MAI: Feminism and Culture

Imprint Director: Anna Backman Rogers (anna.backman.rogers@gu.se)

“Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; and not yourself. Smug-faced readers, managing editors, and big bosses don’t like the true texts of women … that kind scares them.” – Hélène Cixous, The Laugh of The Medusa (1976)

“And where the words of women are crying out to be heard, we must each of us recognise our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives.” – Audre Lorde, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” (1978)

MAI seeks monographs and edited volumes that take an unabashedly feminist approach to a range of visual cultures and art forms. We want writing that is radical, subversive and experimental in its intent and approach. Like the journal after which this imprint is founded and named (www.maifeminism.com), we are interested in multivalent critique and analysis that has its basis in intersectional feminism (proponents of postfeminism need not apply). We cherish and embrace feminist solidarity, collectivity and celebration of difference, particularly where this can support and uphold the struggles of other marginalised groups. As Sara Ahmed phrases it, we support and uphold ‘all those who travel under the sign women’ and extend this openly to trans, non-binary, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people who embrace their own definitions of femininity. We are committed to a decolonizing agenda and seek publications that widen our understanding of feminist forms of thinking and practices by including works from hitherto under-represented and/or mis-represented positions and standpoints, thereby expanding and complicating the very frameworks of feminism.  

We welcome a range of writing styles, since we are interested in expanding the notion of what constitutes feminist scholarship. Alongside more classical approaches to academic writing, we particularly invite innovative, non-traditional forms of analysis, which take up Hélène Cixous’ exhortation to resist patriarchal master discourses of knowledge. We are committed to exposing hegemonic, patriarchal, white supremacist and heteronormative practices in visual culture.

We  commend and uphold women’s diverse forms of resistance, whilst also celebrating women’s work that has been historically excluded. We are especially interested in championing the work of women artists, creatives, workers, activists and communities who innovatively contest patriarchal hegemonies and devise competing narratives, representations, modes of inquiry, thought and practice. We are expansive in our definition of these categories, and are particularly keen to acknowledge the craft and artistry of the widest possible range of visual culture practitioners.

We encourage proposals that cover the full gamut of visual popular and literary culture, including graphic novelists, photo-montagists, and writers or poets with significant visual cultural dimensions to their work. The MAI collective of scholars, writers and artists are powerfully aware of the gatekeeping and power-wielding that so often manifests itself at moments of peer review. We are therefore committed to a fully transparent peer-review process, where all parties are kept aware of the process, and who is involved. We are also aware of the barriers to access to publication created by uneven distributions of power, wealth and resources, in higher education as in society at large. Part of our ethos at MAI press is therefore to support authors in placing and publishing their work. Where needed, we provide mentoring and coaching through annual workshops.

Proposals in the first instance should be sent to anna.backman.rogers@gu.se

Advisory Board

  • Anna Backman Rogers: Professor in Feminism and Visual Culture, University of Gothenburg
  • Anna Misiak: Postgrad Course Leader/Senior Lecturer in Film and TV, Falmouth University
  • Aparna Sharma: Associate Professor, Department of World Arts and Cultures/ Dance, UCLA
  • Jenny Chamarette: Senior Research Fellow, Reading School of Art, University of Reading
  • Sophia Kier-Byfield: Doctoral Candidate, Loughborough University
  • Houman Sadri: Associate Professor, University of South Eastern Norway 
  • Davina Quinlivan, Senior Lecturer, University of Bristol
  • Brandeise Monk-Payton, Assistant Professor, Fordham University
  • Valeria Villegas Lindvall, Doctoral Candidate, University of Gothenburg
  • Rebecca Harrison, Senior Lecturer, Open University
  • Ingrid Ryberg, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg
  • Tijana Mamula, Filmmaker

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