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 the Erotic

In the cultural imagination, expressions of the erotic – sex, desire, relationships – are intrinsically linked to gender. Female gender stereotypes are often based in ideas about sexual behavior, from the lustful Jezebel who preys on innocent men to the sexually passive Angel in the House who endures sexuality for the sake of procreation. Similarly, behavior in sexual encounters is often strictly scripted based on gender, with “rules” on everything from who makes the first move to who gets to be on top. Representations of the erotic are also plagued by double standards: not only are women encouraged to be sexually available only to be disparaged for being “too” available, but which behaviors are culturally acceptable also differs widely between the genders. And in all of this, the queer erotic is marginalized or silenced entirely.

In this issue of Gender Forum, we want to focus on representations of gender in erotic films or novels, or in the media. Possible topics may include:

  • Sexual Stereotypes of men and/or women
  • Women in erotic literature/film
  • 50 Shades of Grey/"mommy porn"
  • Slut Shaming
  • Pornography
  • Representations of the queer/LGBT erotic
  • Sexual Violence
  • Heteronormativity in representations of sexuality

(Publication date: December 2014)

Performing Gender in the Middle East

Since the Arab Spring the Middle East has undergone numerous changes. The role of women in and post the revolution remains one of the most interesting developments in Middle Eastern nations. This issue of Gender Forum will provide a specific area focus in Gender Studies, but also provide a gendered understanding of prevailing discourses, ideologies, social practices and trends in Middle East societies and politics. We are looking forward to submissions with an interdisciplinary scope as well as readings and theoretical underpinnings ranging from history, sociology and anthropology to political science, media studies all based within gender studies. Possible topics may include:

  • Islam & Patriarchy: Gender Ideologies and Social Practices
  • The State & ‘Gender Regimes’: Modernization, Reform and Citizenship
  • Families & ‘Selves’: Social Relations and Identity Constructions
  • Gender & Sexuality: From ‘Honour & Shame’ to Queer
  • Exploring Masculinities: Hegemonic and subordinate masculinities
  • Feminism & Women’s Movements: Women’s rights and the struggle for 'authenticity'
  • Autobiographies & Fiction: Gendered writing and creativity
  • New Public Spheres: Gendering the media and the Internet
  • War & Conflict: Gendering Violence and Peace in the Middle East

(Publication date: March 2015)

Beauty in the Beast: Gender, Animals, Animality

Throughout the last decade or so the formerly rather “exotic” field of “Human-Animal Studies” (sometimes simply “Animal Studies”) has grown immensely and produced an amount of exciting and innovative work that by now has gained some deserved recognition from the academic mainstream across a whole range of disciplines. Briefly put and among other things, Human-Animal Studies are interested in the manifold intersections of human and animal lives, the forms and modes of human-animal relations in different historical, social, literary, cultural and other contexts, and also inevitably touch upon the question of what it means to be a human animal.

This issue of Gender Forum intends to approach existing and potential interconnections between the study of gender and/or sexuality and what has emerged in recent years as the vibrant interdisciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies. How are questions of gender and sexuality related to the question of the animal? Can a perspective on animals and animality help us rethink hegemonic, marginalized or transgressive forms, modes and practices of gender relations or conceptions of the sexed/gendered body as well as its materiality and agency? How do gender and sexuality figure in the construction of the human-animal boundary – and vice versa? Can a perspective on animals and (human) animality offer new ways of addressing the traditionally fraught and problematic question of nature and culture in Gender and Queer Studies? These and many other possible questions may be discussed in the contributions to this issue.

Both specific (cultural, sociological, literary, historical etc.) analyses and theoretical or methodological contributions are welcome. We are also looking for possible book reviews that might be of specific relevance for this issue, so feel free to contact us should you be interested in writing a review.

Possible topics for papers include but are, as always, by no means limited to:

  • Gender/sexuality and discourses, practices or materialities of human-animal relations
  • Gender/sexuality and the question of human animality
  • Queer animals and animalities
  • Masculinities and animals/human-animal relations
  • Human and animal bodies
  • Gender/sexuality and (de)constructions of the human-animal boundary
  • Gender, species and speciesism
  • Gender and/in animal rights discourse
  • Human-Animal Studies and feminist, queer or gender theories
  • Animals, animality and intersectionality
  • Human-animal intimacies and zoophilia/bestiality
  • Animals in discourses and practices of family life

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 May 15th, 2015 latest. Please send all questions, proposals and finished papers/reviews to the email address below. The deadline for finished papers/reviews is September 1st, 2015

Dominik Ohrem (Guest Editor) ohremd@.gmail.com

(Publication date: September 2015)

Style Sheet

Target articles should conform to our style sheet and should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length. Please include a bio-blurb and an abstract of 10 to 15 lines. Use endnotes and fully documented references at the end of the article. 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