Call of chapters for ebook “From the Political and Discursive Power of Images of Feminist Protests”

Editors: Zara Pinto-Coelho (CECS), Ana Maria Brandão (CICS-UMinho), Silvana Mota-Ribeiro (CECS)

In the last two decades, feminist protest actions have been multiplied on the streets of cities around the world. Motivated by issues that are part of the historical agenda of feminisms, but also attest to the recompositions and changes of contemporary feminism (in the sense, for example, of intersectionality, transnationality, popularization, decentralization and individualization), these actions often involve the use of the Internet and mobile communication for the constitution or use of networks. As is well known, these technologies have offered innumerable potentialities for local causes and the possibility of building transnational solidarities. The many women who went to the streets in the Arab spring of 2011, the various “marches of the sluts”, 2011, in Brazil, the mobilizations of the #nunomenos, 2015, in Argentina, the Women’s March #SejasTrump, 2017, USA, the protest actions instigated by #MeToo, those held on International Women’s Day 2018, with replicas all over the world, the national protest “Moved with one, moved with all”, 2018 are some of the examples of this most recent political mobilization of the women.

In this volume, we call for the submission of chapters that explore the visual components of these protests – both the images produced in the context of protest practices and those disseminated in the media.

In the images produced in the interior, we include rhetorical artifacts, usually of a multimodal nature, that integrate the classic repertoire of social movements (placards, posters, banners, posters, drawings, cartoons, symbols, colors, (posture, gestures, clothes, accessories, etc.) and digital images – eg memes, infographics – used as signs of protest.

What is the communicative potential of these images? What discourses do they produce, that is, what knowledge, assessments, ways of being and being carried out, what dialogues and communities do they enter and in what visual regime do they register? How are these speeches produced? What role do the semiotic resources used in protest images have in this process of producing speeches?

In addition to highlighting the discursive functioning of protest images, we believe that it is essential to think about them in the contexts in which they are disseminated. What political and cultural functions do these images perform in the context of a specific protest event and, at a more general level, of public discourse and culture?

The second important dimension of the visualization of the actions of protest that we include in this call of works is the one referring to the media sphere. To a greater or lesser extent, during or after protest actions, the media continue to play an important role in recontextualizing protest practices through photo or video reporting. And it is also known that the images used in the protests often take on the character of “event images”, that is, of images orchestrated for media diffusion, in order to mark the public agenda, but also to enter into dialogue, establish borders, broaden ideological horizons, challenge and subvert gender orders, or simply affirm existences and maintain movement. In this picture, the photographs or videos accompanying the news coverage of protest events not infrequently acquire the status of symbols or icons and, with this, the power to delimit actions, communities and build future memories. They are, therefore, the ideal support for exploring how journalists and the media system model the display of protest and, thus, their public perception. What representations do the protest media offer and how do you invite readers and viewers to relate to the scenes shown? What identities do they attribute to protestors? And what are the relationships between these choices and the communicative and social situations in which they are made? What are the policy implications of these choices?

At a time when some say that feminism has died and others underline its resurgence, it would be important to know more about the complexity of these new realities of feminist protest and activism, their declinations and local specificities, as well as possible continuities with earlier manifestations. Although many of the features of protest imagery have already been identified in the literature of social movements and political mobilization, there are still few studies showing the specific power of semiotic resources in the discursive and political functioning of visual protests, with an interest particularly in gender conflicts in contemporary societies.

This volume appeals to the participation of researchers from the areas of Social and Human Sciences with a particular interest in visuals and feminisms and in discursive approaches. Proposals of an interdisciplinary nature will be well accepted.

Some exploration areas may include, but are not limited to:
– Media and popular culture
– Feminist political cultures
– Feminist Agencies
– Religion, race, ethnicity, and transgenderism
– Feminist identity and subjectivity
– Violence (economic, social, political, sexual) against women
– Exclusion and inequalities
– Sexualities and gender
– Discrimination on the basis of gender and gender identity
– Body, gender and feminism
– Feminist aesthetics and creativity

Send the proposals (in PDF document or WORD) to zara@ics.uminho.pt until April 30.

Proposals must include a summary (250-300 words) and a short biographical note (including affiliation, institutional address and e-mail address).

Full texts (between 6000 and 7000 words) must be submitted by July 15.

[Posted: 04-03-2019]