars, activists, cultural workers, archivists, artists, caregivers, massage and sex workers engaged in campaigns, movements, and cultural production that seek a world beyond police, prisons, and punishment. Some approaches and frameworks to consider include the following:

  • Coalitional possibilities and solidarities as well as navigating tensions, conflicts, and contentions of solidarity
  • Histories and contemporary forms of feminist organizing against state violences, including limitations of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and critical engagement with the #MeToo Movement
  • Transnational movement building including movements against war, militarism, and sanctions
  • Feminist analysis and responses to carceral technologies
  • Non-carceral approaches to addressing harm and violence, such as transformative justice models; community-based and survivor-centered processes for accountability
  • Disability justice, mutual aid, kinship networks and infrastructures for collective access, care, and safety including healthcare and housing; care work; and also critiques of institutionalization, the medical industrial complex, and coercive and carceral care
  • Language justice and sustaining multilingual spaces in abolitionist movements
  • Feminist approaches to labor, economic redistribution, and anti-capitalism, including futures of anti-work; sex work; and supply chain organizing
  • Decolonial feminisms and politics grounded in place, land, and environment
  • Decarceration and decriminalization in the wake of pandemic
  • Transformative and healing justice including how to holistically respond to trauma and access to reproductive care, doulas, somatics, ancestral practices

Given the creative work and imaginative possibilities of abolitionist organizing, in addition to scholarly essays and articles, this call seeks a range of creative-critical forms and collaborative and collective works:

  • Scholarly essay/article (10,000 words maximum including endnotes and references)
  • Photography/photo essay
  • Manifesto
  • Visual art, including comics and illustrations and movement artwork
  • Lexicon, vocabulary, and glossary lists, including multilingual forms
  • Interview / dialogue
  • Poetry, fiction, short stories
  • Reflections and commentary
  • Creative nonfiction and personal essays

Full manuscript and content submission deadline: Monday, August 15, 2022 by midnight PST

Scholarly essays should not exceed 10,000 words, including notes and references, with an abstract of no more than 250 words. All article manuscripts, poetry, essays, and multi-media submissions must be submitted through Frontiers’ editorial manager. All submissions will be subject to external review.

Citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, with “humanities style” endnotes. For more details please see Frontier’s submission guidelines.

Please submit all works through our online editorial manager and briefly state that your submission is to be considered for the special issue: www.editorialmanager.com/fron/Default.aspx

We invite you to reach out to us with any questions and expressions of interest. All correspondence can be sent to the guest editors at: abolitionfeminismscfp@gmail.com

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