We always welcome submisions for articles, as well as reviews. Abstracts or full-length articles should be submitted to gender-forum"AT"uni-koeln.de. For more details, as well as topics of upcoming issues, please see below. 

Gender and Fantasy

In her seminal Fantasy: A Literature of Subversion, critic Rosemary Jackson calls fantasy "a literature of desire", one that "traces the unsaid and unseen of culture, that which has been silenced, made invisible, covered over and made 'absent'". This issue of gender forum concerns itself with the manifold ways in which the fantasy genre is used to renegotiate these unseen desires, seeking to examine if and how it has moved on from the genre-specific stereotypes of wise wizard, wicked witch, strong hero, and damsel in distress. We are looking for contributions that analyse the role of gender in

  • high and low fantasy
  • the different subgenres (urban fantasy, dark fantasy, etc.)
  • the genre’s classic as well as contemporary texts
  • fantasy films
  • fantasy TV shows
  • theatrical representations
  • the adaptation process (novel to film or vice versa)
  • ...

Abstracts of 400 words plus a brief biography should be submitted by October 15th, 2015. The deadline for the completed papers is January 7th, 2016.

(Publication date: Early 2016)

Gender and/in Captivity

This issue of Gender Forum addresses all aspects of captivity in relation to questions of gender and sexuality. From psychological captivity over social captivity to physical incarceration, we invite a variety of papers addressing the subject of imprisonment.

  • Gender theories and captivity
  • Daily performance of gender and the role of impersonation and fantasy.
  • Gendered visual and material cultures: From the theatrical stage to the silver screen
  • Gender Identities: Political Imprisonment and History
  • ...

If you wish to contribute a paper, we kindly ask you to send a brief proposal of no more than 500 words outlining the topic of your paper by February 15th, 2016 latest. Please send all questions, proposals and finished papers/reviews to gender-forum@uni-koeln.de. The deadline for finished papers/reviews is April 1st, 2016.

(Publication date: June 2016)

Queer Cinema

Ever since the momentous success of Ang Lee’s western-drama Brokeback Mountain, queer film has increasingly reached the mainstream. Brokeback Mountain was followed by a considerable amount of Hollywood productions that focused on representations of queer issues and characters such as Milk, A Single Man, The Imitation Game and, as the youngest addition to the list, Stonewall. The latter is directed by Roland Emmerich, a filmmaker who is usually known for blockbusters like Independence Day. The fact that both star directors and casts have entered the production of critically and commercially successful queer film-making is indicative of its mainstream potential and a growing target audience. Accordingly, mainstreaming has been noted as one of two major developments by scholar Barbara Mennel, who finds that the rise in queer film signals “larger cultural processes of acceptance and normalization of gays and lesbians” (104). It is open for discussion in what sense this development supports or violates goals targeted by the LGBTQ community or the original Gay Rights Movement.

The second, for a mainstream audience less noticeable but in a cultural frame no less important development is the international proliferation of queer cinema. It stands in tradition with the radical New Queer Cinema of the 90s that allowed for a broader, much more diverse perspective on queer experience. In its extension, the intense global proliferation of queer cinema communicates homosexuality as a matter of course, while negotiating “national cultural traditions and transnational queer film conventions” (112).

In our forthcoming issue on queer cinema we would like to focus on developments like these. How did representations of queer life in cinema and TV change over the decades? How do processes like mainstreaming and international proliferation affect queer cinema as a genre and queers as a community? And how can we assess the contemporary situation of queer film in the context of dominant developments in our society concerning homosexuality and alternative life models? Possible topics for papers may include:

  • Mainstreaming queer cinema and other developments
  • Presentation of queer experience in film and TV
  • Political dimension of queer cinema
  • Queer characters in mainstream cinema
  • Approach of the media to queer film and characters
  • Genres of queer cinema
  • Character clichés and their deconstruction
  • Queer cinema and queer theory
  • ...

Abstracts of 400 words and a brief biography should be submitted by May 1st, 2016. The deadline for the completed papers is July 1st, 2016.

Frederic Rukes (Guest Editor)

(Publication date: Fall 2016)

Early Career Reseachers IV

In order to encourage the next generation of academics, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed e-journal GenderForum (http://www.genderforum.org/) has launched its first annual Early Career Researchers Issue in October 2013. Now every October will see an issue that spotlights the work of emerging researchers.

Contributions can be new academic writing composed specifically for this issue, or exceptional, previously unpublished term papers on all topics pertaining to Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, Masculinity Studies, and/or Queer Theory.

Abstracts of 400 words plus a brief biography should be sent to Laura-Marie von Czarnowsky (l.czarnowsky@.uni-koeln.de) by May 1st, 2016. The deadline for the completed papers (4000-6000 words) is July 1st, 2016.

(Publication date: October 2016)

Powerful Women

“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I wannabe that champion!” (Clinton’s campaign video 2015)

In April 2015, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her candidacy for the United States presidency in 2016. Having been elected as New York’s first female senator and later having held office as United States Secretary of State under Obama, Clinton has been an important political figure in the US for the last few decades. What is more, Clinton has been politically active as First Lady in the early 90s: at the time, she already laid the foundation for her later career in diplomacy by speaking up for human rights in general and women’s rights in particular. In light of her second presidential candidacy, we would like to dedicate this issue of gender forum to women with power. We accept articles dealing with powerful women and their influences on politics, economy, science, media, cultural debates, and other fields that have an impact on our society. Possible topics may include:

  • Representation of powerful women in the media
  • Campaign strategies of female political leaders and their various degrees of success
  • Achievements of female politicians regarding women’s rights
  • Women’s rights politics in different parts of the world
  • Besides Clinton, politicians such as Angela Merkel, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Dilma Rousseff, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Dalia Grybauskaite etc.
  • In how far can female superstars from music, film, and television have an impact on our society and how do they perform in comparison to male superstars?
  • We are also interested in interviews with politicians, activists, economists, authors, political scholars etc.
  • ...

Abstracts of 300 words and a brief biography should be submitted by August 1st, 2016. The deadline for the completed papers is October 15th, 2016.

Link to Clinton’s campaign video 2015:


(Publication date: Winter 2016)


Target articles should conform to current MLA Style (7th edition) and should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length. Please make sure to number your paragraphs and include a bio-blurb and an abstract of roughly 300 words. Files should be sent as email attachments in Word format (doc, not docx). Please send your manuscripts to gender-forum"AT"uni-koeln.de.


We always welcome reviews! The reviewed text does not need to correspond to the issue topic, but we ask that only reviews on recent releases in Gender Studies/Queer Theory/Feminist Theory be submitted. In some cases, we may be able to secure a review copy for contributors.

We also would like to invite you to contribute to our common research goals as readers and contributors. Please inform us about your recent publications and ask your publisher to send review copies to Gender Forum. 

Please send queries, review suggestions or submissions to gender-forum"AT"uni-koeln.de

Titles currently up for review (other suggestions welcome):

Birkle, Carmen, Ramona Kahl, Gundula Ludwig, and Susanne Maurer, eds. Emanzipation und Feministische Politiken. Sulzbach and Taunus: Helmer Ulrike, 2012.

Hogan, Susan, ed. Revisiting Feminist Approaches to Art Therapy. New York and Oxford: Berghahn, 2012.

Ozyegin, Gul, ed. Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2015.

Schaffer, Kay and Song, Xianlin. Women Writers in Postsocialist China. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

Spector, Scott, Helmut Puff, and Dagmar Heryog, eds. After the History of Sexuality: German Genealogies with and Beyond Foucault. New York and Oxford: Berhahn, 2012.