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. 

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) 

(Publication date: September 2015)

Transgender Studies

In May 2014, on a cover featuring actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox, Time Magazine proclaimed that we had reached the “transgender tipping point”. But have we? What would it look like if we had? While it is true that transgender activists like Cox and Janet Mock are appearing on our televisions more often, and transgender models like Ines Rau or Andreja Pejic are gracing the pages of magazines, transgender women (especially women of color) are still disproportionately at risk for hate crimes, and face discrimination in many areas of life.

Meanwhile, visibility in the media is also often problematic and resorts to familiar tropes: Transparent’s Maura is middle-class and Jewish, a retired professor, whereas the protagonist of the Sundance hit Tangerine is a formerly incarcerated sex-worker and a woman of color.

And visibility itself is also not a simple issue. In a recent article on Autostraddle, Mey writes, “Every year on Trans Day of Visibility I see two kinds of essays. One kind, usually from white trans people, talks about the importance of visibility. The other kind, usually from TWOC, talks about how for black and brown trans women, being visible often means being open to violence and discrimination”.

For our December issue, Gender Forum is seeking articles that critically examine the media’s treatment of transgender people, fictional as well as non-fictional (documentaries, news, reality shows) and critically engage with questions of sexuality and gender.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words, as well as a short biography, should be send to gender-forum@uni-koeln.de by August 31st. Full papers (5,000-8,000 words) can be sent in by September 31st

Mey. "What We're Going to Say About Caitlyn Jenner." Autostraddle. N.p., 12 June 2015. Web. 03 July 2015. http://www.autostraddle.com/what-were-going-to-say-about-caitlyn-jenner-292957/

(Publication date: December 2015)

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)

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

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.