CfP: Bad Sex Anthology

Call for contributions

Bad Sex: Women, Media, and the Art of Sexual Transgression
Edited by Rikke Schubart & Malin Isaksson

Representations of “bad sex” generate contradictory emotions of fascination, disgust, pleasure, and excitement. The titillating opening question of each True Blood episode: “Wanna do bad things with me?” generates one kind of response; the castration and self-mutilation sex scenes in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist quite another. Bad sex challenges social rules, moral norms, and sometimes also legal restrictions. Through its transgressive nature, it can question, traverse, or break boundaries; it can be a subversive experience leading to an expansion of women’s stereotypical gender roles or it can be a shattering experience and a force of destruction. It can even, in ambiguous and contradictory ways, be both.

The anthology Bad Sex: Women, Media, and the Art of Sexual Transgression is concerned with the kinds of representations of women and bad sex that we engage with for and as entertainment; in narratives and representations, visual or textual.

In this collection, “bad sex” can be, but is not necessarily, erotic. The essays will explore “bad sex” as an ambiguous and transgressive concept ranging from the ‘good-bad’ (non-normative practices that are consensual and pleasurable such as kinky sex) to the ‘bad-bad’ (non-consensual such as rape) and the ‘bad-good’ (practices that feel bad but are accepted, such as unsatisfying marital sex). The anthology Bad Sex sets out to question morals, self, and our socially learned gender roles. The value of “bad sex” is to create a space where sex and gender is challenged, questioned, disrupted, negotiated and reconfigured.

We invite essays exploring bad sex as encountered in different genres and media, ranging from ‘low-brow’ genres such as pornography or horror via mainstream representations to art cinema, fine arts and literature; in visual or textual media forms such as film, television, literature, fan fiction, art, computer games, comic books, graffiti, manga, etc. The volume’s scope is multidisciplinary and multimedia: we welcome approaches from film and media studies, cultural studies, art studies, literary studies, emotion studies, game studies, gender studies, and the expanding areas of cognitive studies and neurosciences.

10 April 2014: Please send title, 300-word abstract, 150-word bio and bibliography (max six titles) to the editors:
Rikke Schubart, University of Southern Denmark,
Malin Isaksson, Umea University,
1 August &1 October 2014: First and second draft version of accepted essays (Chicago style, max 8000 words) to the editors.

Rikke Schubart
Associate Professor
Department for the Study of Culture
University of Southern Denmark

Malin Isaksson
Senior Lecturer
Department of Language Studies
Umeå University

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