Call for Papers

Photo: Alessandro Rippa

Collection no. 008: Gendering Infrastructure

Spring 2022

Infrastructures as diverse as open-air urinals on the streets of Paris, smart meters that monitor water flows to residents in Cape Town, and the Boda Boda transport systems that enable mobility in Kampala are highly gendered. At the micro-level, gender constructions play a substantial role in everyday infrastructure uses and practices such as where and for whom a toilet can be accessed. At regional, national and international scales gendered symbolism and power relations shape the forms and meanings that buildings, roads, and digital infrastructures take. Despite the pervasiveness with which gender shapes our everyday life, gendered dimensions of infrastructure have received relatively less attention in the literature compared with other aspects of the social, political and cultural embeddedness of infrastructure.

In this issue of Roadsides, we aim to add to the emergent but significant scholarship that tackles the conceptual and analytical intersection of gender and infrastructure. Thinking infrastructurally, we posit, implies thinking about gender relations and their myriad manifestations in social life. Instead of thinking about gender as but another variable to keep in mind while assessing the impact of infrastructure in daily life, we contend that gender fundamentally shapes infrastructure and is, in turn, shaped by infrastructure.

Our aspiration is to bring together diverse approaches of thinking about gender in relation to infrastructure with a view to expanding our conceptual, analytical methodological, and empirical horizons. Our call for papers, thus, is a broad one. We invite authors (academic and non-academic) and particularly encourage submissions that go beyond the conventional journal article format, and combine text with images, videos and/or audio recordings (see https://roadsides.net/guide-for-authors/).

We hope to see contributions that include, but are not necessarily limited, to the following themes:

    • Intersectionality of gender, race, class, caste, disability, and heteronormativity in the experience, making, maintenance, repair, and breakdown of infrastructure
    • Gendered inequities and infrastructural systems
    • The gendered symbolism that undergirds large and small-scale infrastructural systems
    • The gendered dimensions of infrastructural labor
    • New methodological approaches for understanding gendered dimensions of infrastructure
    • Girlhood and infrastructural belonging
    • Comparative cases of gendered access and infrastructural inclusions and exclusions
    • Gendered infrastructural citizenship

Please send a title, abstract (max. 300 words) and a short biography (max. 200 words) by 22 September to the co-editors of this issue of Roadsides, Sneha Annavarapu (snehanna@nus.edu.sg) and Yaffa Truelove (truelove@colorado.edu). Selected authors will be notified in early October and invited to submit a full paper (1500 words max.), due on 21 November 2022.

Final papers will undergo a “double-open” peer review and will be published in the Roadsides Collection no. 009 in April 2023. Please do contact the issue editors if you have any questions about your potential submission. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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