gender forum – an internet journal for gender studies
By Beate Neumeier
gender forum is a peer-reviewed open-access academic journal dedicated to the discussion of gender issues. It was founded in 2002 and is part of the research profile of Prof. Beate Neumeier’s chair of English literature at the University of Cologne. Hence, gender forum has a strong focus on literature/media and cultural studies in the anglophone world, and on theoretical perspectives in the field, but also on the impact of related areas with vital importance for transdisciplinary gender issues ranging from politics to social and religious institutions, from criminal justice to health care systems.
As of April 2020, gender forum has published 75 quarterly issues, including various special numbers in response to urgent topical matters (e.g. #MeToo Issue 70). The current call for papers focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on matters of gender. A substantial number of issues was guest-edited by international colleagues from different disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and performance studies. The website of gender forum registers 5000 monthly readers on average.
Recurrent focal concerns of gender forum have been theoretical questions in queer studies (72), new feminist materialism (71), masculinity studies (9, 32, 47) and intersectionality (48). Intersections between gender and race/ethnicity (3, 10, 14, 22, 23), class (17), age (28) as well as social and local stratification (15, 16, 42) have received particular attention.
Aspects of the body (6, 7) were central in issues focusing on disability (68) and illness (12, 19), as well as in those on visualization (2, 11-13), diversity (56, 59) and the gaze (37, 51, 29) in different media. Other issues have covered performance arts with a specific focus on dance (31, 36).
Questions of genre in literature and visual media/film have been discussed in issues on fantasy (57) and fairy tales (44), on superheroes (62) and haunted heroines (4), as well as on notions of friendship (39). Single-author issues were dedicated to Terry Pratchett (52) or Kathy Acker (74).
Current political questions were taken up in issues on the role of women in politics (30, 61) as well as on psychological and physical violations of women’s bodies and health (58, 63, 65-67). Several issues have focused on gender and medicine (24-26), while others examined religious institutions and practices (21, 34). Although gender forum mostly covers material pertaining to different geographical areas, there have been issues with a specific focus on Australia and India (38, 53).
gender forum also includes reviews and occasionally interviews, fiction and poetry. Since 2013 the journal has taken a keen interest in supporting emerging scholars and has therefore dedicated one issue per year to early career researchers in the field of gender and queer studies.
Since the inauguration of gender forum in 2002, Prof. Dr. Beate Neumeier has served as its general editor, in cooperation with an editorial assistant, currently Dr. Sarah Youssef, University of Cologne (Germany), and an international editorial board: Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany); Prof. Dr. Nilufer E. Bharucha, University of Mumbai (India); Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle, Philipps University Marburg (Germany); Prof. Dr. Ingrid Hotz-Davies, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Germany); Prof. Dr. Ralph Poole, University of Salzburg (Austria); Prof. Dr. Chris Weedon, Cardiff University (UK). Listed as open access journal, gender forum also cooperates with a number of academic databases.
gender forum is linked to and associated with gender Inn, a database for gender studies, which was founded by Prof. Natascha Würzbach, one of the pioneers of German women’s studies, in 1987 and went online in 1997. In 1999 Prof. Beate Neumeier took over the editorship. gender forum regularly provides reviews of books indexed in gender Inn.
(posted 4 May 2020)