Call for Papers: Queering the Soma


Call for Papers: Queering the Soma

According to Richard Shusterman, “the body is both shaped by power and employed as an instrument to maintain it—how bodily norms of health, skill, and beauty, and even our categories of sex and gender, are constructed to reflect and sustain social forces” (Shusterman 2020, 247). In this issue of the Journal of Somaesthetics, we consider somatic identities and behaviors that subvert somatic normativity, with a special focus on gender and sexuality. Although there has been somaesthetic work devoted to mostly heteronormative identities, behaviors, and histories, there has been little devoted to queer somaesthetics. Beginning with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s definition of queer as “the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically” (Sedgwick 1993, 8), this issue is dedicated to intersections between queerness and somaesthetics, broadly construed.

We welcome work from multiple perspectives in art and art theory, gender and sexuality studies, literature and literary studies, memoir, philosophy, sociology, and other inter- and transdisciplinary fields that facilitate queering somaesthetics. The work of thinkers such as Sara Ahmed, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, Audre Lorde, José Esteban Muñoz, Gayle Rubin, and Michael Warner are considered, among others, as pioneers in this field and provide theoretical tools for queering somaesthetics. Others, such as James Baldwin, Roxane Gay, Martine Gutierrez, Kent Monkman, Genesis P. Orridge, John Rechy, and Lou Sullivan, provide rich somatic descriptions and representations that merit somaesthetic analysis.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Queer theory and somaesthetics
  • Gender nonconforming subjectivities and aesthetics
  • Somaesthetics and non-heteronormative economies of desire
  • Somatic conceptions through queer film, literature, and memoir
  • Queer histories of bodily practices
  • Queer approaches to somaesthetic education

 The Journal of Somaesthetics is a peer-reviewed, online, academic journal devoted to research that advances the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics, understood as the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the experience and performance of the living body (or soma) as a site of sensory appreciation (aesthesis), practice, and realization. The term somaesthetics designates an interdisciplinary framework rather than a philosophical position. It deals, on the one hand, with the aesthetic experience of the body as a practice proper and, on the other hand, with the academic conceptualization of the experiencing body and the body experienced; it approaches the body as the mediating center between sensory experiences and cognitive realization. Somaesthetics describes an integrative field of research where aesthetic experiences meet theories about the body and its biological structures and functions, its phenomenological and epistemological functions, and its position and significances in culture and societies. The Journal of Somaesthetics invites proposals of academic papers, essays, and video articles from different fields of somatic practices, empirical research, art, and philosophy. 

For more information about the journal, see


Deadline for articles:              January 21, 2024

Peer-reviews back:                 March 17, 2024

Deadline for final articles:      April 21, 2024

Publishing:                              Summer 2024



Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words and prepared for blind review, according to the Journal’s style guidelines as indicated on the Journal’s website:

Proposed complete articles will be submitted through the link above. Authors should submit a separate cover page indicating the author’s name, institutional affiliation, paper title and abstract, word count, keywords, and contact information.



Mark Tschaepe

Falk Heinrich