Call for papers - Sexualities and Critiques of Capital


Call for papers - Sexualities and Critiques of Capital

Special Issue Women, Gender & Research, 2022/1


Emphasis on the political significance of sexuality presents one of the most important feminist contributions to critiques of global capitalism. While the relation between the economic and the cultural/non-economic, and between redistribution and recognition continues to be subject of debate (see for example Fraser 1995; Butler 1998; Oksala 2017), there is a general consensus that sexualities and sexual politics are both foundational to and shaped by the capitalist mode of production and accumulation (see for example Drucker 2015; Reynolds 2018), as well as the changing relations of labor and formations of statehood (see for example Liu 2015; Chitty 2020). For example, it has been argued that the contingent inclusion of particular sexual minority identities in nationalist narratives and imaginaries feeds into the neoliberal logic of “privatization and personal responsibility” (Duggan 2003, 12) on the one hand, and the figure of the exceptional and civilized nation-state on the other hand (see for example Puar 2007). Moreover, the restructured relation between capital and labor through the logic of financialization, has been said to form what Lisa Adkins and Maryanne Dever call the “post-Fordist sexual contract”, which instead of separating production and reproduction “places the ideals of intensive mothering, domesticity, entrepreneurialism and an investor spirit towards work and working on the same continuous plane” (Adkins 2016, 3).

In the face of economic and ecological crisis, intensified political tensions and exacerbated socio-economic inequalities that are materialised through deeply gendered, sexualized, racialised and classed lines, we are witnessing an increased interest in thinking through issues pertaining to sexualities, bodies and desires as central to understanding and critiquing contemporary capitalism. Such work is often inter-disciplinary, or post-disciplinary (Lykke 2010), and brings together critical and creative insights from scholarly fields such as feminist post-/socialist theory, decolonial anti-capitalism, eco-socialist literature, anti-racist theory and queer and trans Marxisms. Another significant source of inspiration for this strand of work is the ongoing dialogue and collaboration with feminist anti-capitalist and anti-racist grassroots movements and activisms within and beyond academia.

This special issue provides a platform for critical analysis and debates that shed light on the complex and often contradictory ways through which sexualities and capital are related to, shaped by, and constitutive of each other. It invites contributions that concern how the changing mechanisms of capital accumulation and the restructuring of labour in post-Fordist capitalism shape sexualities and sexual politics, as well as how sexual oppression under capitalism foments critiques of domination and communities of resistance. We encourage contributors to engage in critical dialogue but also disagreements about sexual politics as fundamental technologies of power within capitalism.  

We welcome contributions targeting these and related themes. Of special interest are contributions that engage with issues of sexuality and capital in the Nordic context and/or that highlight linkages and debates between activist and academic work. Most notably we encourage interdisciplinary projects to unpack the following and related topics that are often boundary transgressing in nature:

  • Compulsory heteronormativity and bodynormativity in labour contexts
  • Abstract domination of capital and sexual individuation
  • Financialisation of sexual economies
  • Compulsion to productivity and operationalisations of the libido
  • Algorithmic capitalism, social media and techno-bodily excitability
  • Heteronormativity in the capitalocene
  • Racial capitalism, racialised sexualities and the coloniality of gender
  • Family constructions and domestic labour
  • Abolitionisms, e.g. family abolition
  • Social Reproduction Theory and sexuality
  • Intimacy, community and care
  • Queer and transgender marxisms
  • Movements and histories of anti-capitalist queer and trans struggles
  • Neoliberalism and homonationalism


Deadline for abstracts (max 500 words + author bio of ca 100 words): February 1, 2021

Notifications by: February 15, 2021

Deadline for articles: July 15, 2021

Envisaged publication date is January/February 2022.


All contributions must be in English. Abstracts should be submitted to Questions about the call for papers, guidelines or submission process should be sent to: For more information about the journal Women, Gender & Research, as well as contributor guidelines, see



Mathias Klitgård, PhD Fellow, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger

Liu Xin, Postdoc Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki

Laura Horn, Associate Professor, Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University



Adkins, Lisa. 2016. “Contingent Labour and the Rewriting of the Sexual Contract.” In The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp: 1- 28.

Butler, Judith. 1998. “Merely Cultural?” In New Left Review I 227: 33-44.

Chitty, Christopher. 2020. Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System, edited by Max Fox. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Drucker, Peter. 2015. Warped: Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism. Leiden and Boston: Brill.

Duggan, Lisa. 2003. The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy. Boston: Beacon Press.

Fraser, Nancy. 1995. “From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a ‘Post-Socialist’ Age.” in New Left Review I 212: 68-93.

Liu, Petrus. 2015. Queer Marxism in Two Chinas. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Lykke, Nina. 2010. Feminist Studies: A Guide to Intersectional Theory, Methodology and Writing. New York and London: Routledge.

Oksala, Johanna. 2017. “Feminism, Capitalism, and the Social Regulation of Sexuality.” In Feminism, Capitalism, and Critique: Essays in Honor of Nancy Fraser, edited by Banu Bargu and Chiara Bottici. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp: 67 - 83.

Puar, Jasbir. 2007. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Reynolds, Paul. 2018. ‘Sexual Capitalism: Marxist Reflections on Sexual Politics, Culture and Economy in the 21st Century’ tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 16(2), pp. 696-706.