Positive Non-Binary and/or Genderqueer Sexual Ethics and Politics

Roundtable towards special issue of the Journal of Sexual Ethics and Politics


Friday, October 26th 2018 (all day, 11-5)

Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK

Organised by
Lucy (Luc) Nicholas, Swinburne University, Australia
Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University, UK

Download the CFP as PDF

Gender fluidity, genderqueerness and non-binary gender are increasingly embraced and visible and offer exciting new ways of understanding the self and others. There is certainly not consensus on what they mean, which can be seen as a strength. Some trans exclusionary radical feminists labour under the idea that these identities, and the option of rejecting binary genders, are a threat to women and girls’ rights. Much work on this topic thus far has, importantly, been around the negative: discrimination, health issues, violence. Given this context, this roundtable and quick turnaround special issue seeks to respectfully and productively discuss the positive aspects of these genders, in particular what they might mean for sexual ethics and politics, and how they may be enabled and affirmed more widely.

Some possible topics include (but are not restricted to):

  • What do and what might sexual ethics look like in less binary / less gendered context?
  • How can these genders or ways of being be better understood by wider society to enable respectful attribution?
  • How might society and institutions change to better enable and affirm these genders / ways of being? In particular, institutions, schools and healthcare professionals.
  • How can we understand the intersection of non-binary and genderqueer issues with matters such as racism, ableism and transmisogyny?
  • How can backlash be approached?
  • What does gender politics without gender look like? What exciting ways of understanding sexual ethics and politics are opened up by non-binary identities?
  • Can these genders / ways of being remain open to interpretation or are we witnessing the congealment of norms and attempts to police ‘authentic’ and non-authentic versions of these identities?
  • How can we resist the politics of closure and allow for proliferated understandings of these identities?
  • How can we understand the politics of the hostility to these genders?

This may be a good opportunity to write something more theoretical / less empirical that you have been thinking about, or a shorter intervention or review paper.

An interesting place to start may be with the provocation posed by Judith Lorber in her recent essay ‘Paradoxes of Gender Redux’ (email lnicholas@swin.edu.au for a copy).

NB: The aim of this roundtable is positive, respectful discussion and scholarship by those who identify as / with NB or genderqueer and their allies. It is also hoped it will be a space for going beyond polemicism and reductionism.

The Format

This format streamlines the special issue format and adds to the quality and cohesion and will be:

  • Participants submit abstracts are receive quick responses about the fit
  • All participants to submit paper drafts , in the form of extended discussion papers of 2-2500 words, speaking to the special issue and roundtable call for papers
  • Each participant allocated one respondent from other participants
  • Respondents prepare discussion points in response
  • All participants discuss all papers
  • Each paper discussed in roundtable format and discussion recorded and circulated for paper improvement
  • Papers resubmitted after editing

Papers should (eventually) be written to the journal’s guidelines and in Harvard referencing, but for now just stick to the word length guidelines below:

The journal is made up of articles, shorter interventions, replies and reports and reviews or review articles of relevant publications.

Article submissions should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words (excluding footnotes, figures, tables and bibliography). Submissions much short of 5000 words would normally be regarded as interventions or reports. We welcome submissions of interventions into debates, replies by authors, short reports on research and review articles (of important books) between 2000 and 5000 words (excluding footnotes, figures, tables and bibliography). Please specify what type of submission you are submitting.

Initially we are seeking an abstract, bio, and the type of article it is to be to


Deadlines etc.

Abstracts by Sept 23rd

Discussion papers by Oct 12th

Final papers for journal by Thursday 22nd November –a very quick refereeing turn around and final drafts by Thursday December 13th for a January publication

Room TBC, accessibility info forthcoming, but we will ensure there is no-step access.