Call for Papers: The Politics of Sexuality in Contemporary Italy

The Politics of Sexuality in Contemporary Italy

Guest Editors: Isabel Crowhurst (Birkbeck, University of London),
Giovanni Porfido (University of Birmingham), and Chiara Bertone
(Università del Piemonte Orientale).

The aim of this special issue is to discuss the politics of sexuality in contemporary Italian cultural and social life. The analysis of how sexuality may articulate citizenship, social inclusion/exclusion, belonging and participation, racial, class and gender relations (Lister 2007, Bell and Binnie 2000, Weeks 1998; Seidman 1997; Rubin 1982) is still a relatively under-researched area of study in the Italian context. Nevertheless, recent heated debates and troubling events in Italian public life, including the increase in homophobic violence, disputes over same-sex partnerships and a new prostitution law, suggest that a rigorous critical engagement with these issues is much needed.

Key questions to be explored include: Which sexualities are constructed and treated as privileged and which are minoritized or/and stigmatized? What accounts for these distinctions (sexual orientation, ‘race’, ethnicity, disability, gender)? How/Do these differentiations map out onto policies and social practices? What are the tensions between and within dominant normative sexualities and minoritized ones?

Potential contributions might address the following issues and topics: sexuality and ‘the family’; heterosexual normativity; social and legal recognition of same-sex relationships; the regulation of sexual practices; reproductive rights; transgender recognition; sex work and prostitution; sexuality and politics; sexuality and religion; sexuality and migration; sexuality and the constructions of ‘the nation’; sexual rights; sexuality and the welfare agenda.

The editors of Modern Italy have expressed a strong interest in dedicating the early 2013 issue of the journal to this theme. We therefore invite proposals for high-quality interdisciplinary articles from different theoretical and methodological approaches exploring the proposed theme, with a view to further developing an understanding of sexual policies, politics and practices in contemporary Italy.

Expressions of interest in the form of 400-500 word abstracts and a brief CV should be sent to the guest-editors:; and by 15th January 2010. We plan to notify authors whether their abstracts have been accepted by early February 2010. To discuss ideas for submission in advance, or for further questions, please send an email to:

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