Abnormativities: Queer/Gender/Embodiment
Edited by Scott Herring


The last decade has witnessed a remarkable development in openness to variant sexual and gender identities and lifestyles, most notably transgenderism, the legalization of same-sex marriage in North America and select Western European countries, and empowering discussions of sexuality in the classroom and other public spheres. But with greater openness and access has come a blowback in the form of ‘religious freedom’ legislation and increased violence against gays and lesbians. Partly as the result of increasing gender autonomy, the policing of the body and the enforcement of rigid binary gender roles continue.

Building on emergent models of materiality in feminist and queer theory, this new series explores the ‘embodiment’ of gender identity within national and global frameworks of deviance which challenge hetero- and homonormative constructions of the body and the policing of bodies deemed ‘inferior’ or ‘abnormal’. The scope of the series is broad, but is informed by Patricia Clough’s ‘affective turn’ in contemporary literary and culture studies, that is, a movement that registers the crucial importance of articulating embodied modes of cognition and delineating different relations of the individual and the social.

Titles in the series will respond to, and offer alternative readings of, hetero- and homonormativity across genres and in all its body-shaming manifestations, including misogyny, homophobia, technology and the displacement of the body, xenophobia’s derogation of ‘alien’ bodies, destruction of the natural environment, military conquest, mass incarceration, colonialism, racism, sexual exploitation, and religious orthodoxy. The series aims for specialist and non-specialist audiences, and its interdisciplinary focus appeals to scholars in literary studies, cultural studies, film studies, history, anthropology, and other fields.

Each title in the series will offer space for a queer reading of a particular issue and/or historical period. Individual topics to be explored may include: sex workers, the commodification of bodies in the media, cultural differences in approaches to sex and gender, queer performance art, freakdom and disability, trauma and the queerness of melancholy and loss, elder sex, trans-bodies and the medical profession, literary accounts of non-normativity, and many others.

The scope of the series will be global and transnational. Its time frame is broad, ranging from the medieval period through modernity.

Inquiries and proposals may be sent to: Tara Cyphers, Acquiring Editor. (Download series flyer)


About the Series Editor

photograh of Scott Herring

Scott Herring is Associate Chair of the English Department at Indiana University – Bloomington. His books include Queering the Underworld: Slumming, Literature, and the Undoing of Lesbian and Gay History; Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (winner of the Lambda Literary Award); and The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture. His essays have appeared in PMLA, GLQ, American Quarterly, American Literary History, Criticism, Public Culture, and Modernism/modernity. In addition, he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Modern Fiction Studies, the Advisory Board of Genders, and the Advisory Committee of PMLA.