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Gender, sexuality and embodiment in digital spheres – connecting intersectionality and digitality

Guest editors
Ladan Rahbari, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Evelien Geerts, University of Birmingham, UK
Sara De Vuyst, Ghent University, Belgium


The emergence and development of different digital media in the past decades have sparked interest, debates, and scholarly challenges across many social science and humanities disciplines. Within this scholarship, the research on digitality, gender, sexuality, and embodiment has contributed substantially to many fields, including sociology, gender, feminist, and media studies. This scholarship has, however, gone beyond the question of gender and has extended to the realms of queer studies, disability studies, security studies, critical race studies, and citizenship studies, among others. With such a high level of multi- and interdisciplinarity, theories, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres has become highly diversified.


This special issue of JDSR has two goals. First, it aims to bring together innovative and newly developed theoretical, empirical, analytical, and critical approaches in the study of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. Second, by connecting intersectionality and digitality, we aim to adopt an integrated approach that reflects the intricacy and interconnectedness of social markers and categories of difference, privilege, performance, and discrimination. As such, we specifically encourage submissions that adopt an intersectional approach and address gender, sexuality, and embodiment as integrated with other social factors, such as — but not limited to — age, race, (dis)ability, religion, color, and nationality.

The guest editors invite academic articles using diverse research methods and theoretical frameworks, and that belong to any disciplinary background. The papers may draw on the following, or other, research lines:

  • Social, feminist, and critical theories on intersectionality, gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres;

  • Critical empirical analysis of the relationships between digital spheres and gender(ed) and sexual(ized) performativity, unruliness, resistance, and defiance;

  • Gendered and sexual(ized) digital/online representations of embodied diversity and difference;

  • Historical and intersectional analyses of the role of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in the establishment of contemporary digital orders;

  • LGBTQIA+ issues/rights/identities and digital spheres;

  • Studies on gendered and sexualized bodies in relation to age, race, color, migration, (dis)ability, etc. in digital spheres;

  • Exploring posthumanist, affect and new materialist approaches to the study of digitality;

  • Harmful discourses, and different forms of gender- and sexuality-based harassment and violence in digital spaces;

  • Digitally-spread creations, e.g., avatars, gifs, and memes in relation to gender- and sexuality-focused topics;

  • The use of digital media for feminist, queer, anti-racist, anti-ageist, anti-ableist activism;

  • Expressions of unruly intimacies and sexualities in and through digital spaces that challenge normative assumptions about (older) age, sexuality, and gender.

    Feel free and encouraged to suggest alternative subjects!


We invite researchers to submit an abstract written in their own words of no more than 500 words (without references — please do not attach a bibliography to the abstract). The abstract should outline the theoretical contribution, methods, data, and mode of analysis. This special issue aims to bring together international scholars and does not have a specific geographical focus. All contributions are thus welcome, as long as the works have been written in English.

The author(s) should email their abstract proposal as a Word file to all of the three following email addresses: l.rahbari@uva.nl, e.m.l.geerts@bham.ac.uk, and s.devuyst@ugent.be.


August 18, 2020: Abstract submission opens.
October 1, 2020:
Abstract submission deadline.

The guest editors will review abstracts. This review will focus on the fit with the special issue theme, feasibility, and potential contribution.

November 1, 2020: Notification of the decision to submit the full manuscript to JDSR.
Please note that the initial acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee acceptance of the full manuscript.

May 1, 2021: Full manuscript submission deadline.
May 1, 2021 to August 1, 2021:
Review process (1-2 rounds).
August 2021:
Decision on manuscripts.